"The women of Bikini Kill let guitarist Billy Karren be in their feminist punk band, but only if he's willing to just "do some shit." Being a feminist dude is like that. We may ask you to "do some shit" for the band, but you don't get to be Kathleen Hannah."--@heatherurehere

Thursday, August 20, 2015

#BuyComicsByWomen: The "Kurt Busiek Hates Me Now" Edition

Continuing my experiment where I only buy comics that have a female artist or writer. This week, I got to talk to one of my writer heroes, Kurt Busiek, and alienate him forever! Ah well. He's a good guy, and a fantastic writer.  I really hope he'll be working with more women in the future.  It really does seem like some of the most prominent male writers and artists in comics don't understand that they, too, are gatekeepers.

Yep Pile:

  • Power Up #2(Writer: Kate Leth   Art: Matt Cummings   Cover: Matt Cummings)  While I wasn't blown away by #1, I enjoy Leth's work enough to give this a few more issues to grow on me.
  • Welcome Back #1(Writer: Christopher Sebela   Art: Jonathan Brandon Sawyer   Cover: Elsa Charretier) This one is pretty hyped, and I'm excited to try it. I haven't read anything by Sebela and Sawyer before, but if I can find the Charretier cover, I'm gonna pick it up.
  • Secret Six #5 (Bombshells Variant Cover)DC Comics: August 19, 2015   Writer: Gail Simone   Art: Dale Eaglesham   Cover: Emanuela Lupacchino) I know everybody loves Simone's Secret Six--it's not my favorite of her work, oddly enough; still, the new-to-me characters, and the "Bombshells" variant cover won me over. 
  • Swords Of Sorrow Thoris Adler #3(Writer: Leah Moore   Art: Francisco Manna   Cover: Jay Anacleto)  I say it every week--these are some of the most fun comics out right now. Pulpy goodness.  
  • Swords Of Sorrow Vampirella Jennifer Blood #4(Writer: Nancy A. Collins   Art: Dave Acosta   Cover: Billy Tan) See above.
  •  Island #2(Writer: Brandon Graham   Art: Brandon Graham   Cover: Emma Rios) This is the comic I'm most excited about at the moment--it feels like a possible shift for the industry. Or at least a fun experiment. 
  • Rat Queens #11 Writer: Kurtis J. Wiebe    Cover: Stjepan Sejic  artist:Tamra Bonvillain artist: Tess Fowler You had me at Tess Fowler. This is also one of the most oddly feminist comics being sold today, I think.
  •  Revival #32(Writer: Tim Seeley   Art: Mike Norton   Cover: Jenny Frison)  Still a solid story with feet planted in the horror genre.Runaways #3(Writer: Noelle Stevenson   Art: Sanford Greene   Cover: Sanford Greene) Somehow I missed the debut of this! Now I have to catch up! 

Nope Pile

  • Young Terrorists #1 (Writer: Matt Pizzolo   Art: Amancay Nahuelpan   Cover: Amancay Nahuelpan ) I know nothing about Nahuelpan or Pizzolo, but this sounded interesting.
  • B.P.R.D. Hell On Earth #134 #25(Writer: Mike Mignola   Art: Julian Totino Tedesco   Cover: Laurence Campbell) 134 issues without a woman writer or artist! Some kind of record. 
  • Astro City #26(Writer: Kurt Busiek   Art: Brent Eric Anderson   Cover: Alex Ross) I miss this title. I got a few in when Wendy Broome was a guest colorist, but I'm going to leave this one be until there is a regular female artist on it. It's a loss.
  • Dr Fate #3(Writer: Paul Levitz   Art: Sonny Liew   Cover: Sonny Liew) I missed that Liew was doing the art on this one. He's one of the few artists I'll buy on principle, ever since My Faith in Frankie. Sad I'm missing this one.
  • Martian Manhunter #3(Writer: Rob Williams   Art: Eddy Barrows   Cover: Eddy Barrows) I've always loved this character, but haven't loved the last few incarnations--I'd love to give this one a shot, but it will have to wait.
  • Mantle #4(Writer: Ed Brisson   Art: Brian Level   Cover: Brian Level )I loved Brisson's Sheltered, and this one looks so fun and different. Missing out.
  • Wolf #2(Writer: Ales Kot   Art: Matt Taylor   Cover: Matt Taylor) Probably my favorite writer these days; I'll console myself by reading and re-reading The Surface.
  • Trees #12(Writer: Warren Ellis   Art: Jason Howard   Cover: Jason Howard) Similar to my sadness about Kot, I'll console myself with Ellis' Injection.
  • Star Wars #8(Writer: Jason Aaron   Art: John Cassaday   Cover: John Cassada) The series just looks so fun, and I love Aaron and Cassaday. I'm glad they get to sell billions of comics.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Get This Book: The Sex Myth, by Rachel Hills

I like reading about sex; throw in thoughtful analysis of sex and gender, and I'm hooked. Include a good mix of anecdotal stories and scientific analysis, and I'm in for the duration. Rachel Hills' The Sex Myth does a fine job of delving into our predilection to think that we know just what the sex lives of others are like, and just how wrong we often are. In particular, she's shining some light on the post-sexual-revolution tendency to insist that people be having the kinky, frequent sex that we have all been told is within everybody's reach. 

For me, her discussion of how men are affected by sexual stereotypes about men was the most interesting chapter. She starts off by taking us into a frat house in the U.S.--a move which I quickly criticized as myopic in the margin of the book. Hills is too smart to fall into such a trap, however, and is bringing us there because these men are doing their best to rail against the stereotypes, with part of their manifesto urging respect toward women. And it's "Christopher", one of the fraternity men, who says some things that are so rarely heard from men in our culture:
"In ever sexual relationship I have had with a woman, I have felt pressured to do more than I am comfortable with," Christopher says. Sometimes taht pressure has come directly from the women he's dating, other times from some internalized ideal of how guys "should" approach sex.  He recalls a night he spent watching movies on the couch with his first girlfriend when he was fifteen.  "I was quite happy to just kiss, but I remember feeling this pressure to initiate something more.  You're alone and she turned off the lights, so I guess that means you're supposed to take it further."
And after a few more anecdotes, Hills gives us some facts:
A 2010 survey commissioned by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and Seventeen magazine found that 21 percent of fifteen-to-twenty-two-year-old guys had been pressured by a female peer to go further sexually than they wanted to, with more than three-quarters (78 percent) agreeing that there was "way too much pressure" to have sex.  Fifty-six percent said they were "relieved" when a female partner wanted to wait to have sex." 
And this is the strength of Hills' book, for me--there is a well-done mixing of personal stories and more generalized facts about our sex lives.  And despite the intricate discussion at hand, Hills manages to write in an almost breezy tone about some really serious issues. The Sex Myth feels something like a discussion among friends, rather than a polemic. 

One quibble I have with the book is that it skews fairly heterocentric. She does obviously make an effort to leave a lot of the discussion as sexual-preference-neutral, and there are queer people quoted in the book, but one can't help but wonder how many of the fraternity guys were really concerned about being pressured into sex by other men, for instance. But this is just a quibble, and it actually speaks to a strength of the book for me: This book feels like the interesting beginning of a conversation that we all should be having.

The Sex Myth at the publisher.
Rachel Hills 
buy the book at Indiebound
NYT review

Full disclosure: I was provided with a review copy of the book, for which I'm grateful.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

#BuyComicsByWomen August 12, 2015

Running a little experiment where I only buy comics that have a woman who worked on the comic as an artist or writer. This week has some highs and lows, for sure:

Yep Pile:

  • Constantine The Hellblazer #3 (Writer: Ming Doyle   Art: Vanesa Del Rey   Cover: Riley Rossmo) I'm enjoying a non-Vertigo Hellblazer. Never thought that would happen. Nice work folks!
  • DC Comics Bombshells #1(Writer: Marguerite Bennett   Art: Marguerite Sauvage   Cover: Ant Lucia) I just love that this comic happened at all. Can't wait.  
  • JLA Gods And Monsters #1(Letterer: Saida Temofonte  Writer: J. M. DeMatteis   Art: Thony Silas   Cover: Darick Robertson ) I know nothing about this, except that I love DeMatteis. Glad Temofonte is lettering it, so I can read it!
  • Swords Of Sorrow #4(Writer: Gail Simone   Art: Sergio Fernandez Davila   Cover: Tula Lotay) This continues to be a super fun book. I'm not loving the entire set of crossovers, but this centerpiece is solid.  
  • Velvet #11(Cover Colorist: Elizabeth Breitweiser  Writer: Ed Brubaker   Art: Steve Epting   Cover: Steve Epting) I kind of can't believe this isn't a movie yet. Loving this series.  
  • Beauty #1(Writer: Jeremy Haun   Art: Jeremy Haun   Cover: Jenny Frison) This looks like a fucked up, fun read. Not familiar with Haun, but love Frison covers...
  • Injection #4(Colorist: Jordie Bellaire Writer: Warren Ellis   Art: Declan Shalvey   Cover: Declan Shalvey) Ellis on words, Shalvey and Bellaire on art. Can't lose. 
  • Shutter #14(Writer: Joe Keatinge   Art: Leila Del Duca   Cover: Leila Del Duca ) I say it every time, but this is the most underrated series in comics right now. I wish this book got the love that Saga gets.
  • Star-lord And Kitty Pryde #2(Writer: Sam Humphries   Art: Alti Firmansyah   Cover: Yasmine Putri)  This feels like the perfect book for Humprhies. If I can't read Avengers A.I., I'll take this. Putri is growing on me.
  • Secret Wars #5(Writer: Jonathan Hickman   Art: Esad Ribic   Cover: Sophie Campbell) I can't help myself. I hate the whole Doom thing, but they're doing fun stuff in this book.  
  • Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #8(Writer: Ryan North   Art: Erica Henderson   Cover: Erica Henderson) This book makes me wish I was still buying comics at the supermarket from a spinner rack. 
  • A-force #3(Writer: C. Willow Wilson   Art: Jorge Molina   Cover: Jorge Molina) The best thing to come out of Bullshitworld Battleworld.  

Nope Pile

  • It Will All Hurt #3(Writer: Farel Dalrymple   Art: Farel Dalrymple   Cover: Farel Dalrymple) I hate losing out on full-on creator-written-drawn comics, but I think I'll stick to my experiment. 
  • Crossed Badlands #83(Writer: Mike Wolfer   Art: Mike Wolfer   Cover: Christian Zanier) -- 6 covers, no women.  I like the concept of Crossed, in small doses. I get no doses, because there are never any women working on this comic.
  • Mercury Heat #2(Writer: Kieron Gillen   Art: Omar Francia   Cover: Omar Francia ) -- 5 covers, no women.  This one hurts. Sci-fi written by Gillen is difficult to pass up. Can't we get one cover a month by a woman?
  • Providence #3 (Writer: Alan Moore   Art: Jacen Burrows   Cover: Jacen Burrows ) Honestly, I'll probably buy the GN of this, when my experiment is over. It just looks beautiful.  
  • Uber #27 (Writer: Kieron Gillen   Art: Daniel Gete   Cover: Daniel Gete ) -- 5 covers, no women I love the ideas in this book--wish I could pick it up. 
  •  Crossed Plus 100 #7(Writer: Simon Spurrier   Art: Fernando Heinz   Cover: Christian Zanier) -- 7 covers, no women I love Spurrier. But really? Seven covers, no women?
  • Americatown #1(Writer: Bradford Winters   Art: Daniel Irizarri   Cover: Mike Choi ) Looks like this one was written just for me. I haven't read Winters or Irizari before, but I have some FOMO here. 
  • Arcadia #4(Writer: Alex Paknadel   Art: Eric Scott Pfeiffer   Cover: Matt Taylor) So many interesting sci-fi-ish comics out right now. Wish I could read this one.  
  • Abe Sapien #25(Writer: Mike Mignola   Art: Sebastian Fiumara   Cover: Max Fiumara) Mignola is on his millionth comic without any female artists. Not even one cover. I'm missing these books less and less...  
  • Harrow County #4( Writer: Cullen Bunn   Art: Tyler Crook   Cover: Tyler Crook) 
  • Boy-1 #1 (Writer: H.S. Tak   Art: Amancay Nahuelpan   Cover: Zach Howard)  
  • Descender #6(Writer: Jeff Lemire   Art: Dustin Nguyen   Cover: Dustin Nguyen)  
  • Drifter #7(Writer: Ivan Brandon   Art: Nic Klein   Cover: Nic Klein)  
  • Fuse #13(Writer: Antony Johnston   Art: Justin Greenwood   Cover: Justin Greenwood)  
  • Phonogram The Immaterial Girl #1(Writer: Kieron Gillen   Art: Jamie McKelvie   Cover: Jamie McKelvie)  
  • Odyc #6( Writer: Matt Fraction   Art: Christian Ward   Cover: Christian Ward) I may literally weep over not being able to get this one.  
  • Reyn #7( Writer: Kel Symons   Art: Nathan Stockman   Cover: Nathan Stockman) 
  • Star Wars Lando #2(Writer: Charles Soule   Art: Alex Maleev   Cover: TBD ) 
  • Howard The Duck #5(Writer: Chip Zdarsky   Art: Joe Quinones   Cover: Joe Quinones)  

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Thank God for Power Up

Continuing my #BuyComicsByWomen experiment, where I only buy comics that have a female writer or artist working on them.

Yep Pile

  • Power Up #1 (Writer: Kate Leth   Art: Matt Cummings   Cover: Lucy Knisley)  Been looking forward to this one for a while now. Lucy Knisley alt cover is just a bonus. 
  • Sensation Comics Ft. Wonder Woman #12 (Writer: Derek Fridolfs   Art: Tom Fowler   Cover: Emanuela Lupacchino) I'm definitely late to the game on this one--may have to pick up some back issues!
  • Swords Of Sorrow Sonja Jungle #1 (Writer: Marguerite Bennett   Art: Mirka Andolfo   Cover: Jay Anacleto ) This crossover is the first time I've bought comics regularly from Dynamite. Well done, all y'all!
  • VERTIGO QUARTERLY: CMYK Sure. I'll keep picking this up. Always something worth the cover price.
  • Star Trek Ongoing #47 (Writer: Mike Johnson   Art: Rachael Stott   Cover: Joe Corroney ) I continue to enjoy this comic--not sure why it doesn't get more press, as it's consistently better than the nu-Trek movies were anyway...
  • Star-lord And Kitty Pryde #1(Writer: Sam Humphries   Art: Alti Firmansyah   Cover: Yasmine Putri ) I'm a fan of Humphries ever since Avengers A.I., and I suspect this won't suck. New to Firmansyah and Putri, but the previews look fantastic!

Nope Pile

  • God Is Dead #39(Writer: Mike Costa   Art: Nahuel Lopez   Cover: Jose Luis)  What can I say, I like watching gods beat the crap out of each other. I'll have to wait until this year is up though...because it looks like there will never be women working on this.
  • Disciples #2 (Writer: Steve Niles   Art: Christopher Mitten   Cover: Christopher Mitten) I dug Niles' Criminal Macabre a lot, and Mitten's art is gorgeous; definitely missing out here.
  • Fight Club 2 #3 (Writer: Chuck Palahniuk   Art: Cameron Stewart   Cover: David Mack) I'm not the hugest Palahniuk fan, but everybody involved in this is top shelf talent, and stories about masculinity and identity are a favorite of mine, so I'm bummed about this one for sure.
  • Mind Mgmt #35(Writer: Matt Kindt   Art: Matt Kindt   Cover: Matt Kindt) Who am I kidding? I'll be buying the TPB when my year-long experiment is over, but FOMO is in full force here.  
  • Wolf #1(Writer: Ales Kot   Art: Matt Taylor   Cover: Matt Taylor) This is the book I'm feeling the most heartache about. It sounds like it's right up my alley. 

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Missing Out, but Lots of Good Stuff to Read

#BuyComcsByWomen experiment continues. For a year I'm only buying comics with at least one female writer or artist. 


  • Princeless Raven Pirate Princess #1 Writer: Jeremy Whitley   Art: Rosy Higgins   Cover: Rosy Higgins  -- I'm jumping on the Princeless bandwagon late, I know, but I'm excited to check this out.
  • Archie #1 Writer: Mark Waid   Art: Fiona Staples   Cover: Fiona Staples  -- Mostly picking this one up for the cognitive dissonance of looking at Staples' Saga art and her Archie art.
  • Constantine The Hellblazer #2 Writer: Ming Doyle   Art: Riley Rossmo   Cover: Riley Rossmo  -- I don't think I'll ever be a fan of non-Vertigo John Constantine, but I'll probably always be a fan of Ming Doyle, so I'm going to keep reading this for a bit. 
  • Section 8 #2 Writer: Garth Ennis   Art: John McCrea   Cover: Amanda Conner  -- I haven't read an Ennis book that I liked in ages (ok, Caliban was pretty great), but this is a pure nostalgia buy for me, I'll cop to that. Hitman was just really fun for a time in my life, and I like seeing Ennis fuck around in the DC playground, and I'm digging Conner's covers.
  • Swords Of Sorrow #3 Writer: Gail Simone   Art: Sergio Fernandez Davila   Cover: Tula Lotay  -- This stuff is just plain fun, and who resists Tula Lotay covers?
  • Injection #3 Writer: Warren Ellis   Art: Declan Shalvey   Cover: Declan Shalvey  Colorist: Jordie Bellaire -- I'm liking this more than any Ellis stuff in a while, and I'm grateful for Bellaire, who seems to be coloring every other comic I'm buying these days.
  • Saga #30 Writer: Brian K. Vaughan   Art: Fiona Staples   Cover: Fiona Staples  -- I have a secret: I'm not reading this book. I'm getting them and saving them for a time when I am not finding any comics I'm liking, because I know I'll love these.
  • Shutter #13 Writer: Joe Keatinge   Art: Leila Del Duca   Cover: Leila Del Duca -- Del Duca has become a must-buy artist for me, and this story is a really nice mix of real-world feelings in a crazy world. 

  • God Is Dead #38 Writer: Mike Costa   Art: Emiliano Urdinola   Cover: Jacen Burrows  -- Still bummed that one of my favorite nutso comics is off the buy pile for lack of women creators. 
  • Providence #2 Writer: Alan Moore   Art: Jacen Burrows   Cover: Jacen Burrows  -- I suspect I'll cheat and pick this up as a trade next year. I have a hard time resisting Lovecraftian storytelling.  
  • Abe Sapien #24 Writer: Mike Mignola   Art: Sebastian Fiumara   Cover: Max Fiumara  -- There has never been a female creator in any of the Mignolaverse. Ever. Still. 
  • Harrow County #3 Writer: Cullen Bunn   Art: Tyler Crook   Cover: Tyler Crook -- I dig all the folks working on this book, and the reviews are solid. Missing out for sure. 
  • Negative Space #1 Writer: Ryan Lindsay   Art: Owen Gieni   Cover: Owen  Gieni -- The writeup for this seem really interesting. Maybe there will be some women working on it later...
  • Black Science #16 -- Definitely missing out on this crazy sci-fi. Writer: Rick Remender   Art: Matteo Scalera   Cover: Matteo Scalera  
  • Descender #5 -- I'm sure Lemire and Nguyen are crafting some great work here--I know I'm missing out. Writer: Jeff Lemire   Art: Dustin Nguyen   Cover: Dustin Nguyen 
  • Star Wars Lando #1 -- There are 11 creators listed on this book, with all the variant covers. Not one is a woman. Writer: Charles Soule   Art: Alex Maleev 

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Another week of the #BuyComicsByWomen experiment yields some interesting results for me; I'm definitely seeking out and finding some comics that may not have been on my radar if not for the experiment--with so many comics in the nope pile because no women writers or artists are working on them, I look around a bit more, and that has made for some more interesting reads, for sure. 

Yep Pile:

  • Help Us Great Warrior #5 Writer: Maddleine Flores   Art: Maddleine Flores   Cover: Becca Tobin -- I discovered Flores' webcomic just before she started publishing this comic, and it's been so fun to read.
  • 8house Arclight #1 Writer: Brandon Graham   Art: Marian Churchland   Cover: Marian Churchland  -- Definitely on my radar (mostly because of twitter!) and one of the series I'm most excited about.
  • No Mercy #4  Writer: Alex De Campi   Art: Carla Speed McNeil   Cover: Carla Speed McNeil Jenn Manley Lee -- De Campi's foray into real-world fiction is really well done. This is a series I might not have discovered if not for this experiment.
  • Zero #18 Writer: Ales Kot   Art: Tula Lotay   Cover: Tula Lotay  SERIES CONCLUSION -- Will we ever get a series with these two again? Hopefully. Sad it's ending, but it's been fantastic, and one of the most underrated comics of the past few years.
  • A-force #2 Writer: C. Willow Wilson   Art: Jorge Molina   Cover: Jorge Molina  -- Wilson is one of the few writers that make a book a must-have for me these days, and I don't love the Battleworld concept, but she makes it work in amazing ways. 
  • Princess Leia #5  Jordie Bellaire, colorist  Rachel Dodson cover, inker -- I'm not a big Star Wars fan, but digging this book, so I'm glad Bellaire and Dodson worked on it, though, c'mon, Marvel, give us a Leia book written by a woman!
Nope Pile:

  • God is Dead #27 -- This is/was one of my favorite guilty pleasures, but there hasn't been a female writer or artist on it since I started my experiment.
  • The Spire #1 4 covers, none by women. I love Si Spurrier, and this looks like a fantastic story with an interesting female protagonist, so this one hurts. So many dudes working on this book. If you have four covers, at least get one by a woman. I know I'm missing out on this one.
  • Arcadia #3 -- This one has a fantastically interesting conceit, exploring class issues through the sci-fi trope of virtual reality living. I'd love to check it out.
  • Baltimore Cult Of The Red King #3 -- Dark Horse continues it's astounding run of the ENTIRE Mignolaverse having no women writers or artists. I'm missing this one: I read the novel of Baltimore years back, and I'll be these are fun stories.  
  • American Vampire Second Cycle #8 -- Snyder has knocked this one so far out of the park that nobody even remembers Stephen King helped write the first five. But nary a woman artist in sight. 
  • Midnighter #2 -- I'll admit I cheated when I bought Midnighter #1 even though there are no women writers or artists working on it. It was the day that gay marriage won at the Supreme Court, I was at a special event at my LCS, and I overdid it a bit. It was a well-written book, and I would love to continue with this series, but alas...
  • 18 Days #1 -- I like checking out new (to me) Morrison books, but no women working on this one.
  • Nailbiter #14 -- I cheat with this one, because my partner buys it, so I get to read it anyway. Still--we're waiting for some promised guest covers by women!  
  • Satellite Sam #15 -- It's tough to resist the Fraction/Chaykin combination. I'll probably end up getting this as a trade, but I wish we could get some women working on the book. 
  • Darth Vader #7 -- Again, not a big Star Wars fan, but a big Gillen fan, so this is one I miss. 
  • We Stand On Guard #1 -- A comic by Brian K. Vaughan, Matt Hollingsworth, and Steve Skroce about future Canadians defending their country from an invasion of giant robots from the US? Normally this one would be a no-brainer.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Still running an experiment of only buying comics that have at least one woman as writer or artist. This week is particularly interesting, as there are so many books I really love/want to read on my "nope" pile, yet plenty of interesting books to buy on the "yep" pile:


  • Secret Six #2 (Gail Simone and Dale Eaglesham): I'm not a big Secret Six fan, but I'll buy most of what Simone writes because it's almost always at least a lot of fun. 
  • Blackcross #6: Thank goodness for the Tula Lotay variant cover, or this would be on the "nope" pile.
  • Swords Of Sorrow Dejah Thoris Irene Adler #1: I'm picking up most of the SoS books, just because they're fun! Writer: Leah Moore   Art: Francisco Manna 
  • Star Trek Ongoing #46: I'm a fan of this series (more than of the movies), and here's hoping they keep Rachael Stott on for a bit so I can buy it!  (Mike Johnson and Rachael Stott)
  • Revival #30: Grateful for the Jenny Frison cover, because I dig this book. Writer: Tim Seeley   Art: Mike Norton   Cover: Jenny Frison 
  • Ms Marvel #16: This is definitely my fave superhero book at the moment. Writer: C. Willow Wilson   Art: Adrian Alphona   Cover: Kris Anka  
  • Runaways #1 I can't believe I didn't hear about this one until today. Recently finished Noelle Stevenson's "Nimona" book, and it's so very good. Can't wait for her take on the Runaways.   Art: Sanford Greene   Cover: Phil Noto 
  • Black Canary #1: I'm not a big fan of the character, but maybe that will change after Brendan Fletcher and Annie Wu do her justice?
  • The Kitchen #8:  Sorry to see this series end, but with a cover by Becky Cloonan and drawn by Ming Doyle, it's a must-buy.
  • Update: I missed Jordie Bellaire as colorist and cover! Surface #3   Writer: Ales Kot   Art: Langdon Foss   Cover: Langdon Foss  Colorist:Jordie Bellaire
  • Update: I am an idiot and left of Vaughn: Alex + Ada #15 (Jonathan Luna, Sarah Vaughn, writer)
  • Update: Variant cover by Tula Lotay! The Fiction 001 (Curt Pires and David Rubin): This looks like it'd be funky and fun, so I feel like I'm missing out.


  • Mad Max: Fury Road: Furiosa #1: Eight people working on this book as writers or artists--all men.
  • B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth #132:  The Mignolaverse continues it's run of never having had a woman writer or artist, ever. 
  • Martian Manhunter #1 (Rob Williams and Eddy Barrows)

  • Empty Zone #1 Writer: Jason Shawn Alexander   Art: Jason Shawn Alexander   Cover: Jason Shawn Alexander  
  • Lazarus #17 (Greg Rucka and Micahel Lark)
  • Low #7 Writer: Rick Remender   Art: Greg Tocchini   Cover: Greg Tocchini 
  • Southern Bastards #9 Writer: Jason Aaron   Art: Jason Latour   Cover: Jason Latour  

  • Trees #10 Writer: Warren Ellis   Art: Jason Howard   Cover: Jason Howard  Thors #1 Writer: Jason Aaron   Art: Chris Sprouse   Cover: Chris Sprouse 

  • Astro City #24 (Kurt Busiek and Brent Eric Anderson): I'm cheating here, because I'll almost certainly buy the trade on this one after the experiment is over. I just like the book too much.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Buy Comics By Women, still going!

Missed a few weeks of blogging due to being busy, but back on track now with the lists of comics I want this week--some of which I'm not going to buy because there are no women involved as writers, artists, or colorists

Buy Pile:
Hinterkind #18 -- Cover: Marguerite Sauvage
Names #9 -- Cover: Celia Calle
Swords of Sorrow #1 -- Writer: Gail Simone
Wonder Woman '77 Special -- Cover: Nicola Scott
Rocket Girl #6 -- Art: Amy Reeder   Cover: Amy Reeder 
Zero 016 -- Art: Jordie Bellaire
Secret Wars #1 -- Amanda Connor variant cover

Dead Drop #1 -- Tamra Bonvillain variant cover

Notice out of all of these, there is only one writer and two interior artists who are women. Cover artists are rad (and make good money, right?), but I'm seeing a pattern of women colorists and "variant" cover artists, with fewer regular writers and interior artists who are women.  I really want to read Dead Drop, so hopefully I can find the variant cover easily; Secret Wars I'm on the fence about anyway, so no big if I can't, but still: The biggest crossover event in the last few years and only one woman artist--on a variant cover? Bogus. Careful, Marvel, or your "Women of Marvel" initiative will turn into more of a separate-but-not-equal ghetto for women artists. 

Also note that the rad-looking Wonder Woman '77 Special is written, drawn and colored by dudes--grateful for Nicola Scott's cover!

Nope Pile:
Rachel Rising #33 
God is Dead #35
Arcadia #1  Alex Paknadel matt Taylor
Jupiter's Circle #2
The Wicked + The Divine #10
Nailbiter #12
Roche Limit: Clandestiny #1
Descender #3
Spider-Gwen #4

There are some big ironies here, I think:  I'd guess that Wic + Div and Spider-Gwen are two very popular titles among women readers (just a guess though, of course), but here I am not reading them. That seems wrong. But this is just an experiment, and only 7 more months to go. 

I'm most sad about missing out on Arcadia, which sounds like a really cool concept, created by some interesting folks, and the new Roche Limit book, which looks absolutely beautiful. 

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Howard the Duck Hates Women (<--Clickbait)

Continuing my year-long experiment to only buy comics with at least one female creator.  This week has some great comics I can buy, but some of my favorite comics I can't, and quite a few of them!

  • Coffin Hill 17 Writer: Caitlin Kittredge -- This continues to be a badass book.
  • Convergence Nightwing Oracle 1 Writer: Gail Simone Art: Jan Duursema -- Thanks to the @LCSValkyries for the recommend.
  • Convergence Batgirl #1 Writer: Alisa Kwitney -- Love Kwitney! Thanks to the @LCSValkyries for the recommend.
  • Saga 27 Art: Fiona Staples -- Duh.
  • Southern Cross 2 Writer: Becky Cloonan -- One of my fave new comics.
  • The Surface 2 Colorist:Jordie Bellaire -- Still onboard with this one, and a perfect example of a book I wouldn't have found if it weren't for this experiment, and seeking out work by Bellaire
  • Captain Marvel 14 Writer: Kelly Sue DeConnick -- Double-duh.
  • Max Ride First Flight Writer: Marguerite Bennett -- Another great example of the experiment working in my favor. Can't wait to check this out.
  • Updated: Astro City 22: Originally I had this on the "nope" pile--but I was corrected by none other than Busiek himself--Wendy Broome is one of the colorists! Yay!

  • Rebels 1 Cover: Tula Lotay   Colorist Jordie Bellaire
    • This one is a special exception: I could buy it per my experiment rules, but I continue to refuse to buy comics written by Brian Wood, even when he's working with some of my favorite people in Lotay and Bellaire
  • Abe Sapien 22: Continuing pain, and knowledge that I'll likely cheat and buy the trade after my experiment is over.
  • Sleepy Hollow Origins 1: The show is a campy pleasure, so I'm sorry I'm missing out. 
  • Astro City 022: Sigh.
  • Jupiter's Circle 001 (Mark Millar)
  • Nameless 003 (Grant Morrison)
  • ODY-C 004 (Fraction)
  • Convergence The Question 001 (Greg Rucka). Sad there are no women working on this book, since I love Montoya so much. 
  • Rat Queens 010
  • Darth Vader 004
  • Howard the Duck 002: Twelve people working on this book. All dudes.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Avengers: Millennium -- All Dudes, All the Time

Continuing my year-long experiment to only buy comics with a woman artist or writer...

Buy Pile:
  • Lady Killer #4: Joelle Jones continues to knock this one out of the park, I bet.
  • Names #8: Cover: Celia Calle
  • Hinterkind #17 Cover: Marguerite Sauvage 
  • No Mercy #1 Writer: Alex De Campi   Art: Carla Speed McNeil  -- Love De Campi's work on the Grindhouse comics, so can't wait to see what she does with the real world.
  • Dark Tower Drawing Three House Cards #2 Writer:Robin Furth -- This is definitely a guilty pleasure, seeing Furth continue to expand King's rich world. At what point to the comics eclipse the books? 
If I Can Find the Variant:
  • Cluster #3 Variant Cover colorist Jordie Bellaire -- Hopefully I can find this variant, although it's becoming clear that, during this experiment, variants might not work out; ruins the flow if I can't find an ish.
  • Uncanny Inhumans Variant cover by Siya Oum -- I'm new to Oum's work, but I hope I can find it!
Nope Pile:

  • Hellboy And The B.P.R.D. #5: This one continues to hurt. Some of my favorite characters of all time.
  • Millennium #3: I loved this show, even though I didn't watch X-Files. This one stings.
  • Black Science #13: The art is just fantastic in this book--sorry I've had to give it up.
  • The Dying and the Dead #2: Hickman is one of my favorite writers. I'm sure I'm missing out here.
  • Nailbiter #11: I'm cheating on this one, because my partner buys it every week.
  • Southern Bastards #8: I've read every ish of Scalped, so missing out on Aaron's writing is difficult.
  • Kanan Last Padawan #1: I'm not a big Star Wars fan, but I've been liking the Rebels show, and the new Star Wars comics. 
  • Empire of the Dead Act Three #1: Not a huge zombie fan, but this looks so fun and fucked up. Sorry I'm missing it. Also, Andrea Mutti is a guy, which took me a while to figure out. Sorry Andrea!
  • Avengers Millenium 001: Comic Vine lists 17 creators for this comic, given the variants and editors. All. Men. It's like they're not even trying.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Buy Comics By Women

This week in my year-long experiment to buy comics with at least one woman on the creative team means that I still get to read most of what I want, but I don't get to read some stuff that is likely really good. Once again I'm pleasantly surprised by the number of women working on the comics that I want to read, and sad at the glaring omissions. 

The Nope Pile
God is Dead 31
Past Aways 1 (matt kindt!)
Drifter 5 
Wytches 5
Darth Vader 3 (Gillen!)

The Valiant 4 (Lemire! matt kindt!)

The Buy Pile
Hit 1957 1 Art: Vanesa Del Rey
Suicide Risk 23 Art: Elena Casagrande
Conan Red Sonja 3 Writer:Gail Simone
Grindhouse Drive in Bleed Out 3 Writer: Alex De Campi Art: Afua Richardson
Red Sonja 15 Writer:Gail Simone Cover: Jenny Frison  
Autumnlands Tooth and Claw 5 Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
The Fuse 11 Colorist:Shari Chankhamma
Wicked + Divine 9 Colorist: Marguerite Sauvage
The Dark Tower: Drawing of the Three House of Cards 1 Writer:Robin Furth
Divinity 001 Cover:Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic

Drifter and Wytches really hits me where it hurts, as I love some hard-boiled sci-fi and some Scott Snyder. But how can I complain when I get a Grindhouse book, a Red Sonja cover by Jenny Frison, and get to keep reading one of the most underrated titles out there, Suicide Risk?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Lots of Comics Artists Who Are Also Women

Another week of The Experiment (spending a year only buying comics that have at least one woman as writer or artist), and something I'm a little surprised by is creeping into my consciousness: I was already reading a lot of books that had women working on them.  And: There are a lot of women working as inkers, cover artists and colorists in comics. 

Here are the books I'm allowing myself to buy this week:
Alex + Ada -- artist Sarah Vaughn
Burning Fields -- colorist Joana Lafuente
Giant Days 001 -- artist Lissa Treiman
Lumberjanes -- Writer: Shannon Watters   Art: Carolyn Nowak
The Kitchen -- Art: Ming Doyle   Cover: Becky Cloonan
Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman -- Art: Noelle Stevenson
Outcast -- art and cover by Elizabeth Breitweiser
Manhattan Projects Sun Beyond The Stars -- Jordie Bellaire, colorist
Red One -- colorist Rachel Dodson
Zero -- art by Jordie Bellaire
Captain America and the Mighty Avengers -- Rachelle Rosenberg, colorist
Princess Leia 002 -- colorist Jordie Bellaire; Rachel Dodson inks

All New Captain America #5 -- if I can find the Marguerite Sauvage variant cover

Nope Pile:
B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth 
Frankenstein Underground 

The Fly Outbreak

That nope pile is so dinky! And aside from BPRD, I'm not too broken up I don't get to read the others. I'm kind of glad my experiment turns out this way some weeks, so I can get through the weeks where I don't get to read most of the comics that I want that week. 

One more note: Is Jordie Bellaire the hardest working artist in comics? 

With Male Privilege Comes Male Responsibility

A few weeks back I found out a writer that I used to love, but whose comics I had given up because of misogynistic douchebaggery, has a new book coming out, and three of my favorite female artists are working on the book. I wasn't likely to read Brain Wood's "Rebels" at any rate, since it looks like Tea Party Porn to me, but, but, but: Andrea Mutti! Jordie Bellaire! Tula Lotay! -- All of 'em on one book! My first instinct was to tweet out to any/all of them and ask why they were working with him--but of course that instinct is also misogynistic douchebaggery itself, y'know? These are grown-ass women, and they make their own decisions, know more about him and about comics than I do, and I don't have a "right to know".  But that was my instinct. Trying to own that. 

Now the completely convenient non-apology from Chris Sims comes out, and even though I also wasn't interested in reading his new X-Men book anyway, I find a promotion quote from one of my fave writers (also a woman) on his website.  And again, my lizard brain responds with: "I WANT TO KNOW WHY!!!!"

And Rachel Edidin, a friend of Sims, has a bunch of answers to the 'why?' question, most of which basically say "this shit is complex". You should read what she wrote: It's pretty great.

I know that. I know Brian Wood is a human being who can make mistakes. I know that Chris Sims is a dude who was steeped in the same bullshit misogynist culture that all of us are, and that we can make room for nuance, and forgiveness, while still keeping room for not-forgiving (which is why Edidin's take is so great). And I think that women in the industry, and women who are fans, get to make whatever decisions they want without me butting in--of course they do, of course they do, of course they do--that is part of the whole point of feminism. 

But as pro-feminist men, I'm not sure we get the same options. I think we have to give up some shit, whether it's reading what might be a great comic, or something more serious, like choosing a different fucking career from the one where we behaved very, very badly. It's male privilege that allows a dude like Sims to think that he can still deserve to write for mainstream comics after behaving like that, especially given the timing of his sorta-apology--and male privilege for men to continue to support men like him. As long as men still have so much more power in the comics industry than women do, as long as women are still underrepresented as writers and artists, then men need to hold the feet of other men to the fire. I'm not going to get on women who understand these men and want to work with them, but I'm still going to get on the men who hire these dudes, and the men who buy their comics, because it's not acceptable that the only repercussions from bad behavior are a slap on the wrist.  

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Why Am I Not Reading East of West?

One of the most interesting things about my experiment of only buying comics with at least one woman creator is that I'm discovering a lot of colorists!  One of the other interesting things is how many of my absolute favorite comics don't have any women working on them. I'm having to give up some of the best comics being created, I think. That's the downside. The upside: Still reading some of the best comics being created, and also discovering different writers and artists (though mostly artists).

The Nope Pile:

  • Rachel Rising: This one hurts, and it seems kinda unfair putting a comic that is created solely by one person in this experiment, but for now I'm doing it.
  • Abe Sapien: Even after the great interaction with Scott Allie I had this week, there are no women working on this fantastic comic, so it stays off of the buy pile. 
  • Astro City: Another painful one. This has consistently been one of the best comics (and has been coming out pretty regularly in its Vertigo run!), and I definitely feel like I'm missing out. 
  • East of West: I have to ask myself, at this point, if this experiment makes sense. East of West is one of those books that should have an even larger following, I think--it's imaginative, beautifully drawn, twists and turns in ways I can never predict. I hope a woman comes on board at some point soon so I can return to reading this one.
  • Star Wars: I'm not the biggest Star Wars fan, but I was enjoying this one, before the experiment started. 
Buy Pile:
  • Cassanova: Acedia -- Cris Peter as colorist
  • Bill and Ted's Most Triumphant Return -- Whitney Cogar, colorist
  • Coffin Hill -- Caitlin Kittredge, writer
  • Red Sonja -- Gail Simone, writer
  • Star Trek -- Claudia Balboni, art
  • Postal -- Covers by Linda Sejic
  • Shutter -- Leila deLuca, artist
  • Captain Marvel -- Kelly Sue DeConnick, writer
  • Ms. Marvel -- C. Willow Wilson, writer
  • The Surface -- Jordie Belaire, colorist
  • Sheltered -- Shari Chankhamma, colorist
  • Silver Surfer -- Laura Allred, colorist
Buy-if-I-can-find-the-variant-cover:  New category because there are so many this week. Turns out that his could be an expensive experiment if I take it to it's conclusion. Not sure if I'll find/buy these, but I'll ask about them at my LCS:
  • Thor -- Stephanie Hans, alt cover
  • Howard the Duck -- Sara Pichelli variant cover
  • Spider-Gwen -- Sara Pichelli variant cover
  • Cluster -- Jordie Bellaire, colorist on Declan Shalvey's variant cover

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Gender Gap from One Editor's Perspective

So here's a thing that is happening to me: Someone who has worked on some of my favorite comics of all time is chatting with me about his experiences as a comic editor (of some prestige and for 20 years or so) as regards hiring women artists, writers and editors. That's a pretty cool early result of my year-long experiment of only buying comics that are written or drawn by women.  It started when I suddenly realized that my experiment meant that I wasn't going to be able to buy some of my favorite comics of all--the Hellboy family of comics, including B.P.R.D., Hellboy in Hell, Abe Sapien and the like. It made me curious, since I've been reading the books for a while and couldn't remember when I've read one that involved a woman creator, and after some looking around, I couldn't find any female creators for any of the books. I reached out to Scott Allie, who I knew would know the answer.  Allie was kind enough to get back to me! It turns out I was wrong, but sadly not by much:

Curious, I asked if there were some coming up.  Allie said no, but was cool with discussing the subject in a non-twitter-sized format:

It's kind of incredible to me that the Editor-in-Chief of a comics company would bother responding to tweets from a stranger, and then exchange some emails--I think it says something not only about how great comics are as a medium, but also about how important companies like Dark Horse are, and folks like Allie. And I'd venture to say that Allie has been a strong ally for women in the industry (my words, not his) in various ways: Not only hiring female editors and other talent, but also getting out there and talking about problems with the industry regarding the gender gap. He gave an interview last year with Jill Pantozzi at The Mary Sue that addressed women in comics--characters and creative talent--in which the very subject of women in the Hellboy books was addressed, and it sums up a lot of what Allie indicated to me in his emails. I highly recommend reading the interview in The Mary Sue in full, because Allie details a lot of the work he's done regarding getting more women in the industry jobs. His ideas around the why and wherefore of a distinct lack of women creators on the Hellboy books is summed up in the article as well:
Allie: Absolutely. The goal is not to fill a quota. It’s to reflect reality. We’ve been given a little bit of a hard time, you know, by a handful of people online, literally a few, that BPRD doesn’t have more female creators involved. Despite everything else I’ve said here, I don’t think myself a hypocrite for saying that I haven’t made an explicit effort to hire women to write or draw [Mike]Mignola’s books. I haven’t made that a specific priority. I’ve looked for the right people to work on the books. A few times that’s led me to women, but I’ve not made it a quota. Nor have I done that on Buffy—it’s just that on Buffy, the pursuit of quality has more often led me to women. Is that because of the themes of Buffy? Or is it about what Buffy needs to be, creatively? I don’t know. It only occurred to me recently, when the diversity thing kicked up after Image Expo, that the first two comic book seasons of Buffy—real comics, all of them—were drawn by a black man, and the current season is drawn by a woman. That wasn’t intentional, it wasn’t a decision we made before we hired our talent, but it’s appropriate.
However, when hiring for editorial staff, I do make it a priority to bring in women. When you’re hiring writers and artists—when I am, anyway—I’m hiring them for what they’ve done, assuming that they will continue to do work of that calibre. When I’m hiring a young assistant editor, I’m hiring them on a hunch. I don’t really know what they’re capable of. I’m guessing, based on whatever factors I can take in. So it’s easier for me to let gender play a part. I’m not going to hire a less talented female penciler over a more talented male penciler, because I’m not looking to fill quotas—I believe I can judge those talents with some objectivity. Whereas with a potential assistant editor, I’m guessing, it’s way more subjective, and it feels like an appropriate place to take a hunch and say, We need another voice in the mix.
Allie has obviously put a lot of thought into this, and has made strides to get more women in comics. He also could have just said to me: Here, let me google it for you and you can go read The Mary Sue article! But instead he engaged. That is a good indicator to me that he's got a genuine interest in making things better. I also don't fault his basic strategy--having more and more women editors will mean more female writers and artists in comics, undoubtedly. But I'm also interested in why he doesn't go further, and try different things (and not just him, of course, but editors in comics in general).  

Choosing the best person for the gig is something that's hard to argue against--problem is, it's becoming more and more clear that we all have unconscious biases. All of us, not just the jerks. The people who are out-and-out misogynists have it, pro-feminist men have it, people doing good work have it. Hell, women have it against women, sometimes. It's a thing.  Why not try out some tools for avoiding unconscious bias as often as possible? The New York Philharmonic discovered that even well-meaning folks have unconscious bias, and gender-neutral hiring techniques caused the hiring of women to go up 40%. Allie has a thoughtful response to this idea:
But I won’t be a one-issue editor, I won’t hire with the sole motive of balancing this inequity, or put that motive above all else. My job, the thing I got into this work with the desire to do, is to make good books. That’s hard enough to do, in my opinion. If I work to create other obstacles and hoops to place between me and my goal, to further my personal political agenda, I am doing it wrong. In terms of hiring an editor or an assistant editor or a writer, the hoops I’d have to jump through to prevent myself from knowing the applicant's gender would prevent me from knowing other important things about them. So anyway, no, I can’t imagine a circumstance under which I’d do the equivalent of that double blind thing the orchestra did, though I’m glad it worked for them. 
Now, none of this means that we shouldn’t do things like Womanthology or the stuff Gail is doing with Red Sonja or Vampirella. There’s plenty of room for books like that, and, as importantly, there’s enough amazing talent out there that you can make those books great. And doing those things will help foster talent that we’ll all use in various ways on other projects. -- from an email
I don't work in comics. I don't even work in publishing. I've never been a paid editor, and that's why Allie's point of view is valuable to me--it has to be hard to make good comics, and to do so for so many years, so I empathize with the desire to not add extra work to that. It's pretty likely that I'll never know just how hard it can be do put out good books so consistently. I also think that, as men who have benefited in whatever ways from the unconscious biases of others, we have an added responsibility to do extra work to shift our workplace cultures. Maybe "double-blind" hiring can't work for a comics editor, but there have got to be some more ways of keeping unconscious bias to a minimum. Hiring women editors to do talent hiring will almost certainly help, something Allie is an strong advocate for, but as it stands, there is a way in which male editors who take this position reinforce the idea that it's the women who do get hired who will have to do the bulk of the work changing the culture, which is part of how the gender gap harms women. Also, as Allie himself pointed out to me, historically Dark Horse has had lots of the editors-in-chief who are women (Barbara Kesel, Diana Schutz and Melanie Crawford Chadwick, for example), which underlines to me the idea that hiring women editors just isn't enough to change the culture as regards gender.

I'm grateful that folks like Allie are making great comics, and thinking about these issues (and other issues of diversity, which I haven't touched on here). I think that we can be fans, and support comics pros, yet still ask these questions, still push them to create more and more diversity, to close the gender gap as quickly as possible. This interaction with Allie makes me hopeful, even though of course we may disagree on the details -- I'm going to miss these books for the year that I'm doing my experiment, and I'm hopeful that as things shift, such an experiment won't be useful anymore. 

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Week Two: A Year of Buying Comics by Women

Last week I officially started my experiment of spending a year only buying comics that have one or more women creators.  I'll repeat that this is just an experiment--I'm not advocating for others to do this, or that it's the way to get the culture of comics to be less sexist. I wanted to try it out to see how it would feel, for me. It's akin to Judith Levine's Not Buying it, or even more similar experiments, like only reading novels by women for a year.

This week there are a lot of comics that I want to read, that I have to leave off the buy pile because of this experiment:

No Women Creators Pile:
god is dead     

day men hellboy and the bprd 1952
big man plans
black science
rat queens

All new hawkeye

The Buy Pile:
Revival -- regular covers by Jenny Frison
Saga -- art by Fiona Staples, cover by Fiona Staples
lady killer -- words, art and cover by Joelle Jones

names -- regular covers by Celia Calle
[Update] princess leia -- Jordie Bellaire, colorist
[Update] blackcross -- cover by Tula Lotay and cover colors by Jordie Bellaire, if I can find 'em
[Update] Rat Queens -- cover by Jenny Frison, if I can find it

Some thoughts about this week: 
  • First off, that's a small-ass buy pile. I have some new webcomics on my radar thanks to The Ormes Society, including the fantastic Agents of the Realm
  • Second thought: It looks to me like the Hellboy line of comics will be off-limits for me all year, since (correct me if I'm wrong) it looks like there has never been an artist or writer on any of the Hellboy books. I hope I'm wrong about that, and/or it changes soon.
  • I'm missing out on some awesome comics with this experiment.
  • It's tough to find who lettered an issue online. Any hints on this? 
  • Lots of coloring is being done by companies, rather than individuals. Huh. 
  • There's something wrong with an experiment like this that doesn't let me read Rat Queens. [Update] If I can find the Jenny Frison cover, I can do Rat Queens!
  • On the other hand: Nobody involved in creating the Princess Leia comic is a woman?  [Update] I WAS WRONG: Jordie Bellaire is the colorist!
  • [Update] I'm going to count variant covers done by women, if I can find them either hard copy or digital.


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A Year of Buying Comics Created by Women

I really like reading comics--and one of the things that has gotten me back into comics after a few years of not buying them has been the influx of women creators.  I have been buying comics on-and-off for about 20-25 years. I'd estimate that about 90% of those comics were written by, drawn, colored and lettered by men. This is a ballpark figure, of course, but I think it's probably pretty close to the real figure. There's nothing amazing about this--I am a product of Marvel/DC marketing in a lot of ways, I'm over 40 years old, and those comics have historically been overloaded with creators (and readers) who are male.

Given I've spent so many thousands of dollars on male-created comics, I thought I'd try an experiment: For a year I'm only going to buy comics that have at least one woman working on them.

I'm taking the idea that this is an experiment to heart--I'm not advocating that this can fix gender inequality in comics in any way, that everybody should do this, that it will even really make a dent in the problem. Instead, I want to check out my "stuff" around gender in comics: How important is it to me to support women in comics? What does it look like to support women in comics? How important is representation in the material (e.g. Captain Marvel has her own book!) , and how important is representation in the creation of that material (Lumberjanes was created by all women!)?

Here are, loosely, my rules:

  • I'm going to only buy comics that have a woman involved in the creation of the book at one of the following levels: writer, artist (drawing and/or coloring), letterer.
  • I'm going for "consistently has a woman involved", so if a guest-artist is a dude, but usually it's drawn by a woman, I won't skip the issue
  • I'm going to mostly read stuff I would have read anyway, but since I'll be missing out on some good books, I'll probably expand my reading choices, too
  • I'm going to try this for a year. I've been doing it informally for January and February so far, so I'll do it until January 2016.
  • I'll keep weekly lists of the comics that I *want* to read, but can't, because there are no women involved in them.
  • I'll probably also talk a bit about the books that I *can* read.
  • I'll do a weekly summation of how the experiement is turning out.

The first thing that comes up for me is that some of my absolutely favorite comics ever will now be off my pull list, at least for now. No Sex Criminals. No BPRD. No East of West. FUCK!

Also, some books with great female protagonists will be off-limits: Copperhead. Rat Queens. Lazarus. SPIDER-GWEN. FUCKITTY FUCK!

I also considered counting editors who are women as ok for the buy pile--but while editors are so often the unsung heroes of comic books, I think comics companies, especially the "big two", often fill their ranks of editors with women far before they hire more women as creators, in the same way that, say, tech companies fill their marketing departments with women, but not their coding departments. This is something I want to highlight for myself.

I'm also fascinated by just how many books I *can* still read--if I had tried this experiment 10-15 years ago, I would have not been reading many books (or I would have been reading a bunch of incredible books I haven't heard of yet?).