Okay, it’s probably pretty obvious that I spend a great deal of time pondering what comics bring females to the readership. It’s been my passion for a couple decades, ever since my first comics. So here is my current observation, and I’m curious to hear what you think.
When I did the Women in Refrigerators page, I also asked every creator and publisher I could find which books were bringing females into the reading audience. And again and again, I found that, even when the books were no longer being published, they still had that effect.
The books were; X-men, Sandman, Teen Titans, and Swamp Thing. Of the mainstream publishers, those were the four titles we heard about over and over, in regards to bringing in new female readers. Lots of indie books had female readerships, as well.
Over time, it seems to narrow a bit…and most female readers were jumping on board either X-men or Vertigo titles. Teen Titans and Swamp Thing no longer really had that effect, and Sandman was no longer published.
So for a long time…it was X-men and Vertigo.
The past, say, five or six years, I have seen a seismic shift. It has nothing to do with partisanship, I am not making a value judgment.
But the new female gateways seem to be all be Batman (Fables in second, I would say, but it’s a distant second). The Batman family, specifically.
Now, this happened well before the current creative teams…it was before Scott Snyder on Detective, before me on Batgirl, before Kyle on Nightwing, and so on.
But I definitely have seen at cons and at message boards that of all superhero books, no group brings in female readers in numbers even remotely like the bat-offices.
I have some theories and thoughts. But I would like to here from you guys.
If my observations are correct, what changed?
And what is it that other groups are not doing that they are not necessarily bringing in NEW female readers?
Again, this has nothing to do with me, it happened before I came aboard. I would say it started around six years ago, maybe. And it’s non-judgmental, I love X-men and I love Vertigo. I also want to say, I think if anyone can bring females back to the X-titles, it’s Marjorie M. Liu, I am crazy about that woman’s writing.
So…what do you think?