There are some great perks to working at Comics Should Be Good and one of the weird ones is that I can see comments as they come in to the site, before they are approved, or rejected, or burned in a frenzy of horror (some awful stuff comes through here, guys). But this weird perk became rather depressing during the most recent round of voting for CSBG’s Top 100 Comic Book Artists and Writers (50 for each category) because almost no ballots had women on them.
It’s not really surprising that given only 20 precious slots to fill (each voter was allowed to vote for 10 artists and 10 writers), and with all the absolutely stunning comics creators over the years that women almost never made it into people's ballots. Women just haven’t historically had the comics credits to their name and that’s for a variety of reasons both reasonable and less reasonable. But this post is not about examining the past and the how and why we got here, it’s about celebrating what we do have, and what we have had.
While I have no interest in ghettoizing women in comics, watching the voting results come in for the latest CSBG Top 100 Comic Book Artists and Writers in comics was an eye-opener.
And though Fiona Staples managed to break into the artist's list at an impressive debut of #31 she was only one of two women to make the list at all (Gail Simone made the writers list at #41). Obviously doing an all-time creators list makes for a VERY crowded field and while women have been making comics since comics began there's no doubt that they were an extreme minority in the early days and really throughout the entire history of comics. Even now when it comes to mainstream comics women remain a somewhat shocking minority despite the insane amount of talent we're seeing.
In a perfect world, there would be only one "best" list and it would be wonderfully diverse, unfortunately we don't live in that world.
So, with the intent of shining a spotlight on female creators and getting people thinking about all the great work they have done and are doing, Brian and I decided to run a 50 Top Women Writers and Artists in Comics poll in the month of March (which is of course Women's History Month). The poll will open Monday (3/2/15) and run for two weeks. At the end of March (3/21-3/31) we'll have the results. Just like we do for the regular poll, the winners will be broken up into sets and serve as rather wonderful spotlights of their work.
We hope this raised awareness of the great work done and being done by women in comics will be one small drop in the bucket toward eventually having a Top 100 list that includes more than just two women.
Brian, because he is a good kind soul and total pro, will do most of the work. My part has mostly been preparation and it was...involved and exhausting to say the least. Below you'll find my rather massive and yet somehow still weak attempt to compile a list of every woman that has contributed to comics as a writer or artist (I also made an attempt to include colorists on here even though the poll is technically for writers and artists).
You can use this list to help you in your voting, but mostly I hope you will help me flesh this list out so that we can get the most complete and exhaustive list of women creators possible.
The list is alpha by first name. And I stress again, I NEED your help with this list. It is ONLY the beginning and I hope it will become a constantly evolving document and eventually the place that everyone links to for "the list" of women creators in comics. So, if you see someone missing, please leave it in the comments (name, what they do—writer, artist, colorist—plus at least one project they have worked on, preferably their most notable). Also please feel free to point out any necessary/significant corrections.
AND ESPECIALLY if you are a WOMAN WORKING IN COMICS/A WOMAN THAT HAS WORKED IN COMICS in one of these capacities (writer, artist, colorist) PLEASE add your name and relevant details so we can get you added to the list as soon as possible (and I apologize in advance for missing you, please understand what a massive and basically impossible undertaking this was and look on me with pity...seriously, I hate the alphabet now and my hand is KILLING me from repetitive stress injury T_T).
The list IS international but is obviously weakest when it comes to non-English works since I only read English…well, and a truly pathetic amount of French.
The list currently has over 1700 names and I know we've still missed so many, so please spread this post far and wide, and begin adding names to the comments immediately so that we can make it as comprehensive, inclusive, and magnificent as possible.