For the last six months, Ladydrawers (catch up on the previous strips here) has been tracking gender disparity in both the content and hired labor pool of comics. As an art form that is also a form of media—and a popular, growing industry—it’s offered a way to look at how labor policies, written or unwritten, affect the aesthetics and the information available in the form. What’s unique about comics, however, as opposed to most other forms of media or art, is that they’re supposed to be a place to recreate language. Comics are a form of communication reinvented by each new creator, maybe in each new strip.
A medium that constantly reinvents itself? That’s only about a hundred years old? How could it possibly adhere to age-old notions of gender traditionalism? Pretty well, as we’ve seen. Which makes statistics for women working in other media—like this one, the first of a pair by Mickey Zacchilli—that much more profound.