Comic Books Are Still Made By Men, For Men And About Men

by Rachel Baker on October 13, 2014

This is an incredibly interesting piece by Walt Hickey over at FiveThirtyEight about the gender disparity in the comic book industry. Its truly worth your time and there’s charts and footnotes.

Comic Books Are Still Made By Men, For Men And About Men .

But these recent advancements don’t make up for the fact that women have been ignored in comic books for decades. And they still don’t bring women anywhere close to parity: Females (footnote 2) make up about one in four comic book characters.

Among comic-creators, the numbers are even more discouraging. Tim Hanley, a comics historian and researcher, analyzes who’s behind each month’s batch of releases, counting up writers, artists, editors, pencilers and more. In August, Hanley found that men outnumbered women nine-to-one behind the scenes at both DC and Marvel. He also estimated that 79 percent of people working on comics this year were white.

Part of this strong skew towards male comic book characters — and male writers — may be due to whom publishers have perceived their audience to be. Jason Aaron, who has been writing “Thor” for about two years and is heading up the new female-led series, explained that the comic book business painted itself into a demographic corner. “Over time, we started to appeal to the same, dwindling fans,” he said, adding, “I don’t say that derisively, because I’m at the heart of that dwindling group of fans, and always have been.” (Aaron is male, white and 40 years old.) During the 1960s and ’70s, comic books moved from grocery store newsstands to specialized shops, which mostly catered to a young, white, male audience. Once that happened, Aaron said, the industry lost a way to attract new fans.

This article was written by: Rachel Baker – Click to Become a Patron or to follow on Twitter.

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