DC Clarifies Stance on Female Creators & Characters


There’s been somewhat of a perfect storm surrounding DC’s relaunch of all it’s titles coming in September, especially concerning the seeming lack of female creators and the writing of female characters in general. Of their announced titles last month, only one featured a full time female creator out of approximately one hundred writers and artists working on the relaunch and it appeared several popular female characters had gone missing in action, while the same was not true of their counterparts.

I touched on in in my third Open Letter To DC Comics, saying that if the company truly wanted new readers, they needed to do a better job reaching out to everyone in the digital world, especially to women. I also interviewed the owner of the DCWomenKickingAss about the issue, and wrote over on GeekMom how unhappy I was with some of the changes, which seemed regression rather than progression.

Then came the controversy at San Diego Comic Con, where a female reader dressed as the Stephanie Brown Batgirl questioned DC executives repeatedly about the issue. “Batgirl” was interviewed at the DCWomanKickingAss blog just after SDCC, explaining her motivation.

While their response at SDCC was certainly a public relations failure, DC executives apparently took another look at the situation and finally issued this statement, entitled “We Hear You,” on the The Source, the official DC blog:

By DC Comics’ Co-Publishers
Over the past week we’ve heard from fans about a need for more women writers, artists and characters. We want you to know, first and foremost, that we hear you and take your concerns very seriously.

We’ve been very fortunate in recent years to have fan favorite creators like Gail Simone, Amy Reeder, Felicia Henderson, Fiona Staples, Amanda Connor, G. Willow Wilson and Nicola Scott write and draw the adventures of the World’s Greatest Super Heroes.

DC Comics is the home of a pantheon of remarkable, iconic women characters like Wonder Woman, Lois Lane, Batgirl, Batwoman, Catwoman and Supergirl as well as fan favorite characters like Black Canary, Katana, Mera and Starfire. We’re committed to telling diverse stories with a diverse point of view. We want these adventures to resonate in the real world, reflecting the experiences of our diverse readership. Can we improve on that? We always can—and aim to.

We’ll have exciting news about new projects with women creators in the coming months and will be making those announcements closer to publication. Many of the above creators will be working on new projects, as we continue to tell the ongoing adventures of our characters. We know there are dozens of other women creators and we welcome the opportunity to work with them.

Our recent announcements have generated much attention and discussion and we welcome that dialogue.

Jim Lee & Dan DiDio
DC Entertainment Co-Publishers

While Bleeding Cool’s Rich Johnston said DC was scrambling to dust off some projects after the controversy, Gail Simone, who is writing Batgirl and co-writing The Fury of Firestorm offered her perspective on her forums.

Whatever happened behind the scenes, I welcome DC’s statements and I’m glad to hear that they there will be more diverse titles coming, not only in regard to women other groups badly represented in mainstream superhero comics.

The digital market offers an incredible chance to expand DC readership. I just hope they capitalize on it. And that the books themselves are much better than their initial public relations efforts.

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