Weekly Reports

Baltimore Comic-Con 2018 Part 1

I'm about to embark on the first of 3 days at Baltimore Comic-Con, but first some lazy analysis of the con itself, and a report on the week's comics.

I went through the list of guests and artists listed on the site and did a tiny bit of number-crunching. In broad strokes, "guests" are writers, artists and editors, often invited by the con and usually a part of the weekly comics industry. They're, in general, more established. "Artists" are people who have a table in Artists Alley and are more likely to be younger, more independent and less involved with the comics industry. The distinction is mostly meaningless, except that the former can be used as a proxy for who has industry support. Oh, and guests get bigger tables and wider aisles. 

Other caveats: I used the folks who are listed on the map and kept the people who have cancelled, because what I'm trying to measure is who the con wanted/agreed to host, not who showed up. Similarly, a lot of people will have friends or family tabling with them who could be artists or writers in their own right, especially in Artists Alley. Also, there actually two lists of Artists Alley exhibitors, one for individuals and one by studio/company/project, and I'm only including the former. Again, these numbers reflect who is listed, not who will be present.  And as usual, the gender binary is trash and I don't have the ability to ask each and every person how they identify, but I did my best.

So how do the numbers stack up? Not great. About 16.25% of those listed as "guests" don't identify as male. That's about the percentage of involvement I've been seeing in my pull list which skews less male than the industry overall, so while it's bad, it's almost encouraging? For Artists Alley, it's 20% which is a teensy bit better but still not great. That's probably an indication of the direction the industry is moving though, which is almost encouraging as well.

This is especially galling as SPX was so much more balanced. It's easy to think of Baltimore Comic-Con as bigger and more established, because it is in many ways, but total comics readership is much more like what you see at SPX. We don't have a great way of counting webcomics, but in terms of actually selling books, Raina Telegmeier is probably the biggest name in the industry and you won't see her at BCC. Scholastic sells a tremendous number of books, and not many of those folks go to the big industry conventions.

Okay, back to the comics of the week! First the good:

  • Man-Eaters #1 is out which you already know if you're not a knucklehead. Chelsea Cain reunites with the artist from her Mockingbird artist Kate Niemczyk for a series in which women [spoiler alert for the title I guess?] devour men. Fresh off the disappointment of Marvel blowing it with The Vision, this is very welcome.
  • Jody Houser is back with another Faith series, and as a person with an official document proclaiming me a true fan of Faith, you know that I'm excited. (Plus: those good good Marguerite Sauvage covers!)
  • Modern Fantasy wraps up with #4 but if you kids wouldn't mind running out to your local store and making it sell out, I'm certain that Rafer Roberts and Kristen Gudsnuk have more stories to tell. (Which reminds me: I need to ask Rafer which one of them is making all those hilarious background jokes at the con this weekend.)

And let's not forget the bad:

  • A pile of Marvel comics came out this week for Spider-Man, Spider-Geddon, Infinity Warps and Star Wars and not one of them has any women on the creative team. I know women like all those things. (Well, maybe not Infinity Warps.)
  • Bendis has another issue of Scarlet out and... is that series going anywhere? It's been years and I'm not sure if anything is happening in his (stop me if this sounds familiar) story about a brave woman in a book entirely created by men.

If you see me at BCC, please say hi!

This Week's Books

Titles in bold are new #1s and a 👍 indicates a book with a least one non-cis-male creator. Numbers in parentheses are the total non-cis-male and total cis-male creators.

This Week's Stats

  9/26/2018 All Time
Gender-diverse Books 9 (41%) 4032 (53%)
All Books 22 7550
Non-cis-male Creators 17 (18%) 7157 (20%)
All Creators 94 35805

All Posts