DC Comics Debuts First Ever Female Creators Panel at NYCC

Yesterday the list of panels at NYCC was released and, low and behold, there was a panel that has been 75 years in the making:

Get an inside look at some of the amazing work from DCE’s female creatives at the “Women Of DC Entertainment” panel which will include JOKER’S DAUGHTER writer Marguerite Bennett, new series GOTHAM ACADEMY writer Becky Cloonan, HARLEY QUINN writer/artist Amanda Conner, WONDER WOMAN writer Meredith Finch, COFFIN HILL writer Caitlin Kittredge, SECRET SIX writer Gail Simone, and new BATGIRL artist Babs Tarr. Saturday 6:15pm Room Room 1A06

Since I began this blog some 4 plus years ago I have expressed concern about the lack of female creators on DC panels at Cons. You know to avoid panels like this from a few years ago:

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It’s gotten better over the years as DC has expanded its roster of female creators beyond Gail Simone. 

Also it was interesting that while DC could barely find room for some female creators at their panels - Marvel’s female editors proposed and ran a “Women of Marvel” panel at NYCC and other cons.

I’ve spoken over the years about why DC hasn’t done a “Women of DC” panel and received different answers the saddest implying that the company can submit only so many panels at NYCC and other major shows and didn’t see such a panel as a priority over others.

Priorities, perhaps, have now changed. 

Or perhaps it is simply because DC Comics finally has enough female creators to create a robust (although sadly not very diverse) panel.

DC Comics’ new set of female creators could be seen as a confluence of a number of factors. Certainly having some new editors on-board who are open to newer talents which would include a bigger pool of female creators could be a reason. 

It’s ironic that Marvel who has owned these panels is in a position of having fewer ongoing female creators - Kelly Sue DeConnick, G. Willow Wilson, Sara Pichelli and Marguerite Bennett (who is also doing work for DC Comics).  

Things sure have changed haven’t they?

I was surprised to hear this week that Marvel is not inviting ANY of its female writers to their writers conference where they map out their stories for the next year.

The reason? You have to be a writer under contract to be invited. And? Well, Marvel has no female writers under contract. And? So we have no female writers going to the conference (This messaging was delivered to me by Dan Slott who never misses an opportunity to defend his publisher on line).

The suggestion that there was some chicken and the egg logic to this fell on deaf ears for some.

So what is up with the decline in the number of female creators at Marvel? I know that some female creators were drawn to the vision of Stephen Wacker who also pushed for some of their newer female characters such as Ms. Marvel.

But he is no longer at Marvel Comics.

The good news is that Jeanine Schaefer one of the creators of the “Women of Marvel” panels is now in charge of new talent at Marvel. So I suspect this will change soon.

Schaefer will be front and center at the Women of Marvel panel at NYCC on Sunday at 1:15:

From Ms. Marvel to Black Widow, from Twitter to tumblr, women in comics has been one of the most talked-about topics in the industry recently. Join the conversation as women from every discipline in the creative process at Marvel discuss what it’s like working as a woman in comics today and what it means for the future of the industry! Plus, plenty of special announcements! Panelists will include Editor Sana Amanat, Talent Scout Jeanine Schaefer, Associate Producer Judy Stephens, writers Kelly Sue DeConnick (Captain Marvel) and Erica Henderson, and other Mighty Marvel Guests!

And that means for the first time at a con both DC and Marvel are putting their female creators in the spotlight.

While it is still important to have women embedded in ALL panels, the fact the both publishers are now devoting their resources to highlighting their female creators is a important moment that should be noted and applauded.

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