Womanthology raises $27,000 overnight. Are you listening, Marvel and DC?

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201107081549 Womanthology raises $27,000 overnight. Are you listening, Marvel and DC?
Less than 24 hours ago The Beat and several other websites linked to a Kickstarter page forWomanthology, an all-female anthology of comics by both established and new creators.
Less than 24 hours later not only has it met its $25,000 goal…it is OVER the goal with $27,454 in pledges.

In case you haven’t noticed, there’s been a SURGE of interest in comics, video games, books, movies and TV from females readers, nerds and geeks out there. I have already pointed out how successful female cartoonists and writers are on the bestseller charts. It would seem that everyone who has been squawking about this has spoken with in the loudest way they can — not with Twitter, or Tumblr but the DOLLAR.

Marvel has done a few projects which were more female centric of late –GIRL COMICS was an anthology along the same lines, but (alas) ran into deadline problems. The Jane Austen and Oz adaptations are aimed squarely at the female/literary market, and have enjoyed robust sales and acclaim. Marvel’s kids line is also of wide appeal.

And DC? Well, they’ve canceled a Supergirl book aimed at young girls, continually buried the kids line and turned the female-friendly Vertigo line into a ghost of itself. All while talking about widening their audience.

This isn’t about affirmative action or feminism.

It’s about making money in the modern publishing arena.

Comments

  1. hikaru says:

    Holy Moley that’s great news. Inspiring.

  2. Mikael says:

    And it’ll be published and won’t sell anywhere near the amount of copies it should. This is not about DC/Marvel, it’s about the readership. They’ll support projects upfront, but then those project will still sell miserably. There’s your disconnect to explore. It’s too easy to connect it to DC/Marvel. Connect it to the readers who don’t support such projects. Less of an agenda that way.

  3. Mikael says:

    Also interesting to note that on the main Kickstarter page for the project, they promote the venture by pushing mostly DC/Marvel creators. All the other indie creators? “See here”. But let’s make it about DC/Marvel, Beat.

  4. “This isn’t about affirmative action or feminism.

    It’s about making money in the modern publishing arena.”

    I beg to differ. It is about those things. It is about how women can both contribute to and guide the market. And how they can do so in a way that big business considers successful. Otherwise Womanthology would be Everyonethology and its contributors and target audience would broaden in scope. It’s not about superiority or lip-service.

    It’s not about doing something because you should from a socially-conscious/politically correct point of view. It’s about the socially-conscious thing-to-do being financially viable, and more importantly in our capitalist economy, being profitable.

  5. The copout is to blame publishers. These publishers, who want to make money, would make more things geared towards women if they thought women were a viable comic audience to cater to. This reminds me of all the geeks that complain when tv shows they like don’t get made or renewed. There’s no conspiracy, they keep making the OTHER stuff because it gets more support. Same thig with Vertigo. It wasn’t stripped bc DC hates women, it was stripped because nobody bought the damn books.

  6. Oh I disagree 100% Mikael–it’s true that often this sort of project (and I say “often” thought this sort of project is pretty rare) comes out and doesn’t sell well, but it’s as much because it’s comparatively new to the marketplace. Most comics readers ARE male, and it’s because Marvel and DC, and to a lesser extent Image and Dark Horse have made comics targeted SQUARELY at an existing male readership. The fact that the existing male readership doesn’t know what to make of something with the ridiculous title of “Girl Comics” isn’t necessarily the male readership’s fault–it’s not anyone’s responsibility to buy anything just because it exists. I think the fault lies with the ossified creative and marketing practices at DC and Marvel. Note the criminal lack of female creators in the 52 relaunches. I do think that Marvel has done a lot better recently, but there’s still a long lonnnng way to go before a sustained effort to bring female readers and creators into comics bears real and lasting fruite.

  7. There’s also a long lonnnnggg way to go before I can type a simple paragraph into a browser without 1000 typos.

  8. I supported it and I am using kickstarter to find my audience as well with my QueenCrab book , which is on its way to being fully funded. This is a completly different thing and comparing it to DC and MARVEL doesnt make sense to me.

    These books dont fit the superhero audience , they fit the alternate audience of people that love the art form and want something different.

    I find no reason to be down on others…I think we should just celebrate that there is room for other projects and creators to express themselves and someplace they can do it.

  9. Synsidar says:

    I’m all for women getting more opportunities in comics. However, WOMANTHOLOGY has this as the first line of its statement:

    The purpose of the book is to show support for female creators in comics and media.

    If it’s representing itself as a sociopolitical statement, the donations will be sociopolitical statements, not decisions to buy the stories of ____ and ____ on their merits as entertainment.

    I bought Marvel’s GIRL COMICS issues, but I did so to support women as creators, not as entertainment. I wouldn’t touch anthology issues as entertainment.

    Let’s just hope that WOMANTHOLOGY shows that female creators are just as talented and creative as the men are.

    SRS

  10. Dave Elliott says:

    Congrats to all involved in WOMANTHOLOGY. Let’s hope this starts its own movement that others may follow. There’s nothing like a success to make copycats of everyone.

  11. If would be nice if DC/Marvel were listening, but the great thing about something like this is it proves it doesn’t really matter if they are or not anymore. The great comics of the future won’t be work-for-hire serial superhero fiction, which is the only thing either company really knows how to do well. This could be something far more unique and interesting.

  12. My wife, Renae De Liz, started WOMANTHOLOGY and is the projects manager as well as an artist for the book. Want to keep a few things clear:

    It is NOT a feminist project.

    It is NOT anti-male creators.

    It is NOT anti-Marvel/DC. Many of the Womanthology creators work for them and many other publishers.

    It is simply a huge celebration of female creators of the past, present, and future in one giant book!

    IDW is the publisher, but all proceeds are going to the charity organization (much like the Kickstarter formula) GlobalGiving.org

    Like Jimmy said, let’s just stay positive and support all creative endeavors however we can! No need for negativity, that doesn’t get anyone anywhere.

    And JIMMY, thank you very much for your support! We really appreciate it! And QueenCrab looks like it’ll be huge! Seeing it everywhere, even on the front page of Kickstarter! What an amazing service!!

    THANKS TO EVERYONE FOR THE SUPPORT!! We’re really blown away. 140+ women given the chance to be published at IDW, and charity helped at the same time!

    ~Ray

  13. I propose a counter move: a “manthology” !

    Let’s get ready to rrrummmble!!!!

  14. Stephen Wacker says:

    I know it’s conventional wisdom to hate the name “Girl Comics”, but I liked it.

    Were people also mad at the title of “Action Girl” back in the day? I can’t remember.

    SW

  15. Shannon OLeary says:

    Whatever, money talks and bullsh*t walks. They’re up to $30,937 now.

  16. Kate Fitzsimons says:

    Wow, these comments are a dudefest.

    Ray Dillon, how is a celebration of women creators not inherently feminist? I mean that as a good thing, by the way.

    Steve Broome, of course they would make money on women if they thought they could and they knew how to. The point of this is that this seems to be good evidence that money and an audience IS there, if they are able to figure out how to reach it and interested in doing so.

    Just because many of their projects aimed at women have failed financially in the past doesn’t mean that the audience of women who want comics clearly doesn’t exist – it means that the audience didn’t exist for products that didn’t sell, marketed in the way they chose to market them. That isn’t a dig – figuring out new markets is hard. But if a clothing line fails, that doesn’t mean people don’t want clothes, it means people don’t want those clothes.

    There are woman-friendly and girl-friendly comics that sell, even if many of them aren’t created in this country. The market is there, the question is reaching it.

  17. Chris Hero says:

    This is cool and all but I’m not seeing how this can compare to Marvel/DC. Marvel/DC sell a certain product to a certain defined audience. This book seems to be attempting to reach an entirely different audience and I hope they’re successful.

  18. Shannon OLeary says:

    And they got a mention on the gawker network! Along with the Archie crazy lady: http://jezebel.com/5819483/female-ceo-accused-of-shouting-about-penises

    Congratulations, ladies!

  19. Kate Fitzsimons says:

    … Chris, the point is, DC is talking about widening their audience.

    Which would involve finding new people to sell their comics to.

    Which would involve selling comics to people outside their certain defined audience, probably to entirely different audiences of people willing to spend money on comics.

    Connect the dots.

  20. Shannon OLeary says:

    One thing I don’t see mentioned in this argument is the DM and the people who order from it. @Chris Hero brings up that Marvel/DC “sell a certain product to a certain defined audience” – by most accounts that’s males in their late 30’s to early 50’s. It could be argued that that’s who’s traditionally been ordering FROM DC and Marvel for traditional comics shops and that this book might not interest them. But both Marvel and DC are painfully aware that, while they must continue to appeal to that core group of comics buyers, they must also widen their base. And it’d be folly to call the success of this Kickstarter campaign anything but cold hard evidence that women can widen that audience.

  21. Women (and men) don’t need to be wasting their talents as an easily replaceable cog in the trademark-retaining machine.

    I hope to see more like this.

  22. William George speaks the truth.
    Fuck Marvel and DC if you want to be a real creator instead of a custodian. You can make money of your craft outside the spandex compound

  23. Now THIS is more like it! Congrats to the Womanthology creators. DC and Marvel people ought to be taking notes, as projects like this are HOW to find new audiences for comics.

  24. Congrats to everyone involved, I think it’s going to be awesome.

  25. “And it’d be folly to call the success of this Kickstarter campaign anything but cold hard evidence that women can widen that audience.”

    I’d call it folly to consider this anything other than proof that a well-publicized fundraiser (for a gorgeous looking project) can raise funds. People aren’t donating to get a copy of the book (at most of the donation levels), they’re donating so that the book can EXIST (and right on for them!) and raise money for charity.

    That does not, however, inherently mean that the work will be a commercial success; it even less is a critique of Marvel and DC.

    Now, if it were to sell 50k print copies, THEN there might be a case for “Marvel & DC, pay attention!”. I certainly hope it DOES do that well, but (depending on things like price point, and so on), I’m guessing this gets a sub-10k response from the market (including the bookstore market) [FLIGHT v7, last year, didn’t even do 2k via BookScan-reporting venues]

    All of that said, I think it is AWESOME they met (and passed!) their fund raising goals so quickly. That’s just terrific!

    -B

  26. How quickly do we miss the point that we are witnessing a new comic distribution and marketing model that is finding new audiences with new subject matter, new talent and selling serious numbers of books overnight?

    Will there ever be a day when the comics industry can separate itself from sexism long enough to celebrate something that is good for the medium as a whole?

  27. Deaf65 says:

    Congrats!!! I am very glad that it has surpassed their funding minimum!! I agree that it should be about rubbing it in Marvel/DC publishers but also encourage the big two to give a serious look at some lesser known creators and give them some projects to work with. Again, congrats and you can bet that I will buy that book this December!! Perfect xmas gift for my three daughters and wife!

  28. Thanks for the kind words Ray, and much success to everyone involved.

    I will be putting up another book on Kickstarter soon that Amanda will be doing. This kind of format/site offers us creative types a lot of freedom and a real connection with our audience.

    Gerry is spot on.

  29. Chris Hero says:

    Kate & Shannon,

    Brian Hibbs said most of what I wanted to say, only better, and that’s…strange to me since he sells Marvel/DC comics and I would be happy for those two companies to disappear.

    That being said, I don’t believe Marvel or DC want to expand their audience to women. Warren Ellis recently mentioned on his blog the audience DiDio wants to attract is everyone who used to buy comics in the 90s but stopped. That would largely be meh in their 30s and 50s.

    Some of the most talented creators in the world are women and I’d be happy if they could find a bigger audience. But I think wanting Marvel/DC to do it is the wrong approach. Let those companies be IP hospices. Projects like this need to make a profit on their own first, which I very much want to see, and then be their own publishers or hook up with Pantheon or whomever.

  30. This is great news and we would love to help promote it in any way.

    Lets have a kidstholgy next, and bring back great kids comics!

  31. I think it’s important to note that this anthology probably got its funding because of the “unlocked rewards” toward the bottom of the page, which probably carry hefty donation tags to get swag from people like Neil Gaiman, Barbara Kessel, and others.

  32. Yes, the high-powered bonus gifts easily amount to 50% or more of the funds raised. I haven’t bothered to do all of the math, but I was over $40,000 at one point. There are ONLY 719 BACKERS … It’s mostly people who want their name in the book, their name as a character, drawn into the book, or signed by everyone from the writers to the printers.

    This demonstrates that there are over 700 people willing to shell-out big money for this — so perhaps publishers could produce special deluxe editions of womanthologies … but it doesn’t demonstrate a mass demand for the product.

  33. Synsidar says:

    There are good, business-related reasons for wanting to have work published by DC or Marvel that being published by a small press doesn’t address.

    My objection to the anthology format is that it places writers under pretty severe constraints. Four, five, six pages — there isn’t room to explore a character, and if the situation he or she is in is self-explanatory, it’s a cliché. In Marvel’s alt. issues, I saw at least two (three?) pieces about the Cyclops-Phoenix-Wolverine love triangle. none of which made a point to anyone who already knew there was a love triangle.

    Even an outline for a full-length story would make more of an impact on me, at least, than a successful stunt-sized piece would.

    SRS

  34. Phil Jimenez says:

    >>Ray Dillon, how is a celebration of women creators not inherently feminist? I mean that as a good thing, by the way.<<

    Um, this is exactly what I was thinking (but then, I'm not one of those people who thinks of "feminist" as a dirty word, so if it was promoted as a feminist piece, more power to it!).

  35. Xenos says:

    Women in comics.. and not just as booth babes? Eh. What’s the point? DC is doing just fine without you women folk. One or two creators on the relaunch is all it needs to prove they’re not complete misogynists running a good old boy company.

    Go back to reading your Cosmo and your girly Japanomangas. Leave comics to us men.

    [/sarcasm]

  36. Xenos says:

    @ Phil Jimenez

    Yeah. First we allow women to make comics to further their horrible feminist agenda to ruin a man’s field like comics. Next thing you know the queers are gonna start making comics and shoving their anti-American anti-stright-white-male messages into our funny books. When does it stop? Soon enough they’re gonna want to vote and run for office.

    (okay, now [/sarcasm].. I think I’m done)

  37. John Smith says:

    “Warren Ellis recently mentioned on his blog the audience DiDio wants to attract is everyone who used to buy comics in the 90s but stopped. That would largely be men in their 30s and 50s.”

    …who stopped reading (DC) comics because of Didio’s reign of torture porn.

  38. OtisTFirefly says:

    >>>>Wow, these comments are a dudefest.

    …and there’s yer basic problem. It’s a dudefest because more dudes are interested in this stuff and buy more of this stuff. Not because all the dudes want to keep you down…

  39. @OtisTFirefly – I think you’re underestimating the amount of women who might be reading this but don’t feel the need to mouth off the way dudes always seem to whenever the subject of women doing anything in a male-dominated field comes up. These comments don’t signify male “interest in comics.” They signify a male need to point out things they see as flaws in a female-centric endeavor because they can’t imagine that something taking place in comics without them is of any value or use or able to achieve any sort of success.

    I wasn’t going to comment on this thread. I already follow @Womanthology on Twitter & Facebook. But if negatively commenting on a thread is the only way men will acknowledge women and their interest in comics, then so be it. Here I am. Pointlessly, as I’ve already spoken up with my support elsewhere, but here I am.

    Lastly, what I love about this endeavor is that it DOESN’T go through Marvel/DC. Props to IDW for being smart. Marketing specifically to women is just a smart business decision. There are just MORE OF US. Complaining about a decline in comics sales while NOT doing everything you can to market to women doesn’t make any financial sense.

  40. I’m a man (I’m fairly certain) and I can celebrate female creators without being a feminist. Women can too. I can celebrate a lot of things without adding an “ist” onto the end. Like birthday-ist … or … other clever things…

    This is just a book for fun with a focus on helping people!

    Jimmy P! – Can’t wait to see the new book with Amanda, too! Awesome!

    ~Ray

  41. Justin H. says:

    I don’t particularly care for us vs. them mentality. I do like entertaining books put out by talented creators.

    Bottom line is that if it’s a project that I’m interested in, I’ll buy it and read it, regardless of the gender of the creators.

    And, if she’s interested… so will my wife.

  42. X-fan says:

    Now let’s see IDW promote it and the audience buy it.

  43. I agree with Teresa Jusino on “underestimating the amount of women who might be reading this but don’t feel the need to mouth off…”

    So here I am, and I’m not going to start throwing punches, but feel it’s maybe important that as a lady I make my presence known.

    I also donated, blogged about it, tweeted about it, and am discussing it with fellow 3 Chicks for our podcast later today.

    We’re here, we’re just not always the loudest people in the room.

  44. @Ray

    You can be a man and also be a feminist. Some of the best feminists I know are men.

    Feminism gets a bad rap, but it’s a pretty simple and basic concept that is all sorts of good.

    From Merriam-Webster:

    FEMINISM
    1. the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.

    2. organized activity on behalf of womens’ rights and interests.

    Just, food for thought!

  45. @Synsidar – As a writer for multiple comic anthologies (including Womanthology), I welcome severe constraints that really push my abilities to the limits. The severer the better! It’s more than possible to examine a character in four to six pages, much as it’s possible in a flash fiction prose piece. You just have tell a story suited to the format and cut away the extraneous.

    I had to write a two-pager for another book. A difficult prospect, but entirely workable. My piece for Womanthology is an epic in comparison!

    I for one am thrilled to be a part of this project and can’t wait to see what all of my fellow writers and artists come up with. I don’t see sales numbers as much of a focus, considering it’s going to be a fairly small print run compared to anything the Big Two put out (not that I dislike the Big Two–80-90% of my comic collection is DC and Marvel). It’s more about creators of all levels of experience pooling their efforts to make something really special.

  46. @Rich: those hefty pledges amount for $3000 dollars of the $43.000 pledged so far

    (also note that there are no takers for the J. Scott Campbell head sketch, which I find kinda funny)

  47. Michelle says:

    @Justin H.

    Two words: systemic bias. Google it. You might be surprised to learn that humans don’t just “read what’s good”. Our criteria for what’s “good” is already shaped before we get to making the choice.

  48. Mariah says:

    I don’t want to speak for Renae, since this is her project. It was her incredible enthusiasm that made this possible and she’s the one who gets to define it.

    That said, as someone involved as a contributor, I do believe the concept behind Womanthology is technically feminist…in that it is specifically giving female creators and contributors a platform to be published. Since it is specifically gendered in that way, it’s feminist. It is not, however, a political book in terms of content. I think that’s the main distinction.

    Not everyone involved in this book identifies as a feminist so I think that’s also where the caution comes in. In so far as this book has an agenda, it’s about supporting and showcasing talented women from the known to the unknown. How the theme of “Heroic” will be interpreted will be as individual as the people involved. It’s possible some of them may deal with social or political issues specificaly in their stories…but the idea is to show what women are doing and can do in this medium through a variety of work. The fact that doing so can be considered feminist is a side benefit.

    Now, I personally identify as a feminist and don’t see it as a negative. The book itself is about stories…not promoting any particular political or social concept by way of them. I’m proud of it either way, as I firmly believe it is filling a need and doing something wonderful for a lot of talented folks. I’m incredibly proud to be a part of it.

    To me, what it actually sells in stores is a bonus. That people have supported the Kickstarter to such a staggering degree in such a short amount of time means something very positive about this industry. They are supporting the effort to get this made and that’s huge. I think it is about supporting the stories and the creators involved, the -potential- of the project…and that shouldn’t be treated like a negative. Likewise, the incentives for donations should be an indication of the amazing support from those talented creators for this project. That should be cause for celebration, not snark.

    The amount of people quick to criticize something that is overwhelmingly positive just shows how cynical and unpleasant some aspects of this industry have become. Endeavors like this should be supported, full stop. We need to stop cannibalizing ourselves and embrace opportunities that nurture and celebrate the medium. Whether it’s an all-women anthology, a super-hero book, or an indie ogn…spending our energy on trying to knock something down just because…I don’t see the point. It does nothing to help stories or comics.

    I’d much rather look at how this can be an example for other projects that also encourage creators to try new avenues of reaching an audience, and encourages the industry to grow and change in a positive way. I’m pretty sure we should all want that.

  49. It certainly seems like there is a lot of interest in this kind of thing.

    There has been some discussion about the need for an ongoing all-female comic anthology:

    http://downthetubes.ning.com/group/bringbackbunty

    Would people be interested in something like that too?

  50. Dustin Harbin said: “Most comics readers ARE male, and it’s because Marvel and DC, and to a lesser extent Image and Dark Horse have made comics targeted SQUARELY at an existing male readership.”

    I remember an interview with Roy Thomas, where he talked about Marvel’s failure in the ’70s to create successful series with female or minority characters. He said that as hard as it was to get whites to read books with nonwhite heroes, it was even harder to get males — of any race — to read books with female protagonists.

    That attitude seems to be deeply ingrained in some readers. It’s most blatant in young boys, but it can persist into adulthood in some cases.

  51. The amount of people quick to criticize something that is overwhelmingly positive just shows how cynical and unpleasant some aspects of this industry have become.

    Become?

  52. Kind of late, but add +1 to the list of lady-type people who enjoyed this news but didn’t feel the need to comment – remind me to post a minimum of “Woo!” every time Womanthology reappears on this blog.

    Emperor: I would be interested in an ongoing anthology, though it’d be much more appealing to me if it had continuing stories instead of (or along with) one-shots, kind of like manga magazines in Japan.

  53. NateInNY says:

    It’s now up to 49 thousand and change. Divided over 840 backers. That’s roughly 60 bucks per person. I don’t see how this translates into women supporting something they like in big numbers. A few people showing their support by spending a dollar amount that would pay for an omnibus. I mean, sales of Manga make the point that there are a slew of women waving money around waiting to buy comics far better than this project does. It would be much more impressive if the 40 grand was spread out over 40 thousand women.

    Lets say for the sake of argument that the goal was 50,000 instead of 25,000 and lets say the donors were all women. And lets say the comic the donors were supporting wasn’t an expensive anthology but just an average 4 dollar monthly. That would amount to 12,500 women. That comic would die in a matter of months due to lack of viable audience. And here we’re talking about only 840 backers made up of men and women spending money for different reasons entirely. This doesn’t even come close to being a viable grass roots movement. How often do you think people of any gender will want to pony up 60 bucks every time a project like this comes up?

    And as someone already mentioned above, this is clearly a show of support for a “cause” rather than a comic book. If there were 40 thousand women willing to plunk down 4 bucks for a specific comic, that would be something. But I don’t see how this book seeing print is even a blip on the radar at DC or Marvel.

  54. I love quirky stuff and this certainly looks quirky enough. If the retail price for the book is less than the 50 bucks you have to pay on their Kickstarter site, I might be interested. Anything more than 20 or 30 bucks for an anthology comprised mostly of unknowns is of a gamble in my book. And the supplemental stuff directed towards little girls and how to break into comics is clearly not aimed towards my demographic.

    That all said, I don’t know why this had to be turned into an issue of, “See Marvel and DC, Girrrrl comics sell!” Marvel and DC sell superhero comics. They have a house style. Judging from a lot of the art, and the video of a girl/deer, this clearly isn’t what Marvel and DC are looking for. And any number under a 1000 when talking about readership and copies sold…well, that ain’t at Big Two level.

    Why couldn’t The Beat have just celebrated a bunch of indie creators finding support for their anthology? Why even mention DC and Marvel other than to rile people up? Lame sauce. You’ve turned their success into some bullshit, feminist-girl-power statement by doing so.

    I loved the Mighty Thor and I cried a fucking river when it was canceled. But it didn’t sell enough and Marvel is a business. THEY LIKE MONEY. If this Womanthology sold like gangbusters, you can bet your ass Marvel would do something just like it. But 1000 person readership doesn’t even register a blip on their radar.

    This is a cool project so please let it exist on it’s own.

  55. @ mario boon

    No, the hefty pledges add up to nearly $40,000 … You’re considering the three or four most expensive … Add them all up. Not many five and ten dollar pledges. Mostly 50 bucks and up.

  56. @ Teresa Jusino:
    “I think you’re underestimating the amount of women who might be reading this but don’t feel the need to mouth off the way dudes always seem to …”

    Sorry to stick a fork in the balloon … but just read the headline and the six paragraphs of this story … written, I believe, by Heidi … a woman … (gasp) …

  57. Late Sunday evening … less than 300 people have pledged 15 or less … again … most of the pledges are 50 bucks and over … still a tiny number of people, which suggests low sales numbers in the near future.

    I wonder how long before Marvel and DC jump on the Kickstarter bandwagon? I could just imagine them only bothering with comics with successful fund-drives.

  58. OtisTFirefly says:

    @Teresa>>>
    I think you’re underestimating the amount of women who might be reading this but don’t feel the need to mouth off the way dudes always seem to whenever the subject of women doing anything in a male-dominated field comes up. These comments don’t signify male “interest in comics.” They signify a male need to point out things they see as flaws in a female-centric endeavor because they can’t imagine that something taking place in comics without them is of any value or use or able to achieve any sort of success.>>>

    Wow. Alrighty then. Believe it or not we “dudes” comment on most EVERY THREAD on the site. We don’t “mouth off” (gee, angry enough?) JUST AT STORIES ABOUT WOMEN IN COMICS. You’re the perfect example of that victim mentality – you see dudes as mouthing off about women in comics just because we’re so threatened by women or that the stinky girls may take over the All Man He Men Club you know we all belong to. WEll, guess what? It’s NOT ABOUT not liking women, or women in comics or wanting to keep you in your (perceived) place. We like comics. More men read comics in this country, although certainly there are increasing numbers of girls/women doing so as well. But for now, it’s just a FACT that men buy more comics – or mainstream comics, in any event.

    Please, try not to look at EVERYTHING as being about evil men wanting to keep you down.

  59. OtisTFirefly says:

    @Michelle
    >>>Two words: systemic bias. Google it. You might be surprised to learn that humans don’t just “read what’s good”. Our criteria for what’s “good” is already shaped before we get to making the choice.

    So do you think this is why girls/women generally don’t like mainstream superhero comics as well as boys/men? Why they don’t buy as many comics?

  60. OtisTFirefly says:

    @Greg

    >>>That all said, I don’t know why this had to be turned into an issue of, “See Marvel and DC, Girrrrl comics sell!” Marvel and DC sell superhero comics. They have a house style. Judging from a lot of the art, and the video of a girl/deer, this clearly isn’t what Marvel and DC are looking for. And any number under a 1000 when talking about readership and copies sold…well, that ain’t at Big Two level.

    Why couldn’t The Beat have just celebrated a bunch of indie creators finding support for their anthology? Why even mention DC and Marvel other than to rile people up? Lame sauce. You’ve turned their success into some bullshit, feminist-girl-power statement by doing so.>>>

    To feed the victim mentality so prevalent here?

    <<<>

    Don’t try to bring those pesky facts into arguments like this…

  61. This is all just a fun, exciting, positive, wonderful thing!

    Just crossed $50,000! Congratulations to my wife, Renae De Liz, and all the ladies of Womanthology. And THANK YOU to everyone who has supported it and all the Kickstarter backers. This has been absolutely incredible!!

    ~Ray

  62. Oh, and there are still 27 days left!! We’ll be able to have a larger print run, and we’re talking about future projects!

    ~Ray

  63. Synsidar says:

    Why even mention DC and Marvel other than to rile people up?

    Having work published by Marvel or DC results in publicity, coverage, and credits that impress people more than having something published by a small press or self-publishing does. Someone going the non-commercial route can have PR sent out, but the PR might not be read by anyone. And, since some commercial publishers don’t accept unsolicited material, having credits makes obtaining more work much easier.

    There are also the editorial systems in place. DC is undergoing an editorial crisis; Marvel has declining sales and creative-editorial problems of its own. If neither company can reject material based on generally accepted standards — “Sorry, your work just isn’t good enough” — what bases do they have for rejecting material? Since females read more than males do anyway, reaching out to female creators and readers is a fairly obvious step to take at both companies.

    SRS

  64. @Synsidar
    It still goes back to what I originally said…Marvel and DC publish superhero comics. That’s their thing. When Chris Ware announces a new book, do we all point fingers at Marvel and DC and demand they publish stuff like Ware’s? No. Because we all know there is an indie market and a mainstream (superhero) market. And every time Marvel or DC try to do something a little off-the-beaten-path, it doesn’t sell as well as their mainstream stuff.

    Oh, and comics are different than books (just so you know). Women may read more books than men (a link to a study would have been nice) but more men read comics. Especially superhero comics. Why is it Marvel and DC’s job to expand into Oprah’s book club territory? Couldn’t another publisher do this? A publisher who doesn’t do superhero comics?

    It just seems like you’re trying to tell Michael Bay to stop making action movies and start making Nicolas Sparks films.

  65. To those asking “But what does this lady-comic have to do with DC and Marvel?”, it’s not mentioned in the article here (or even pointed out that much on the Kickstarter page,) but the official theme of the anthology is “Heroic.”

    Granted, there’ll probably be at least a few stories that stray away from the traditional superhero mold, but one can also expect at least a few cases of be-caped crimefighters.

    And to those saying “But more guys read comics than girls!” – congratulations! You have stumbled across why organized efforts like this exist in the first place!

    And finally, to anyone suggesting “well, maybe more women don’t read comics because they don’t like the wordy-pictures,” you are humbly invited to look at the latest top comics chart in Japan, where 14 of the top 30 books are either written specifically for girls/women or have girls/women as a majority of their readership (granted, this is including a “special edition” of one series) :

    http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2011-07-06/japanese-comic-ranking-june-27-july-3

    Japan is unique, but it ain’t that unique, folks. It could happen here!

  66. @Angelica
    As I mentioned in my first post, Marvel and DC have a house style. There is a certain look to the art in their books that screams, “mainstream superhero art.” Judging from the artist lineup for Womanthology, this book won’t look anything like that. Superheroes does not always = Marvel and DC. Daniel Clowes has done superheroes. Hell, he even created his OWN superhero. But it doesn’t mean he’s producing work that’ll fit right in with Marvel and DC’s popular titles.

    As for Japan, our cultures (specifically our pop cultures) are pretty damn different. And comics in Japan are held to a higher esteem than they are here in the US or the UK. The fact that a shit-ton of Japanese women read Manga really isn’t an indication of the potential readership of American women and American-produced comics.

    Look, it’s great that more and more female creators from the west are doing comics…in fact, it’s awesome! But I just don’t understand the need or desire to push them into Marvel and DC work. And I don’t get why The Beat has to constantly bash Marvel and DC because they don’t produce comics they like. Or more comics by women for women. Every publisher has a focus and, if anything, this void leaves an opportunity for an upstart company to seize on by creating and publishing more stuff like Womanthology.

    If you build it, they will come. Right?

  67. @Greg:

    It’s funny. Don’t you think “If you build it, they will come.” could apply to Marvel/DC as well?

    Marvel and DC certainly don’t have to be the ones to figure out how to capture the female readership, but those are huge dollars for anyone that can figure it out. I think a lot of us that are frustrated just don’t understand why there isn’t more effort made to capture that lucrative readership, especially when mainstream comics are really suffering as they are. Readership is dwindling.

    Spending R&D money to find new readers and diversify doesn’t even sound revolutionary at this point, it just kind of makes sense.

  68. “It’s funny. Don’t you think “If you build it, they will come.” could apply to Marvel/DC as well?”

    Yeah, but will “they” show up in large enough numbers to impress Marvel or DC? Remember that Mary Jane line of books and comics? Yeah…they didn’t exactly fly off the shelves. Not good enough for Marvel but I’d bet their sales figures would look nice to an indie publisher.

    Marvel and DC are having a hard enough time trying to move comics based on properties that are known by millions of Americans. An Iron Man movie will do gangbusters at the multiplexes but Marvel still can’t seem to entice fans of the film to read the comics.

    And you expect them to start launching books geared towards a “potential” readership?

    Additionally, it STILL goes back to what I originally said: Marvel and DC publish superhero comics. And superhero comics sell better than non-superhero comics. There are a million different comics out there…from Walking Dead to Acme Novelty Library to Unwritten to Buffy. All geared towards to male AND female readers. But you know what? Mainstream superhero comics STILL sell better than any of them.

    So, unless one of the Big Two suddenly decides they want to start selling fewer copies of their books, I think they’re going to stick with superhero comics as they are currently being written and drawn.

    And as far as readership dwindling…don’t forget that 1) the industry is still deflating from the 90’s bubble bursting and 2)the economy is shit.

  69. Synsidar says:

    All geared towards to male AND female readers. But you know what? Mainstream superhero comics STILL sell better than any of them.

    You seem to be assuming that Marvel Editorial and DC Editorial would echo your position: that superhero comics have the sales they have because of how they’re written and drawn, and any attempts to make the superhero comics more attractive to female readers would only result in lower sales.

    I doubt that’s the case, if only because that would require an editor to defend sexist material as being deliberate. From an editorial standpoint, writing women well can’t turn off readers the company wants. That would be labeling the readers as degenerates. One wouldn’t expect an editor to reject character-driven stories in favor of plot-driven stories, either, because the policy can’t be defended without insulting existing and potential readers.

    Put an editor on the spot about treating women well in stories and/or accepting material from them — he’ll capitulate immediately, because professing to see quality differences in the material submitted is unprofessional. A priority for him should be publishing quality material and trusting that readers will respond favorably to it.

    SRS

  70. @Synsidar
    If you’re convinced that the books Marvel and DC publish are sexist…we’re going to go nowhere with this argument.

    But I’ll still bite.

    Mainstream readers have certain expectations for the art in superhero comics and none of these expectations have anything to do with sexism. It’s all about style. Just as they don’t want to see Ted McKeever art in Action comics, they don’t want to see Stephanie Buscema drawing The Avengers, either. It has nothing to do with quality or gender. It’s the artistic taste of readers who’ve grown up reading comics illustrated by artists with a particular style. Folks like Stuart Immonen and Amanda Conner have a wide appeal because they work in a clear and dynamic style (without too much stylization.)

    On the writing side, I think reader’s expectations are bit more liberal. They’re still highly critical but their range of taste is broader. There are character-driven stories (Ultimate Spiderman), plot-driven stories (Green Lantern, Fear Itself) and the plain-old goofy/bizarre (Batman Inc). Wildly different but accepted by mainstream readership.

    If a female creator can work within those parameters, she’ll find success. Gail Simone, Amanda Conner, Nicola Scott, etc all meet these expectations successfully and, as a result, have become fan favorites. If the industry and readership were truly sexist, would that even be possible?

    It’s not about quality…it’s about style and fitting the mold of what readers expect from their superhero books. In the mind of the audience, it doesn’t matter if it’s a male or a female artist/writer…as long as they deliver.

    It’s called a formula. Marvel and DC stick with it so that they can sell books. It’s not rocket science.

  71. Turkish says:

    “writing women well can’t turn off readers the company wants.”

    “One wouldn’t expect an editor to reject character-driven stories in favor of plot-driven stories, either,”

    You’re assuming that well-written female superhero characters that are at the center of character-driven stories would bring in a significant number of female readers. I don’t think it would. I also don’t think that well-written female superhero characters would alienate male readers either.

    This anthology cannot be held up as proof of anything, and shows no reason why Marvel and DC should “listen.” If they are listening, their fears of a limited female audience are being proven because with all the attention being given to this project it still doesn’t have very many people willing to put down cash in support of it. As it was mentioned already, the dollar amount is high, but the number of people making up that dollar amount is low.

  72. Synsidar says:

    It’s called a formula. Marvel and DC stick with it so that they can sell books. It’s not rocket science.

    No, it certainly isn’t rocket science. It’s writing for the least demanding, least intelligent readers the publishers can find. Try to find an editor who would extol the formulas he’d have writers use. You couldn’t. He’d be humiliating himself and embarrassing everyone else. It’s saying that the creators aren’t creating anything.

    You’re assuming that well-written female superhero characters that are at the center of character-driven stories would bring in a significant number of female readers. I don’t think it would.

    Perhaps not. But the chances would be far greater if such stories were published, and advertised, than if the companies stayed with the status quo. If an approach based on quality fails, then you can at least say you tried your best, analyze what went wrong, and try again. Or do something else. If you ignore quality, try to reach customers who don’t care about quality, and fail, then you have nothing.

    SRS

  73. “It’s writing for the least demanding, least intelligent readers the publishers can find.”

    Really? Well, regardless, they buy more books than anyone else.

    “If you ignore quality, try to reach customers who don’t care about quality, and fail, then you have nothing.”

    We get it. You think Marvel and DC’s current output is shit. But there are other comics out there. Go buy them instead. Let the fans of Captain America and Green Lantern continue to support the books they love.

    I may not enjoy the majority of what Marvel and DC put out but I refuse to call the fans of these books stupid and/or sexist.

  74. Torsten Adair says:

    1) $54,000 so far.

    http://blogs.forbes.com/traceyjohn/2011/07/12/womanthology-comic-book-raises-25000-in-less-than-24-hours/

    2) RE: style
    Put me down for someone who would pay for a copy of the Avengers drawn by Stephanie Buscema. (Yes, I know you’re talking about the general reader, but screw them… they’ve got lots of titles, and most of them are boring retreaded stories. Keep selling stuff to them, but tap into the readers who aren’t reading Marvel yet.) I love Colleen Coover’s superhero stories! I want more Fin Fang Foom from Roger Langridge! More Assistant Editors stories, more Wednesday Comics, more stuff that’s different!

  75. @Torsten
    I would undoubtedly buy an Avengers book with art by Stephanie Buscema. Unfortunately, you and I are in the minority.

    If there were more readers like us out there to justify production of a comic like that, Marvel would undoubtedly publish it. But there aren’t. And there never will be.

    Comic book fans (and the publishers) need to accept the fact the industry is a niche market. It will never grow (except as another bubble) and it will never hit the mainstream. Our mainstream culture is more aware of comics and comic book characters than ever before. We have comic book related films, TV shows, cartoons, amusement park rides, video games, and toys SATURATING our media and entertainment. The San Diego Comic-Con alone gets MASSIVE coverage from the mainstream press. And yet…despite all of this…comic book readership hasn’t grown.

    We live in a world where anyone, anywhere can access amazon.com, google, and wikipedia and find out whatever they want to know about a comic, where to start reading it, and where to buy it. And yet, despite all of this…comic book readership hasn’t grown.

    The reason is clear: Everyone that wants to read comics IS ALREADY READING COMICS. The best Marvel and DC can do is to keep their current readership happy. And the best that indie publishers and creators can do is to keep producing work that excites the rest of us.

    We’re always talking about that “thing” that will save the industry. Not too long ago, it was bookstores and trade paperbacks. Now it’s digital storefronts and female readers. What we fail to understand is that comics have a limited appeal. They’re an archaic art form and the general population just doesn’t give a shit.

    But we fail to understand this for a very understandable reason…

    We just love comics too damn much.

    The best us readers can do is to share the good stuff with OTHER COMIC BOOK FANS. Get a fellow fan to pick up Roger Landridge’s new book instead of whatever Flashpoint mini is debuting that week. Pass around a Love and Rockets collection. Get them hooked on The Sixth Gun. Lend them a copy of I Killed Adolf Hitler.

    Broaden the mainstream reader’s taste and one day, we just might see Stephanie Buscema drawing an Avengers book.

  76. Turkish says:

    “If an approach based on quality fails, then you can at least say you tried your best, analyze what went wrong, and try again. Or do something else. If you ignore quality, try to reach customers who don’t care about quality, and fail, then you have nothing.”

    Easy for you to say. You’re not the one bankrolling a comic book company.

  77. Synsidar says:

    And yet, despite all of this…comic book readership hasn’t grown.

    Comics readership arguably has grown, if you use such methods as the number of copies sold of #300 on Diamond’s list, the number of kids’ GNs sold, collections sold to libraries, GNs issued by mainstream publishers, etc. None of that might matter to superhero comics fans, but readership growth does matter to publishers.

    If superhero comics were sold as original GNs, a discussion like this wouldn’t be occurring. What would matter would be what ____ and ____ wanted to do with ______, and how creative and successful they were. Marvel’s and DC’s treatment of their characters as IP to be exploited and held for as long as possible might control, to a great extent, how they’re handled in comics stories — but that’s entirely separate from the issue of whom is selected to do the stories.

    SRS

  78. William says:

    Yeah. To all of you out there saying crap like screw the fans blah blah, everything Marvel/DC does is crap blah blah, anyone who reads Marvel/DC must be retarded because everything Marvel/DC does is retarded blah blah, just got one thing to say to you; go fuck yourselves. If it’s all so retarded and stupid, then support the indies and shut the fuck up. The fans aren’t doing the writing and drawing and editing and publishing. And if you really think it all sucks, that stuff by simone, brubaker and hickman and some of the others is so retarded, then you are a fucking idiot who doesn’t know jack shit about comics.

    Sincerely,

    William R Garcia

    Costa Mesa, CA

  79. @Synsidar
    I have no idea what planet you’re living on but comic readership has NOT grown, regardless of what “method” you use to measure it by. You’re kind of arguing with facts here.

    As for your second paragraph, you’re right. It has nothing to do with what we’re talking about.

    @Turkish
    True. Risk doesn’t mean much if it’s not your money.

  80. Mariah says:

    @Greg

    The reason it matters what Marvel and DC publish, and whether they sell more or less comics, is because they are the (like it or not) the backbone of this industry. Shops, distribution, Diamond, printers, they are heavily reliant on the readership DC and Marvel bring in for their livelihood and existence. When that readership dwindles, it effects every publisher whether they publish superhero books or independent art books. Because it effects everything from the comic shops ability to stay open to Diamond distributing to the market. The reason it matters that the audience grow across the board is because of that dependence.

    We can argue that more shops should take a risk on indie comics and not rely so heavily on superhero sales, but that’s as huge shift. And it won’t happen over night. Hence why digital distribution has become a point of discussion.

    One of comics biggest issues is that it IS niche, and has a hard time breaking out of that. Some of it is because of the core audience and not wanting to alienate them. Some of it is because of the risk on other types of books. Some of it is the current economy. And some of it is not reaching out to younger and female readers enough.

    The reality is: it cannot possibly hurt DC or Marvel’s sales to reach out to younger or female readers more. Both companies are taking steps to find more ways to distribute content, while struggling with the misconception that digital will undermine shop sales. It doesn’t, but, that’s the fear. And we, as an industry, are dependent on shop sales more than any other platform.

    I don’t think it’s that everyone who wants to read comics is already reading them. I think there’s a massive shift going on right now in terms of where to find content (the reality is, comic shops being the primary place to find comics limits the audience), awareness, and shifts in direction of stories. Mostly because publishing in general is going through some pretty big changes. It isn’t the same landscape it was 5 years ago.

    Just because there are comic book films and SDCC gets a large crowd doesn’t mean that people really understand comics or where to find them. This is why outreach to kids, women, and online matters so much. Because reading comics isn’t quite so easy as people think. You need to learn how. This is why younger readers matter and why that’s always a big part of any discussion on how to “save” the industry.

    I don’t have any hard and fast answers, it’s a multi-layered issue. But I can tell you one thing that definitely won’t help: throwing up our hands and not trying. DC and Marvel had, in fact, changed their content in all sorts of ways since they started publishing, not to mention the ways they distribute. What will happen to the industry over time will depend on a lot of interconnected factors. But it can’t hurt to reach out to other readers.

    In the short term, it allows independent publishers

  81. Mariah says:

    Oof, that last comment got mangled. Oh well.

  82. I hate to delve into the thread of gender parity, because Womanthology is such a positive thing that I don’t want to splash it with our troll-fest, but I really have to weigh in with one or two comments. One commenter took it as an underlying assumption that comic readers are by and large men. I think the big names in the industry operate on that assumption also, implicitly or explicitly. But, I think that what the recent dialogue (both tempered and untempered) has shown us is that this assumption might be fallacious, or at least flawed. And if it is true, how do we know? I hope not by what is under the tights.

    I’d love to say that this project proves that there is a market for female readership, but I think it’s value lies elsewhere. It shows that we have amazing women to write for us, and I do think there is a huge market. I think DC and Marvel may already be unknowingly tapping it. However, so many men rallied to support this (which is wonderful and inspiring by the way), that I think it proves most of all that *content* and *contributors* do not reflect the readers. We have to be careful not to conflate them.

    I read more comics about men, and created by men than I do about or by women. That is a function of the industry, availability and also my taste – I like capes; I like fighting; I like older comics; and I am amused by cigar smoking hot-head men in comics. Not exclusively, but I do. I also love comics about and by woman and this project makes me giddy. My support goes without saying.

    My point is that a lot of the arguments that have been brewing might be conflating the gender issues of one aspect of comics with the gender issues of other aspects. There is a relationship between them, yet I trust these bright women to write about male characters, just as I have trusted many of the men here to write the stories I have loved about women. QueenCrab sounds great by the way! I am grateful that the chatter has been productive, and I propose that in the future, we find out where the female readership is without making assumptions about what they buy. After all, how would the publishers know I’m buying Doktor Sleepless, Spawn, Planet Hulk, and old Steranko era Nick Fury and og Avengers? Yeah, I’m buying Madame Xanadu and Death, but so are my male friends.

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