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Vote for the Top 50 Female Comic Writers and Artists of All-Time!

saga8

Hi Folks. Kelly Thompson here.

Sorry for the confusion this morning, some confusion between Brian and I between who was doing this portion of the post. Apparently it’s me! Here goes!

So, as noted in this widely circulated post from yesterday’s Special Edition of She Has No Head!, which I encourage all of you to read before voting, the impetus of this poll is to shine a big spotlight on female writers and artist in the comics industry.

While we have no intention of ghettoizing women, I was really disheartened when Brian’s last Top 100 Comic Book Writers and Artists of All-Time poll went up last December to see that not only did only two women make the final list (Fiona Staples debuted on the artist list for the first time at #31, and Gail Simone again made the writers list, this time at #41) but many people’s ballots featured no women at all. And I can understand that. When you have only 10 precious artist spaces and 10 precious writers spaces and you have to cover all comics writers and artists of all-time it gets crowded and men have, traditionally, been more visible and done more work in comics than women. That is for a variety of acceptable and less acceptable reasons. But the point of this poll is not to argue or debate those facts or analyze the why and how of why we got here. The point of this poll is to put a strong focus on the best women working in comics of all time and maybe with increased focus and visibility, one day we don’t need to spotlight them in their own poll. That’s the ultimate goal.

So, especially for those of you that are going to claim there are not enough women working in comics to fill your ballot…I urge you to click on the She Has No Head post that includes in evolving list of women in comics  (it includes writers artists and colorists, though for the purpose of the poll you should focus on artists and writers, not colorists). The list has well over 1,000 women on it at this time, so if you don’t think you can fill 20 spaces…you may need to broaden your comics reading!

Form here – for THE RULES – I will crib from Brian’s old text, with a few minor modifications!

Here’s the deal. You kids all vote in the comments section here for the next two weeks – up until 11:59 PM Pacific time, March 16th. Brian will tabulate all the votes and Brian and I will begin a countdown of the winners starting March 21st!

Sound good?

Okay, here are the guidelines!

1. Vote in the comments section below, making sure to include that classic word “ACBC” somewhere in your comment so your vote will be marked invisible.

2. You’re going to be voting for twenty people in total here. Your ten favorite comic book writers AND your ten favorite comic book artists. Vote for TEN each – less than ten writers and ten artists and I don’t count your ballot.

3. Rank your ten favorite comic book writers and artists from #1 (your most favorite) to #10 (your 10th most favorite). I’d prefer it if you actually numbered your entry, #1-10. It’s easier for me to count. On that note, please also avoid listing them like this “1) 2) 3) 4),” because 8 with a ) after it transforms into a smiley face in the comments section (this one 8) ). Just plain ol’ “1. 2. 3.” works best. Seriously, just copy and paste this handy thing below and fill it out…that way you don’t have to worry about anything!

Here’s a template you can use as a guide. You can just copy and paste it into your comment:

TOP TEN COMIC BOOK WRITERS AND ARTISTS

WRITERS
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.

ARTISTS
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.

ACBC

4. Your top choice will be given 10 points, your second choice 9, etc.

5. Make sure to include ACBC in your ballot.

6. This is for writers and artists who worked in the field of comics – and we’re including mini-comics, webcomics, etc., since those have been especially important and friendly ways for women to break into comics and for some of our modern day creators (like Kate Beaton, Allie Brosh, Noelle Stevenson) they are MORE famous for their work online than off, though they do both.

Story continues below

7. Vote for ten artists and ten writers. You have to have ten writers and ten artists you like! Less than ten artists and ten writers and I will not count your ballot.

8. I get that it is difficult to rank certain combo creators like (again) Kate Beaton, who both writes and draws, but just try to do your best. If you really like Beaton, for instance, feel free to put her on both lists.

9. Make sure to include ACBC in your ballot.

10. Vote for ten artists and ten writers. Less than ten artists and ten writers and I will not count your ballot.

11. Plotters count as writers. So if you are just a fan of someone’s plots, feel free to vote for her as a writer.

12. Teams are a pain in the ass, but I think I’m going to go with you have to split them up unless they have ONLY worked as a team.

13. Make sure to include ACBC in your ballot.

14. I’ll make various other decisions in the interest of fairness.

If you have questions and or requests for clarification, feel free to ask them in the comments section below.

Remember, please include the following word: ACBC – on your ballot. It will make it so your ballot appears invisible to other readers, so only I can read it (and count your vote secretly).

Most importantly, have fun!

Now vote! :)

Sidenote: I am deleting the few comments that were submitted before this post actually had content, so please submit your comments/questions again now that there is actual content to this post.

125 Comments

I was tempted to only do a Top Five for each but now I will do a full top ten.

Love this. I’m only annoyed that I’ll have to wait to read the countdown.

Quick suggestion/request though: at some future date when you’re both recovered from tabulating and such, would a ‘Top 50 Women of Marvel/DC’ list be possible as well? Or top women in comics in general? I’d love to know more about the impact and history of the editors and such, those who worked somewhat ‘behind the scenes’ compared to writers/artists, so a list that could include them too would be great. Especially any women from the Golden Age, about whom I know comparatively little.

(Yes, I know that asking for an additional mammoth list before this one is even published is a greedy, greedy thing to do, but I don’t care)

how’s about a filipino top 50 comics creators?

“of All-Time”???

If a voter can’t identify Nina Albright (!!!), Pauline Loth, Marie Severin and June Tarpe Mills, the ballot should be thrown out. Comics did not begin and end with the Modern Age.

Shoot, I honestly did number my choices. I don’t know why it didn’t copy over from my google doc. Sorry. Everything is 1-10, most favorite to least most favorite.

Sorry again!

@David…I honestly have NO IDEA what your comment means.

@joshschr I fixed them for you. :)

how’s about a filipino top 50 comics creators?

Does that mean we’re going to need a Filipina Top 50 Comic Creators too?

This one’s tough, as so many of the female creators I like double as artists and writers and I’ll have to list them in both.

Many thanks, Kelly! And thanks for doing the poll!

Okay, I’m embarrassed to be asking this, but I greatly appreciated your list of female creators, but it didn’t appear to be broken down by artists and writers. I recognized and selected various creators, but for some of them, I’m not sure if they were primarily on the writing or art side. (That shows you how hard it was for me to remember and select the names. I was very disappointed in myself that I wasn’t more familiar with female creators.) Can I send in my joint list and have you break them into their appropriate list? Or can you clarify on your linked page for each creator whether they should be listed primarily as an artist or as a writer?

@Bob: I have the same problem.

@Craig B.: Thanks for the thanks. Unfortunately there is just no way to reasonably go through and break the list down – it’s already a borderline nightmare just keeping up with the additions. Additionally there are plenty of creators where the language barrier makes it hard for me to even know what they did on a work and since I can’t separate it reasonably for everyone, then I’m not going to do it for anyone.

I’d humbly suggest doing a little research on whichever of your 20 women you need more information on in order to put them on the appropriate list.

My guess is that if you send in a list that does not meet Brian’s guidelines it will not be counted. It’s one of those “if we make an exception for you, we have to make an exception for everyone…and there lies chaos” kind of thing.

I’m already regretting some of my omissions. I can almost guarantee a few “why didn’t I think of her” moments once the list comes out.

Fair enough, Kelly. I’ll try to look into some of these creators so I can classify them correctly. Thanks for responding.

@Blubes: ??? once the list is out?

The list IS out (though it’s a “living document” that will constantly change it’s already got more than 1100 names on it:

http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2015/03/01/she-has-no-head-women-in-comics/

@Craig B: Also (and this is said with NO judgement) if you don’t know a creator’s work well enough to know whether they are writer or artist or whether it is their work as a writer or artist that you enjoy/enjoy more…then you probably should not vote for them.

Unless you mean “where do I put Faith Erin Hicks because she’s both writer and artist in about equal measure” in which case, that’s a tough call for us all and there is no “right” answer.

My artist list includes three inkers and a colourist. Yikes.

Peter Sattler

March 2, 2015 at 6:31 pm

How strictly are you define “comic book” artists and writers (so as, for example, to include Beaton)? Are comic strip creators included? Or those whose newspaper work was collected or included in book form?

From the rules…

This is for writers and artists who worked in the field of comics – and we’re including mini-comics, webcomics, etc., since those have been especially important and friendly ways for women to break into comics and for some of our modern day creators (like Kate Beaton, Allie Brosh, Noelle Stevenson) they are MORE famous for their work online than off, though they do both.

Peter Sattler

March 2, 2015 at 7:02 pm

Ah… reading. Thanks, Brian.

so if you don’t think you can fill 20 spaces…you may need to broaden your comics reading!

I confess that this is me. I have to abstain from voting this year. I might be able to name ten women creators off the top of my head, but I have only a passing familiarity with most of their work, and couldn’t presume to vote for most of them for a “best of” list. I’d be happy to vote for Kelly Sue DeConnick, Ann Nocenti, G. Willow Wilson and Louise “Weezie” Simonson, but that wouldn’t be fair to all the wonderful creators whose work I just don’t know, and who may be leagues beyond the few I do know.

Hopefully next year I can participate.

David. if you vote for a creator you’ve never read, shouldn’t that vote be thrown out? I know about the artists and writers who pioneered and shone before I was born, but I honestly did not read them.

I don’t think I ever seen any of these CBR fan-voted lists have manga creators but since Rumiko Takahashi is the top selling female comic creator in the world and one of the richest woman in Japan because of her work I hope she makes at least the top 10 on both artist and writers lists. If she doesn’t then… Well… Yeah…

As I said yesterday, I think this is a really cool idea. There are quite a few female creators I feel don’t get the recognition they deserve, and I was really disappointed with the lack of women on the Top 100 Creators poll. So I’m really excited to see how this turns out, and who makes it on where.

I meant the top 50 list.

I know it’ swell intentioned, but I’m never really sure about this type of poll. Restricting it to just women or just men or just Filipinos or just albinos or just people with one leg slightly shorter than the other just restricts the results and makes you vote for people who are really nowhere near your top ten.

I know I’d feel a bit patronised if I’d won an award for “best balding slightly overweight ”.

*it’s well

Hi Kelly! One of my first picks was Kiyohoko Azuma but according to Google he is, surprisingly, not a woman. Might want to remove him from your list of women in comics. A tragic loss :(

Also I think you should add Marie Pommepuy of Kerascoet, the brilliant artist of Beauty, Beautiful Darkness and Miss Don’t Touch Me:
http://www.cartoonbrew.com/promote-article/kerascoet-83747.html

I only know one, and I’m married to her! Louise Wei does Panda and Polar Bear: http://www.pandaandpolarbear.com/ – our fuzzy little story :)

@dancj
I’m with you and your point, excactly how i feel.

On the other hand, if we were to vote the top 50 comic creators (without further restriction) the results would end up with a very small amount of female names, if any at all )-:

Oops – that should be “best balding slightly overweight *whatever*”

My angle brackets made it look like an HTML tag.

DanCJ,

Kelly’s well aware of the drawbacks of a female-specific poll. She addresses it in both this post and in her earlier post announcing the intent do do this. “Ghettoization” is problematic for the reasons you mentioned, but also serves a purpose.

Given the underrepresentation of women in the general poll conducted in Dec-Jan, this project would help stimulate conversation about the contributions women have made to comics and help readers like us become more familiar with what’s out there. I didn’t vote in the earlier poll, but if I had, I probably wouldn’t have included any women. That’s not because women haven’t written awesome comics; it’s because (1) I’m less familiar with their work, and (2) the tendency to idolize certain historical creators and runs makes it harder to break in as a modern creator. Hopefully this project will remedy the first, and perhaps the second, unfair deficiency.

dancj, The top artists and writers year after year looks basically like the top male artists and writers of the year. For half (at least) of the world’s population, I think a list like this is valid. I hope that this will at least get people to recognize that there are many women out there to read.

@Blubes: Ah. Gotcha.

@Darveh & @T-Bone: If you both would be so kind, could you please leave your list recommendations over on the LIST POST. Unfortunately anyone mentioned in these comments is not going to get migrated onto the list as I’m only adding/making changes from the comments on the list post in order to keep everything in one place (otherwise I’ve got people shouting out names on twitter and facebook and it becomes chaos). Thanks!

@DanCJ: Yes, as VichusSmith, Lew, and Nu-D have said, and as I’ve addressed in (both) posts, I wish that a separate list wasn’t necessary, unfortunately we don’t yet live in that world. Out of 100 artists and writers in December 2014’s poll, only TWO made the cut – 2%. Even for comics that’s under representation.

And even worse that only 2 women making the 100 cut, since I have administrative privileges at CSBG I can see the voting that goes on in the background and most people had NO women on their list at all. And I’m not even saying that’s unreasonable – only picking 10 artists and 10 writers means spaces fill up fast, but when that results in only 2% of women on the final list, we’ve got a problem.

So, if we can use this as an effort to both raise the profile of women working in comics, get people talking about and more aware of the work they’re doing/have done, AND we can create the most comprehensive list of women writers and artists in comics on the entire internet….well, then I think we’re doing good work even if it does come with an element that we don’t love too.

I’ll confess, that I thought this was silly. It’s like you take the poll for the greatest basketball players of all time and get upset that there were no women on it, even though there are women out there who play basketball really well. Maybe that’s not a fair comparison, because it’s physical, but most intellectual pursuits of “greatest” go over 50, 100, or hundreds of years, too and because men have had such an unfair head start in all societies, they’re naturally going to dominate the list, and justifiably.

But Kelly’s last paragraph here turned me around. I think the list alone IS a good, and the discussion it creates is a worthy goal. So since it’s apparent to me that we realize the injustice isn’t in the list, but in the world where more women don’t get to write Batman, I see the value in it. I won’t be voting, because I don’t read Manga, and the list looks like “the best Manga artists with some indie comics.” And I don’t think it’s fair for me to just list the people I know and have read, because just because they’ve had the few breakthrough chances doesn’t mean they’re better than their peers doing more low profile or different genre work. Not sure how’d I’d rank most of them anyway. (Other than I still love Gail Simone. She’d be #1).

(Not that anyone really needed my permission…)

Took me a while to go through but it turned out I had more to choose from than I thought (thanks to Kelly’s excellent list and internet search engine). Seems a lot I had already read never knew they were from female creators, although I was surprised some of my favourites were from guest writers.

I am willing to admit, though, my tastes are a little mainstream so I’ll be interested to see who other people with broader experience choose

Meghan Ansbach

March 3, 2015 at 7:57 am

I had a hard time making my list, but I think I am happy with how they turned out. I was really excited to see some of my favorite self published ladies on your master list, Kelly!

@M-Wolverine: Well, I’m glad I convinced you…but I don’t understand your logic for choosing not to vote. Can I assume that you then also don’t vote in the regular poll because you don’t read Manga (and all other comic genres that exist)?

Makes literally no sense to me.

For what it’s worth, I also do not regularly read Manga, as a result there will be no Manga on my voting list…doesn’t make my list invalid or uninformed. : /

because men have had such an unfair head start in all societies, they’re naturally going to dominate the list, and justifiably.

Yes, but over time we should see a progression towards more even representation. As more and more women write magnificent comics, some of them should be displacing some of the men whose work either becomes dated, or simply is not as god as the newer material being created. I don’t think anyone believes that in 2015 women should represent 50% of the names on the list. But I do think that if people knew more about the work that women were doing in comics, they’d do better than the 2% showing that was accomplished.

If you’re having trouble thinking of outstanding women creators, and really good ones, you’re not trying very hard. Jill Thompson, Marie Severin, Ramona Fradon, Colleen Doran, Louise Simonson, Ann Nocenti, just for starters, and all have large bodies of work for major publishers, and all were doing this work starting before 1985. Women didn’t just spring up in comics last week.

Personally, I am really interested in seeing the results of this poll, and I’m glad that Kelly and Brian have organized it.

I need clarification on this poll: a lot of my picks are writer and artist of their bodies of work. Can I place a pick on both the writer and artist lists or will I have to choose which side they will go to so I get 20 unique names?

@Turbo:

from the guidelines:

8. I get that it is difficult to rank certain combo creators like (again) Kate Beaton, who both writes and draws, but just try to do your best. If you really like Beaton, for instance, feel free to put her on both lists.

Thanks for the clarification. That’s what I thought rule 8 meant and wanted to make sure.

@Kelly- It’s hardly the same thing. Comic book writings in the US has a long history and is dominated by American comics. You think of the big name creators who he majority of your readers are exposed to, maybe 5% or under are Manga writers. On that list of women creators there is what? 50% Manga, and maybe another 25-30% indie comics? You can say in any artistic endeavor that there might be some great story, painting, whatever written that’s subjectively better than something more popular, but part of “greatness” is the popularity of something widespread. You don’t need to go much past historically big time creations and creators in regular category. If the percentage of your list requires you to have that many out of the mainstream to even fill it, then you aren’t discounting a tiny portion of what makes the genre popular, but a majority of it.

@Nu-D- You would hope so, but then we’d need another list of the greatest stories/comics/etc created only by women…and then you’d have to see if there are really more than 2% that have been created that would really break into the overall top list that were overlooked. Because if the work isn’t there, the injustice of ranking isn’t there. Only of opportunity.

@traci- The list isn’t supposed to be “10 women you’ve heard of” but “10 best.” Just because they’ve worked doesn’t mean their output makes anyone’s best list. There are hundreds of males that people have heard of that wouldn’t make any best list, even if their work was adequate or good.

As for the voting question, for the regular lists there have often been duplicate names on both lists for creators who do both. Frank Miller usually is pretty high up in both as a writer and an artist, as the most obvious example, but he’s not the only one. If some creator is your #2 favorite writer and #8 favorite artist it’s always been ok to list them on both.

Giancarlo Roman

March 3, 2015 at 1:40 pm

DONE ! But I must say I find the whole writer / artist division a tad discouraging since all of the artists I chose are women who both write and draw their own books. Thus, it’s hard to decide whether Phoeble Gloeckner is more of a cartoonist or a writer. The same goes for geniuses like Tove Jansson and Lynda Barry. I might even suggest that some cartoonists don’t take it kindly when someone asks whether they’re more of a writer or a cartoonist since they don’t see that distinction in themselves. They’re all artists!

I understand the whole industry aspect of the medium has created different lines of work (writer, artist, colorist, inker, letterer, etc.) and that’s how we have great talents like Gail Simone, Alex de Campi and Fiona Staples that excel in a specific area. Nonetheless I also think this is a very Americanised way of looking at the big picture, since different cultures have developed different ways of approaching their graphic works throughout time.

I just think it’s healthier for all involved to think of creators as individuals and consider them on their own merits rather than based on their gender or race. Much like the recent Month of Black Comics, this kind of affirmative action leaves a bit of a bad taste in my mouth.

@M-Wolverine: You are magnificently missing the point. I hope not deliberately so.

The list is about much more than just the voting for the poll. It’s a genuine attempt at making a comprehensive list of all women in comics and that includes Manga and indie comics, the same way it would if we were trying to make a list of all men in comics.

“If the percentage of your list requires you to have that many out of the mainstream to even fill it, then you aren’t discounting a tiny portion of what makes the genre popular, but a majority of it.”

The percentage of “my list” does not “require” that I have “that many” women outside the mainstream to “even fill it” (all these quotes because I sort of can’t even believe you’re using these words they’re so ridiculous).

There’s no “arbitrary minimum number of women working in comics” we need to meet in order to be considered relevant or worthy of discussion as comics creators…so I’m not sure what you think I need to “fill.”

But had I NOT added any Manga or indie or webcomics work, the list still would have had HUNDREDS of women on it, certainly more than enough to fill out an impressive “Top 50.”

All that said, you’re right. You shouldn’t vote. I think you’ve got some serious issues to deal with regarding women in comics before you’re ready to vote.

Giancarlo Roman

March 3, 2015 at 2:44 pm

I forgot about Vanessa Davis ! And Jillian Tamaki ! And Marie Pommepuy of Kerascoet ! And Becca Tobin ! And Jill Thompson ! And Colleen Coover ! Twenty is clearly a very small number.

but still playing a bit more like an arcade game than a traditional RPG

Well that’s a bit rude. I’m not sure what M-Wolverine said to warrant that.

William Burns

March 3, 2015 at 4:43 pm

Like the last one, this contest seems ambiguous between vote for the ten best, in your estimation, and vote for your ten favorite. I’m going with favorite again.

dancj: In a perfect world. We don’t live in that perfect world. In the world we live in, women and minorities remain massively underrepresented, and are very, very rarely given the same opportunities white men are. There are tons of hugely talented women working in comics that absolutely no one cares about, because they’re just not given the opportunities on major books that get a lot of readers.

Marvel has 9 titles that have been in pretty much continuous publication since the ’60s: Fantastic Four, Amazing Spider-Man, Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, Avengers, Uncanny X-Men, Captain America, Daredevil. Of those, ONE has had an extended run by a female writer, with Ann Nocenti’s late-’80s/early-’90s Daredevil. And even that was 25 years ago. Women aren’t allowed to write flagship titles. They’re just not. As a result, they are not allowed to get the attention that male writers get.

So if we want women and minorities to get any real attention – AND WE SHOULD – then we have to make efforts like this to bring attention to them.

“The list isn’t supposed to be “10 women you’ve heard of” but “10 best.” Just because they’ve worked doesn’t mean their output makes anyone’s best list.”

Straw man. I didn’t say or imply that. I said it’s not hard to come up with women creators, and I listed some top names who have done outstanding work and have been around for years, which isn’t just my opinion. Eisner Award winners like Jill Thompson and Colleen Doran and Anne Nocenti. Marie Severin spent decades as the cornerstone of the art department at Marvel. That’s not exactly scraping the bottom of the barrel.

I am always stunned by how much backflipping people do when trying to come up with great women creators. I listed some I think are truly great, not just in terms of individual creations but impact on the industry.

Kelly’s right. You are magnificently missing the point, and arguing that impact on industry equals great, then turning around and arguing that it doesn’t. These women not only won major awards but did work that was popular and widespread. But you discount it.

Gee…I wonder why.

@dancj: Boy, it must be nice on the utopian planet you live on where the white patriarchy hasn’t had its boot on the neck of pretty much everyone else for most of human history, making some extra effort to get everyone a say at the table is sometimes necessary. Your stay here on earth will probably be a bit of an eye-opener. Hang in there!

Wow, this whole discussion seems to be getting really negative and personal. People have different levels of knowledge and awareness of female comic book creators and the female creators have had very different experiences and opportunities than male creators. I think most people commenting and voting here would acknowledge those points. Let’s not get too personal when someone has less knowledge or awareness of excellent female comic creators than someone else.

Kelly,
As I went through your impressive list and struggled to fill out a voting ballot, I learned how astoundingly ignorant I am about women creators. After feeling ridiculous for a moment, I recognized a great opportunity to expand my reading! I’ve spent the past couple days engrossed in mostly webcomics from creators I had never heard of, and already have some new favorites. I checked out some of your old fantastic female creator pieces that were cross-posted on Jezebel and I’ve been kind of hyperventilating from all the material I need to check out.

Anyway, I think the kind of archival work you’re doing here is not only incredibly important from a historical perspective, but also as a current vehicle of awareness for all these women. So thanks for expanding my horizons, but please don’t die in the effort :)

There was someone I really wanted to vote for just because I thought it was awesome that she did what she did in the time period that she did it, but there were just too many writers and artists that I really wanted on my list that I didn’t have room for all the people whose actual work I love. Far from any problem getting to ten, but a big problem whittling it down. (And I’m entirely ignorant of manga; the existence of comic creators whose work I don’t know is certainly no barrier.)

Chris Freiberg

March 3, 2015 at 9:17 pm

The thing is that calling the weird tiny ghetto of Big Two superhero comics the mainstream is a joke. Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home and Roz Chast’s Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? were the best American comics of their respective years of publication period when they came out, and they were big sellers in actual mainstream bookstores, so it’s pretty weird to try to paint any acknowledgement of their excellence as special pleading like M-Wolverine is doing. If CBR didn’t skew so heavily to superhero fans, the original list would have been a lot different.

Do we really have to put 10 each? I’d like to vote in this as there are some female writers / artists I like but there is just no way I can put ten in each as there aren’t 10 females in each category I’m familiar enough with to give a vote to. I’d say easily 99% of the people on the list made I’ve never heard of nor the books they wrote. And then even with ones I’ve heard of I’m not really familiar with them. . . .for instance Gail Simone – I know she’s a comic writer who did a lot of Birds of Prey and Batgirl but I’ve never read either of them so how I can credibly vote for or against her? Ditto with G. Willow Wilson and Kelly Sue DeConnick – I’m well aware they currently write Ms Marvel and Captain Marvel respectively but I’ve never actually read either of those books. Some have said we need to broaden our horizons but if 30 years and tens of thousands of comics read isn’t enough then what is? I’m not going to read a book just because a woman writes or draws it anymore than I’d read one just because a man writes or draws it.

Chris: That is part of the problem, yeah. People see “comics,” they think “Batman.” They see “greatest comic creators,” they think “best Batman runs.” Jen Van Meter is never going to get to write Batman, but Hopeless Savages is awesome enough that she deserves to be recognized. (And, of course, she’s got plenty of other great work, too.)

Since this site does skew to superhero/big 2 stuff, it’s no surprise that women didn’t make the other list, since, from what I can think of, until the late ’80s/early ’90s, no women had extended runs on any superhero books. Until Ann Nocenti on DD (as tiamatty mentioned) and Louise Simonson on Superman: The Man of Steel, I don’t think there were any women with extended runs on any mainstream superhero books. (I could of course be wrong.)

Not even Wonder Woman. I don’t think a woman was the main writer on WW until this century. Wonder Woman!

So yeah, I have to look through the list, but I’m sure I can come up with a decent list. Hopefully like the other list, the “problem” will be that I have to whittle it down. And I look forward to seeing the results.

@dancj: Boy, it must be nice on the utopian planet you live on where the white patriarchy hasn’t had its boot on the neck of pretty much everyone else for most of human history, making some extra effort to get everyone a say at the table is sometimes necessary. Your stay here on earth will probably be a bit of an eye-opener. Hang in there!

As with M-Wolverine you’ve responded to genuine concerns by being patronising.

but still playing a bit more like an arcade game than a traditional RPG

Well that’s a bit rude. I’m not sure what M-Wolverine said to warrant that.

Oops – copy and paste error. The comment I meant to quote was “All that said, you’re right. You shouldn’t vote. I think you’ve got some serious issues to deal with regarding women in comics before you’re ready to vote.”

@dancj: regarding my comment to M-Wolverine – he said himself he won’t be voting, and he’s right. Given his knowledge of (or what he believes his knowledge is) of women comics creators then he’s not qualified to vote. I don’t see how agreeing with him can be considered all that rude.

As for my comment to you, I don’t find your “genuine concerns” to be genuine or worthy at all, especially since the concerns you raised were addressed and explained in both pieces, and so I responded in kind.

@JD Price: Thank you so much. Honestly, your response to this endeavor is EXACTLY the kind we’re hoping to see more of. You are really getting the most out of what we’re attempting to do. Thank you so much for approaching it with an open mind, ready to learn more. You have warmed the cockles of my long dead heart! <3

@buttler: Yeah, I’ve been struggling over my list for days (if not weeks) so hard to cut it down.

@Chris Freiberg: Well said.

@Raych: I think, the problem is (and please read no judgement of you into this, we all have different reading exposures and interests) if you can’t even come up with 20 women creators you’ve read, then submitting a list becomes more about “here are 20 creators I have read/experienced that could qualify for this poll” and less “here are 20 creators whose work is truly great and deserving of mention.”

I’m not going to stop you from voting, obviously, but you might want to, instead of voting at this time, take some time to research/explore/read/experience more great female creators if you think it’s something that might interest you. I think JD Price’s comment/experience is the exact right way to approach this. Whatever you decide, good luck.

@Travis Pelkie: I’m sure you will come up with a great list and the problem will indeed be about “whittling it down.”

That said, to the other issue of “Big Two skewing” – I take your point, but I guess I would offer that if you look at the master list of winners back from December I’d say roughly 50% of each list are what I would call “modern and/or indie creators” – i.e. people that aren’t primarily known for their big two work, and/or people who did all/or most their significant work in the 1990’s and beyond…so it seems to me that there’s quite a bit of variety from just “big two comics” and “older big two comics” on the actual lists.

Why do people have to turn this poll into a huge controversial debate / agument / flame war? Why can’t people just have fun voting and then discussing the results?

Oh, yeah, right, this is the Internet. Never mind, carry on then!

Derek Handley

March 4, 2015 at 8:42 am

I think this is a great idea. The list of creators is a great resource that fits in well with the idea of this site being Comic Book Resources; the idea of celebrating the best work from that list is wonderful. Thank you, Kelly and Brian for putting this together.

And thank you Kelly for having the patience to respond to all of these commenters and try to elaborate on your point of view and the reasons why this is a worthwhile exercise.

I am happy to say that I had a really hard time choosing just 10 names for each list. The top spots on each side were easy to fill, but I really struggled with choosing who to keep and who to leave off the top 10… luckily, I had time to go back and re-read some great comics when I was making the final decisions.

I wish I could vote for Patricia Highsmith in good conscience. I know from her novels that she’s an excellent writer, but since I haven’t read any of her comics stories, I’m in no position to judge their quality.

@dancj: regarding my comment to M-Wolverine – he said himself he won’t be voting, and he’s right. Given his knowledge of (or what he believes his knowledge is) of women comics creators then he’s not qualified to vote. I don’t see how agreeing with him can be considered all that rude.

If you were saying he shouldn’t vote because he doesn’t have enough knowledge of women creators that wouldn’t be too bad – but what you actually said was “I think you’ve got some serious issues to deal with regarding women in comics before you’re ready to vote.” That’s completely different, very rude and not in backed up by anything M-Wolverine said.

As for my comment to you, I don’t find your “genuine concerns” to be genuine or worthy at all, especially since the concerns you raised were addressed and explained in both pieces, and so I responded in kind.

So because I disagree with your explanation that means my concerns aren’t genuine and therefore it’s okay to be rude? I haven’t felt the need to sink to that level even though I disagree with what you’re saying.

@dancj:

You’re right, I DO think he has some serious issues regarding women in comics when he suggests that there’s not enough women in “mainstream comics” (a label I totally disagree with btw) to warrant a list/voting/whatever. The idea that we had to “pad out the list” by including Manga and Indie work is ridiculous and insulting. He is maybe (probably?) not seeing it the same way. Still, we agree on the important point, which is that he shouldn’t bother voting in this particular poll.

As for your comment. No, you disagreeing with my explanation doesn’t mean your concerns aren’t genuine, it means I DON’T FEEL they’re genuine. It’s MY OPINION that they’re not genuine or worthwhile. I’m sure you feel differently, these things are subjective.

It’s also MY OPINION that your comments are a derail to what we’re actually doing here – to the importance of this issue and as a result, basically a waste of my time on a project that has taken an extreme time commitment – all with the intent of raising creators up, not holding them down or ignoring them.

So no, I don’t take your comments as genuine and I don’t take them seriously, I think they’re pretty ridiculous, the kind of statements made by people happy with the status quo (which are generally people well served by it) and I think your comments are an obvious and embarrassing attempt to make something that’s not necessarily about you, about you. And worse, for you to try to invalidate something that has a lot of worthy, if not flawlessly perfect, goals.

So yeah, I think snark is a perfectly adequate response to a classic derail.

All that said, your comment HAS succeeded as a pretty good derail, and that’s my fault for engaging. This will be the last time I respond to you on this issue, as I’d like to get us back to the point, which is celebrating women creators and creating the most comprehensive list of them on the web.

You’re right, I DO think he has some serious issues regarding women in comics when he suggests that there’s not enough women in “mainstream comics” (a label I totally disagree with btw) to warrant a list/voting/whatever. The idea that we had to “pad out the list” by including Manga and Indie work is ridiculous and insulting. He is maybe (probably?) not seeing it the same way. Still, we agree on the important point, which is that he shouldn’t bother voting in this particular poll.

Once again you’re putting words in people’s mouths. M-Wolverine supported this list, but basically said he didnt have enough knowledge to vote. The only person in this thread to mention padding thelist out is you – which makes your use of quotes a bit odd.

I had no intention to derail anything and I have shown no snark – in fact I think I’ve done well to stay polite rather than responding in kind. I expressed a concern and then I called you out for being unnecessarily rude to another poster. I’m happy to agree to disagree over this, but I do think the attitude you’ve shown in your posts and your apparent lack of respect for any opinion that conflicts with your own has shown you in a bad light.

Erich: Yeah, I had the same thought. I’m a big fan of Patricia Highsmith as a novelist, but I’ve never read her comics. (Unless I read a Spy Smasher or Captain Midnight story she wrote without realizing it.) Fortunately, I was already trying to whittle my list down, so not being able to include her wasn’t a big problem.

This comment thread illustrates many of the problems we’re dealing with as women in comics. That alone to me has proven this list to be a successful endeavor. There it is. Visible in black and white above. Wow.

I really wish Brian held his contributors to the same standards of decorum that he holds posters to. If anyone responded to anyone writing for the site with personal attacks he’d have it deleted or banned. Which is why I try and stay on this blog, but unfortunately it’s crossed over to here.

All I say is anyone who can say this seriously, with a straight face, and not think they’re coming off like a cable news talking head cartoon of Colbert proportions probably has more “serious issues” in life to work through than anyone who has an opinion about what level women have been given the opportunity to achieve in the comics industry.

@dancj: Boy, it must be nice on the utopian planet you live on where the white patriarchy hasn’t had its boot on the neck of pretty much everyone else for most of human history, making some extra effort to get everyone a say at the table is sometimes necessary.

LOL.

@dancj These women are being judged on their own merits. They are what the community considers the best comics creators of all time not “the best comics creators of all time (let’s just throw some women a bone or they’ll get mad”)

In the history of comics, you will hit so many men before you hit women. Also we have webcomics and all of these less-traditional outlets where amazing creators abound. Then the CBR community (I hope no one takes offense) is going to be about American comics, mostly Marvel/DC focused.

Really, these polls could even separate by decade, because there are so many people to recognize- Male, Female, etc.

@dancj These women are being judged on their own merits. They are what the community considers the best comics creators of all time not “the best comics creators of all time (let’s just throw some women a bone or they’ll get mad”)

I’d argue that they aren’t being judged on their own merits. They’re being judged in comparison to probably less than 10% of the people working in comics. Some people probably will consider these people to be the “best comics creators of all time”, but obviously round here only 2 of them qualified in the last poll.

I had a lot of respect for Oscar Pistorius for fighting to race in the main Olympics rather then being satisfied with the Paralympics. By the same thinking, the two women who made it onto the top 100 creators list count for a lot more than any number of women making the top 100 women list.

Kelly and I differ a bit in how to handle stuff like this. I like to just delete the off-topic nonsense, but Kelly often prefers to respond to it. Which is fair enough, of course, I’m not knocking her for it. I only bring it up to note that none of this “this list is a bad idea” nonsense is going to go on in the comments on the actual countdown, so I guess get your fill of it now (although I’d prefer you not bring up such silliness here period).

Travis Pelkie

March 4, 2015 at 5:43 pm

Should I just mention that people should look up Linda Nochlin? (Art history nerd here!)

But I do take your point, Kelly, that the other list certainly included non-big 2 creators. I suppose I was trying to point out that if someone “can’t” come up with big 2 female creators (and they assume this list/this site skews that way), there may be reasons, and most are well beyond “there aren’t good female comics creators” (which is patently untrue, even without the amazing list you’ve come up with).

And I’m risking derailing things again, aren’t I? Apologies.

dancj: There are a vast number of immensely talented women working in comics. These women will NEVER get mentioned in any list of the Best Creators, because of systemic inequalities. The comic book industry is deeply misogynistic, and women simply don’t get opportunities, and as a result, they don’t get attention. It’s the old problem of a woman needing to be twice as good to get half as much. Gail Simone was the only female writer to make it onto the Top 50 Writers list. Do you think she’ll ever get a chance to write Batman? Because I can pretty much guarantee that she won’t. It just won’t happen. After Snyder leaves that book, you know who the next writer will be? Yet another white guy.

Women don’t get to write the big books. They don’t get the opportunity to write large-scale stories. It’s not because they’re not good enough, it’s because the industry, including the audience, still suffers deep-seated misogyny. It’s still a Boys’ Club.

So female creators are basically banned from lists of Greatest Creators. But they’re still deserving of praise and respect for the amazing work they do. And that’s what this poll is all about: Showing appreciation for a segment of creators who deserve it.

You think it’s condescending? Then don’t vote. Don’t read the poll. If you don’t like it, then frankly, shut up and let the rest of us have fun appreciating female creators and learning about some works we haven’t read yet but might enjoy.

@dancj I think that you can have both lists. I think you can also have a top 100 male creators lists. It will be difficult for women to make it into a top creators list, because there are more young female creators coming up, and the guys who are in the top 50 creators are still around, still making amazing comics. It will be a long while before more women can edge LEGENDS off of a top list. Some of these people were pioneers. So that’s part of why I’m in favor of a top women list.

This feels like the question of “why does there need to be a BET awards?” or whatever. One reason is that what the mainstream is watching is not all there is. There are many black people from around the world who are doing work worthy of recognition. There is also the Independent Spirit Awards. Does anyone see an issue with that division?

Dan Didio said “Women are half of the world, and a significant percentage of the DC Comics character stable, and yet only 1% of their creators,”

BTW, the reason you’re seeing a good amount of manga on this list is because female creators make up a higher percentage in Japan than in America.

@VichusSmith – you make good points. Legends being on the list seems fair to me. It doesn’t keep any younger woman off the list any more than it keeps any younger man. It’s very likely an injustice that no women got to be among those legends, but that’s been gone and all we can do now is try to make it fair going forward.

I had to Google BET Awards and Independent Spirit Awards. I have the same issue with BET awards. They seem patronising to the winners – much like “you can’t win proper award so here’s a special one made for black people”. I’m not 100% convinced that this awards or this list are bad – I’m just a bit conflicted – but unlike some people I do think it’s a question worth asking.

I have no issue whatsoever with the Independent Spirit Awards. They divide by the method used to fund/make the film rather than by an accident of birth.

I reviewed my short list of 36 names for the last poll. Man, 36 male names. I’m a bit ashamed.

I peeked at a list of my 100 favorite comics, and while quite male-heavy, I see 4 female writer/artists (not sure which list is best for most of them, some will probably be on both), 2 writers, and 7 artists.

So that’s a start for this list.

@dancj I don’t think that black people feel patronized to when they are in a room filled with people they respect. Same for any other non-white, non-male group. Still, in 2015, people are still talking about under-representation in the Oscars, that Selma didn’t win.

On one hand, some say “If you don’t like what’s going on here, build your own thing” Then other people say “Why do you have this special thing off to the side here? Why can’t we all just be together” I think we are still a lot separated than we would like to admit. We are miles more progressive than the ’20s or the 60’s, but it’s still different spheres bashing into each other.

“Accident of birth” – I don’t think this is a phrase people say out loud to describe anyone.

My shortlist started with 43 female cartoonists, only one of them wasn’t both a writer AND artist. I must not be reading the same comics as everybody else–I had trouble whittling this down to MERELY 10 faves! :)

Is “accident of birth” considered a bad phrase these days? I don’t see why as it describes everyone and is an easy way of pointing out that being born into privilege doesn’t make you any more worthy.

As for the separate vs together thing, that largely depends on what the individuals involved want, but if you go with separate then I wouldn’t want the split to be along lines of sex race or sexuality. The GLAAD awards do it well by giving awards based on depictions of gay/bi people rather than the orientations of the creators.

@DanCJ

OK then, why don’t you just leave it up to the women creators? Since I’ve heard nary a peep from one complaining about being “patronized,” maybe you should just let the issue drop. Everyone here knows what you think by now, and you haven’t said anything new in about five posts. And as by your own admission, the most important consideration here is “what the individuals involved want,” your opinion is basically irrelevant.

I’m happy to let the issue drop. I was merely responding to people who addressed me. You know – the usual thing you do in a conversation.

I have said plenty of new things in the last five posts – and you seem to have misunderstood my last post. I was saying that whether awards are separate or equal was down to what the people involved want – not the nature of the split if awards are separate.

It’s one thing to address DanCJ’s comments, but it’s partly me who’s responsible for continuing this particular part of the conversation. I’ll let it lie, too.

“being born into privilege doesn’t make you any more worthy.” No, but it sure as hell makes it a whole lot easier to do what you want. Being a male makes it a lot easier to be interested in comics, to get involved in making comics, to get noticed for creating comics, and to get hired to write long-running comics. The industry is deeply misogynistic. There’s a history of elements that try to actively turn women away from even reading them, let alone making them, and a woman is at a severe disadvantage when trying to break into comics. Even when she does get to make comics, odds are, most of the readership won’t notice them. As with everything else, a woman needs to be twice as good to get half as much.

@Tiamatty The way the industry has been is why you can find so many female creators doing their own thing, rather than trying to get into the Big Two’s doors. In the 2000s, It would’ve been super rough for me to come up with names for this top 10 list. Basically, it would be Gail Simone, a couple manga creators, then nothing.

Even outside of this industry, at companies that sincerely push diversity, their company photos end up being largely male, largely white. It feels so odd when someone will talk diversity more than actually experiencing it.

The vast majority of people buy comics based solely on quality. The artist for ‘Saga’ could have been a man, a woman, an alien symbiote – it doesn’t matter. It’s amazing, so people bought it. I’ve never heard a single person say, “WOW, that comic is amazing…I WOULD have bought it, but a chick is the artist!”

The conspiracy theory that men don’t appreciate female artists/writers (or are ‘holding them down’, somehow) is largely that – a conspiracy. It makes for nice Twitter wars and for good blog traffic, but that’s about it.

If there are super-talented women out there in the comic industry, they’ll get noticed and sell books.

If they’re not that good, they won’t.

That goes for men, too. Your genitalia doesn’t determine the quality of the work you’re putting out, or how (almost) everyone perceives it.

Having said that, I think there are some amazing female creators who don’t get the recognition they deserve (there are an equal number of men that case could be made for, but that isn’t what this post is about) and I look forward to compiling my top 10’s in both categories.

I like coming up with my own top 10s for these CSBG lists, but I believe that looking at any sort of published top lists in order to validate your own opinions is unhealthy. I feel this notion always poisons comments’ sections below such articles.

In my opinion, it’s better to treat top lists as a source of recommendations. If I google ‘top ten comics’ that means I’m interested in finding some interesting work to check out. The more writers and artists I don’t know or barely know, the better. That’s useful. That’s promoting interesting stuff, and potentially may expand my horizons. I’m excited for this list.

I am really hopping that some of the excelllent female mangaka, who have achived much deserved critical and comercial sucess get the same level of recgonition that the superhero writers and artists always do.

And a shoutout to some of the great executives over the years to: Jennete Kahn(prehaps the best person to ever run a comic company) Diana Schultz who has edited many of my personal favorite comics, Helen Mcarthy who is prehaps the best living comics historian, Leyla Acker in charge over at viz who has really helped diverseify there lineup, The list goes ever on!

I do want to voice concerns i have however that this list will be made of 40 superhero involved talents, 5 that are known for super serious biographies and 5 who did really ridiculous web comics, nothing wrong with those things being represented but often I find when CBR readers vote a very specific point of view is promoted instead of something that does justice to the full topic…

tenderloinDissTrickt

March 8, 2015 at 11:24 pm

If we look at guys who draw material like Garfield or Adventure Time, or Axe Cop, they wouldn’t have a hope of getting voted in as contenders. Because the art is lazy, weak, and dependent on a false whimsy.

Women are completely equal. Thus if the work is whimsical and dependent on weak, overly simplistic line work like Adventure Time, just as with the men, their work does merit top 50 status.

To help those who don’t know that there are female comic book writers, artists, creators and publishers etc

Women in Comics NYC Collective International
https://www.facebook.com/WomeninComicsNYC

Women in Comics Panel XII: Latinas In Comics
https://www.facebook.com/events/1587500028162694/

@tenderloinDissTrickt

I really don’t know what you’re talking about. “False whimsy?” What?? Do you know what the word whimsical means? Oh boy.

Shawn: I think it’s more complicated than that. It actually depends a bit on the kind of comic. Most people buy superhero comics based on the characters – they buy Batman because he’s Batman, and it genuinely doesn’t matter who’s writing it because it’s still Batman. There are a bunch of flagship titles that people buy based solely on the title. And the problem is that women never get to write these titles. Uncanny X-Men isn’t going to lose readers if G. Willow Wilson takes over as writer, and yet, I can guarantee you that the next writer of UXM is going to be another straight white man. Women simply aren’t given the same opportunities at the Big Two.

And this actually does extend, I think, to indie comics. Yeah, quality is a much, much bigger factor in indie comics than just the title. But there are other factors. name recognition, for one – Brian K. Vaughan had made a name for himself with Y: The Last Man, Runaways and other titles before he launched Saga, and that brought that book readers. Often, a writer will do some Big Two work before launching a creator-owned book, specifically because they know the Big Two work gets their name out there. If female creators are given so few opportunities at the Big Two – and they are given few opportunities – then that makes it harder for them to get readers aware of them, and that hurts their creator-owned titles.

Another factor is word-of-mouth – which books get talked about a lot? And I think that there is a degree of sexism there, too. I think people are probably more likely to talk about books written by men. Maybe it’s because, hey, law of averages, if there are a hundred comics by men and ten by women, then there’s going to be ten times more talk about comics by men. (And if we’re honest, a ten-to-one ratio is probably being optimistic.)

Also, I suspect there actually probably are some people who choose not to check out a comic because it’s written by a woman, or more likely, because it’s about a woman, or because it’s about a woman who isn’t a sex object. I’m sure Captain Marvel’s sales are hurt by the fact that it’s a proudly feminist work by a very proudly feminist female writer, and these people would prefer she be back in a thong and high heels with brokeback poses.

As I said earlier in the thread, I think women, especially as writers, need to be twice as good to get half as much.

tenderloinDissTrickt

March 9, 2015 at 8:00 pm

@@Vischus: yes, I do, which means I know the difference between a whimsical *script* and whimsical art. In terms of false whimsy, it’s often a defacto cop out for people who cannot draw anything representational and thus rely on scribbles. As opposed to true whimsy drawn or painted by a self disciplined artist who can do *both* and chooses one or the other. Rebecca Guay can do both. As seen in both her comics work and her featured work for White Wolf RPGs. Ans she deserves her place on this list. As opposed to people who see Adventure Time on TV and take that as a license to be lazy. Which means, male or female or trans, they deserve nothing but an exhortation to take and advanced drawing course.

@tenderloinDissTrickt

Um…OK, sir/madam. I don’t fully understand what you’re going on about. You have some kind of Grudge against Adventure time and whatnot, that much is clear. I hope you have a good week, though!

I think a big thing that quite a bit of people don’t understand is that the lack of appreciation of female artists usually isn’t conscious. Not very many people sit in their chairs thinking “MWAHAHAHA! I shall hate ALL the women! YES! YEESS!!! Make them burn!”

It’s subconscious thought process based off media, social standards, and society as a whole. Women, overall, are perceived as the weaker sex. Because of this, most people will assume that we are not good at anything that doesn’t involve cooking, shopping, or doing make up.

So, yes, no one minds that Fiona Staples is a woman. However, I assure you she had a very tough time getting into the industry because of her gender. Web comics deal with this all the time. People just don’t pay as much attention to us nor do they take what we say as seriously.

It doesn’t help that quite a bit of comic book men are very very mean to women. Because they are so mean, and so toxic….a lot of women are scared out of the industry. They just don’t feel like it’s worth it, so they don’t give it a shot.

“There are a bunch of flagship titles that people buy based solely on the title. And the problem is that women never get to write these titles.”

There was one exception. X-Factor, the first X-Men spin-off not to be written by Chris Claremont, was pratically created by Louise Simonson (after the first 5 or 6 issues by Bob Layton).

IIRR, Louise was an editor before she became a writer. For some reason, there has always been a lot more female editors in the Big Two than female writers. Ann Nocenti also was an editor before she started writing Daredevil.

Gotta be honest here, I filled up the artists in no time, but really struggled with the writers. Ended up going for just a bunch of cartoonists who do both writing and drawing; I think I only had 5 who specifically JUST write…

On the one hand, I too was not much in love with the whole Paralympics-like, ghetto poll thingy. On the other hand, I can can see at least two positives out of it:

(1) Most readers are going to give it a honest try, and those who find out they struggle to fill a ballot should have learned something valuable and will hopefully try to expand their horizons (possibly from the poll’s results) — but such realization can only come from having to do that exercise for real, from a real poll.

(2) The creators list it generates should be a good resource, too.

In the end, I think each of those is good, and we get both, so it’s all worth it. (And it has to be, because it’s such a pain trying to get it down to only 20 slots, especially with so many writer-artists that make it look like there are only 10 slots!)
_

@Shawn Drake: I was thinking about saying I agreed with 99% of what you said and elaborate on the sticky 1%, but then Tiamatty did that for me a few posts later!

Indeed, there’s probably not a large conspiracy of readers against female creators, but it doesn’t matter so much when the gatekeepers prefer not to hire women (except as colorist or editor).

I’d just add that I don’t think most of these gatekeepers really are against females per se. Mostly, such people tend to be more against changing the status quo, because they’re afraid to become redundant in a different environment. It’s a common problem with mid-management and bureaucracies…
_

@tenderloinDissTrickt: Ah, the good ole “realistic art is superior to cartoony art” argument! Mike SanGiacomo, is that you?

So nice to see all of the trolls coming out of the woodwork for this discussion!

I have seven writers, on my own, but I need three more names. If I can just recognize any three names from the other list, I will be okay but I keep finding more artists. I have a list of 12 artists, so I can bump two off easily but writers is causing me to do a few searches.

Stephen Conway

March 12, 2015 at 2:00 pm

I admit I only spent about five minutes on my list (yay procrastination!) but I do genuinely love the work of the 20 women (okay 17, there were a few doubles) I chose. The minute i posted my list another dozen names sprang to mind, but i am still happy with my choices.

Gonna do my duty before I change my mind again. (One trick to cutting the extra names was, “Who provided more than just entertainment?”)

I really wanted to list Fumiyo Kouno, but her best work (A Long Road, In a Corner of This World, Sanpei) hasn’t been printed in English…

And ten slots is so few I have no colorist (maybe a separate poll?) but a funny thought: what if those who struggle with their ballot are tempted to “pad” it with colorists by default? (This could fill the top results, there’s a name for it in voting science!)

Okay real talk. Is adding Sophie Campbell okay? Because seriously she blows everyone else’s top ten artists out like it’s nobody’s business.

Okay real talk. Is adding Sophie Campbell okay? Because seriously she blows everyone else’s top ten artists out like it’s nobody’s business.

Of course it is.

I will say in response to Tiamatty that G Willow Wilson has written XMen, Marjorie Liu has written astonishing XMen, Devin Grayson has written various Batman titles (mainly Batman:Gotham Knights but also odd issues of Batman and Detective comics) so it’s not as bleak a picture as you paint.
Female creators are very much on the rise at the moment.
Maybe they are mostly working on series with female leads (a job previously associated with Chris Claremont) but they are not limited to that
..and, unless I’m imagining it female leads seem to be on the rise (at least in the “spider-verse”)
Sure, there is still plenty of room for improvement but it is getting better and there is cause for hope for further improvements as time progresses.
(though for some time to come, there will still be a struggle for significant presence in all-time votes due to the predominance of men in previous decades)

Nathanael Nerode

March 15, 2015 at 12:48 pm

I really wanted to vote for Sarah Dyer but I realized she was #1 on my “favorite editors” list, not actually as a writer or artist.

Maybe we could have a female editors & publishers poll later? Because I think that would be a Big Deal. There have been far more than most people realize, although typically horribly underfinanced.

Man, that was tough!

I started from the big list and wrote down any women I thought I had more than just a passing familiarity with, and split them into groups. I had 40 artists, 29 writers, and 66 that I classified as writer/artists, to help me figure them out a little better. That’s 135 women.

Then I tried ranking each of my categories, and then further cut the list down, but ended up with 7 artists, 6 writers, and 16 writer/artists. Then came the oh so tough whittling down!

I decided not to repeat any names on the 2 lists, in order to include as many women as possible. That still left me with a couple that JUST missed my final list. Damn you, integers, and your fascistic insistence on not letting me have 11 people on a list of 10!

One thing I found more difficult with female creators versus male creators was that writer/artist split. It seemed to me with the other list, when I picked basically all dudes, the writer/artists were easier to split/favor one over the other, or else include for both. Either I liked their writing or their art more, or the combination was so good, I had to include both. With female creators, I found it harder to separate the writing from the art — if I like a female creator, it seems, it’s the whole package that makes me like their stuff. Splitting the difference was much harder, somehow. It’s weird!

So that’s a long winded way of saying, hey, maybe in a year or so you could do a writer/artist creator countdown. Because you want more work ;)

I wish I had known to add Marguerite Bennett to my Top Writers list! Not sure how I missed her :(
Someone quick, make her your number five and that should balance my foolishness! Or if you are struggling for a tenth slot, please add her! Please and thank you!

@John Klein III

If you put in your corrections and mark them with ACBC I will change them for you.

Kelly

Thanks Kelly, I appreciate that!

Seemed like I leaned toward more recent/contemporary artists and writers. Did think of a few that I remember from when I was growing up. (Kim Yale, for example.) But mostly, I wound up with women from the past 10-15 years. Which either says something about my reading habits, then and now, or about the visibility of women working in the field increasing a bit. Also found it easier to fill the artists list than I did the writers list.

John King: Female writers are occasionally given tertiary titles to write. Astonishing X-Men was a huge deal when it launched, because it was Joss Whedon’s book. It was a secondary title, but only barely. Then Warren Ellis did some stuff, and hey, Ellis is a legend. But then it was given to Christos Gage and Daniel Way, who were each writing their own different stories at the same time, and it ceased to be a book that Mattered. It was a tertiary title. That’s the Astonishing X-Men that Marjorie Liu took over – one that had already been driven into tertiary status.

X-Men is probably a secondary title, but isn’t far off from tertiary status. And we actually don’t know if Wilson will have an extended run, or just that single arc. There have been plenty of times where a woman will write a single issue, or even a single arc, of a primary title. But not extended runs on primary titles.

When Avengers is relaunched after Secret Wars, it’s going to have a male writer. I guarantee it. If a female is assigned as the writer of the main Avengers title after Secret Wars, I’ll eat my hat. (Note: I do not actually own a hat.)

Some of us aren’t familiar with many female comicbook creators, thanks for sharing this list.

A bit late, but I’m regretting voting before I knew that Sophie Campbell had come out. Easily my #1.

Damn I was going to send in my ballot today and I noticed voting ends on the 16th. Doh!

How do we know if you got our vote if it’s hidden? How do we know if it didn’t go through? I voted the first or second day.

How do we know if you got our vote if it’s hidden? How do we know if it didn’t go through? I voted the first or second day.

If you voted, we got it. There’s really no scenario where we wouldn’t have gotten it if you submitted a comment (some even went to the Spam folder, but I always check the Spam folder and got all of those comments).

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