How to Draw Comics the New 52 Way: Women Get “Fridged” Again

Earlier this year, DC Comics announced it would “re-boot” its entire spate of 52 monthly superhero books and start all storylines from scratch, with all new creators. The radical move was intended to attract new readers, sure, but it also attracted immediate criticism, since it followed the release of several female creators from the DC roster.

Critics say that number dropped from 12% to 1%—here at Ladydrawers HQ we only tallied creators on DC’s Vertigo line, but 12% does match our findings for women creators at commercial comics publishers in general. When queried about the drop in female creators in July at the San Diego Comic-Con, DC Comics co-publisher Dan Didio responded, “What do those numbers mean to you? What do they mean to you? Who should we be hiring? Tell me right now. Who should we be hiring right now? Tell me.”

His response struck many as defensive and deflective. ComicsAlliance editor-in-chief Laura Hudson, echoing our own concerns at Ladydrawers wrote, “Women are half of the world, and a significant percentage of the DC Comics character stable, and yet only 1% of their creators. And the way that you treat and represent half of the people in your world—and by extension, half of the people in the real world who might potentially buy your books—should be more than a marginal concern.”

DC followed up with a July 29 letter on its official blog highlighting the notable female creators they currently publish and promising more in the future. So when it launched, we looked at the New 52 carefully. What we found was disturbing—even if you like men in tights.

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