(photo ganked from the National Media Museum)
First Second employs a lot of women — we’re all girls in this office, barring Mark! And our parent company similarly — eight employees, two guys. And their parent company too — 135 employees, 28 guys.
Here is a list of women who have worked on books for us already: Sara Varon, Danica Novgorodoff, Jessica Abel, Jane Yolen, LeUyen Pham, Carla Jablonski, Susan Kim, C.C. Colbert, Faith Erin Hicks, Hilary Florido, Vera Brosgol, MK Reed, Jen Wang, and our colorist, Hilary Sycamore. Almost all of them have done more than one book for us — or they’re working on another book now.
Here is a list of women who have books coming up from First Second in the next few years: Lark Pien, Lucy Knisley, Prudence Shen, Maris Wicks, Cecil Castellucci, Molly Crabapple, Mariko Tamaki, Jillian Tamaki, Angie Wang, Colleen AF Venable, Chun Yu, and Sungyoon Choi, plus more from Sara Varon, Jane Yolen, LeUyen Pham, Vera Brosgol, MK Reed, Jen Wang and Faith Erin Hicks. (This is not a complete list of female creators we’ve currently got signed up to do books for us, just so you know.)
We’ve only been around for six years so far — I feel like that’s a pretty decent representation for women in the overall list of books that First Second is publishing, especially considering the very male-dominated past of the comics industry. Of course, it’d be nice if our girls/guys ratio was 50/50 — maybe we’ll get there in another five years.
(photo ganked from The New York Public Library)
But even though our authors aren’t equally male and female, many of the people we work with on a day-to-day basis are, starting with the people here in the Macmillan offices. Booksellers, teachers, librarians — we work with at least as many women as with men — and definitely many more women in the case of teachers and librarians!
Going to conventions and reading articles about the state of women in comics (and from the amount of questions we get at First Second about how terrible and stressful it must be for us to be working in this clearly massively male-dominated book industry), you’d think that women in this industry were some sort of imperiled endangered creature.
But seriously, you guys: women already here. In twenty-five years, we’ll have to have panels about Men in Comics (that rare breed of creature!).