Thursday

Gender-Crunching the articles I wrote at CBR in 2014

Over at Comic Book Resources, I write a decent number of articles. 111 in 2014, according to my number-crunching.

Now of those 111, 95 of them were interviews either with individuals or teams about new projects.

Of those 95, 18 were group interviews (involving between 2 and 6 people), so I interviewed about 123 people for the website.

Of those, 35 were women, which works out to just under a third. Which is to say, not a great breakdown as far as these things go.

Now of course looking at the list of people I talked to, it is an incredible list of people. And in terms of the range of people that I talked to, I think that is an excellent breakdown. I talked with some people about their webcomics, others about their debut books, others are veteran creators, there are editors and scholars and writers and artists.

Francoise Mouly and Roz Chast - who are two of the most talented and important individuals in all of comics.

Hillary Chute and Kerry Roeder, who are two incredible comics scholars with new books out this year. Roeder's book about Windsor McCay was incredible and one of those books that was a huge influence on my thinking this year about McCay and his work and about different ways to think about an approach comics.

Plus people responsible for some of the best comics of the past years from Isabel Greenberg to Danica Novgorodoff to Mariko & Jillian Tamaki to Liz Prince. Editors like Shannon Watters and Rachel Richey, who are doing very different but very important work. And then multi-hyphenates like Lisa Hanawalt, who's a masterful cartoonist-illustrator who can now add Production Designer of the acclaimed animated series BoJack Horseman to the list.

Hopefully a few more people discovered the work of some incredible talents like Hazel Newlevant (If This Be Sin), Christian Beranek and Kelci Crawford (Validation), Vanesa del Rey (Hit, The Empty Man) and Aisha Franz (Earthling).

I spoke with Anya Ulinich and Xenia Pamfil about their awe-inspiring debut graphic novels - plus the books by Eleanor Davis and Emily Carroll collecting many of their comics, which are beloved and acclaimed for good reasons.

Not to mention a number of people I've talked to before and who remain among my favorite creators - and some of them, my favorite people (Joelle Jones, Gabrielle Bell, Raina Telgemeier, Christina Weir).

Plus Jill Lepore - to my mind one of the smartest writers around on any topic!

Now of course there was a whole host of women doing an incredible work in comics that I never got to speak with this year from Julia Wertz to G. Willow Wilson to Fiona Staples to Alex de Campi to Cece Bell to Jen Wang to Amy Reeder to Caitlin Kittredge to Annie Wu to Becky Cloonan to Rhianna Pratchett to Babs Tarr to Jordie Bellaire to Jill Thompson to Phoebe Gloeckner to the team behind Lumberjanes to dozens of webcartoonists and god knows how many dozens of people I'm forgetting. (And then of course people like Lynda Barry who just weren't interested in doing an interview) Of course those people tended be covered by other of my colleagues, as were dozens of others, so this isn't an accounting of the website's failings and shortcomings, just my own.

The fact that I can reel off names off the top of my head like that doesn't mean anything. Anyone can write about the obvious people and the obvious books and the projects that get a ton of publicity. The trick is to write about all the non-obvious candidates. That's part of my job. Which is to say that I did an okay job covering comics from my corner of things, but there's plenty of room for improvement.

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