A fascinating study takes a look at the gender representation of 34,476 comic book characters. Journalist Amanda Shendruk asks, “Female characters appear in superhero comics less often than males — but when they are included, how are they depicted?”
She examined 34,476 different characters. The study results were published with a plentiful helping of graphs, graphs, and more graphs looking at everything from the types of powers a character has, to the gender make-up of their superhero team, to the naming scheme and frequency of character’s aliases. Some of the findings include:
- The data suggest that less-physical powers — such as empathy, intellect, and telepathy — tend to be more represented among female characters. Men however, often have highly physical powers, as well as those that involve gadgets.
- 30% of all teams have no women, and only 12% have more female team members than male. The majority of those 12%, however, are exclusively female teams.
- A full 30% of male characters with gendered names get ‘man’ in their name. That number is only 6% for ‘woman’. However, ‘girl’ is the third-most common gendered name for a female character (13%). ‘Boy’ only shows up sixth for males (5%).
The study was then topped with very cute pixel art by Vancouver’s Nicole Derksen.
Riding the iceberg: Environmentally themed comic strip Arctic Circle will be focusing heavily on global warming this week to commemorate the opening of Al Gore’s new film, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power. Creator Alex Hallatt will focus the stories this week on global warming shares her enthusiasm about the new film:
I was so excited when ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ was the success it was,” she said during a telephone interview. “Finally, finally climate change was now in the mainstream. In the intervening 10 to 11 years, it seems like we’re almost going backwards. It’s really, really frightening.
The fact that there has to be a sequel does bother me. We shouldn’t even be discussing this.
— Gene Ha (@GeneHa) July 26, 2017
Nananananana Dark Knight!: Artist Gene Ha currently has a painted Adam West as Frank Miller’s Dark Knight piece up for auction on eBay. Mony raised will be donated to the Hero Initiative.
Interviews and Profiles
Wolves, the Mire, and Demeter: Becky Cloonan re-released her 2014 medieval trilogy By Chance or Providence. Now published by Image Comics, and newly colored by Lee Loughridge, the graphic novel came out this week. Coonan gave an interview to the Off Panel podcast, also reflecting on current projects, working with Steve Dillion, writing the Punisher and more.
O Canada: Where are all the superheroes in the great white north? Best known as an actor, Captain Canuck guest writer Jay Baruchel made an appearance on CBC’s Q to talk about his recent appointment to chief creative officer at Chapterhouse Comics and to seek truth, justice, and the Canadian way!
Reviews, Roundups, and Commentary
Conventions and Festivals
Con Reporter: Another great creator SDCC report: Eisner nominated Chris Schweizer shared his San Diego Comic-Con experience from the Eisners to the con floor. The blog entry is loaded with great photos and stories.
Graphic novels galore!: Here is a quick roundup of many of the new graphic novel announcements during San Diego Comic-Con can be found at Publisher Weekly.