Where Do We Stand? Women in February’s Comics and Graphic Novel Sales

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Spring is on its way and my comics reading list is somewhat under control. I’m happy to report that February has some improvements for representation of women.

Orphan Black #1I have been watching and waiting for a month when neither Marvel nor DC had the number 1 spot on the single issues list. This month, IDW pushes the Big Two aside with Orphan Black #1. The comic expands on the story from the popular television series of the same name. Marvel dominates the rest of the top ten claiming seven titles. DC sneaks the remaining two.

Although DC grabs top billing with the hardcover of Superman: Earth One Vol. 3, Image continues its run on the Diamond trade and graphic novel list with another month of seven titles on the list. Marvel takes the remaining two spots with Ms. Marvel Vol. 1: No Normal and Kick-Ass 3.

Looking at the numbers, what struck me this month was DC’s shrinking representation in both the Top 10 lists. Marketshare wise, they’re still holding strong at at 26% share of the month’s sales but they also shipped the most titles; 121 compared to Marvel with 107 and Image with 76. Additionally, their three titles comprised of old standards like Batman, Superman and the Justice League.

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While December and January had zero women on their creative teams on the Diamond list for single issues, we’re up two this month for both Orphan Black #1 and Silk #1. For trades and graphic novels, only two trades of Saga made the list, both including the art of the talented Fiona Staples. Ms. Marvel Vol. 1 makes the cut with G. Willow Wilson on the creative team.

Ms. Marvel Vol. 1When browsing your  local comic book shop, readers would have found that for the top 10  single issues included included women on five covers, the trades and graphic novels list had six. Also encouraging to see is the number of titles where women are either the primary character or one of them; Spider Gwen, Silk, Orphan Black, Saga, Sex Criminals, Kick-Ass 3 and Ms. Marvel.

On the NYT list, Raina Telgemeier and Roz Chast are still holding strong. Ms.Marvel Vol. 1 makes appearances for at least two weeks, leading me to wonder if Ms. Marvel will be a strong crossover title like Saga, appealing to booth specialized comic book shop to the general bookstore readership.

Hooray for movement in the top 10 lists! There are lots of current titles with great female characters and fantastic women on creative teams. Female representation is on the rise, let’s hope we can keep up the momentum. See you next month!

Each month, Diamond Comics Distributors releases data on the top selling products from single issue comics, to graphic novels and trade paperbacks, to toys. Their sales data represents items sold through comic book shops.

I also include information from the New York Times’ weekly bestsellers’ list for graphic books. Their list comprises sales data for items sold through venues other than comic book shops, like bookstores. As it’s weekly, it won’t be an exact picture of all the days in the month, but it’s valuable way to see what fans who aren’t buying at comic shops are reading.

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About Author

Brenda works in tech by day and as a geek, maker, STEM community builder by night. She uses her super hero powers for the good of all kind.

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