It’s just few weeks to New York Comic Con a show that is getting bigger and bigger in a facilty that isn’t. So it is also just a few weeks to crappy food and non-existent, yet overpriced WiFi from the Javits Center as well. Due to SDCC increasingly focusing on Hollywood, NYCC is becoming one of the top North American Cons for the big two. If you haven’t been to the show in a few years the crowds are mindboggling particularly on Saturday when the lines snake up streets that are filled with police.
Last year NYCC’s guest list was a little disappointing when it came to female guests. The panels also were lacking in much diversity. But the good news is it’s another year! So let’s see how they did.
NYCC divides its comics guests into three groups; the top tier are the “spotlight guests” who are used in promotion. Last year the group consisted of all men. This year? Of 29 spotlight guests, there is one woman - Kate Beaton. So I guess 1/29 beats 0/25.
Yay for Kate Beaton.
The next tier down consists of featured guests. Last year there were 7 female guests out of 82 guests. This year? Out of 122 featured guests, 8 are women. For comparison, last year 8% of featured guests were women; this year 6.5% of the group are. That’s disheartening.
That said the group contains very talented women - Nicola Scott, Katie Cook, Amanda Conner and Sara Pichelli to name just a few.
And now on to the final tier of guest - the “special” guest. Last year there 34 “special guests” and only 3 were women. This year the special category has 123 guests and 16 of those are women. That’s a significant in increase in guests and in the percentage of women. Last year special guests were 8% women and this year it is 13%. It does seem that category has been expanded a bit beyond creators - for example comics bloggers Rich Johnston (Bleeding Cool) and Katie Kotler are both special guests.
So what’s the aggregate? NYCC currently has 274 guests and 25 are women or 9.1%. Last year there 141 guests and 10 were women or 7%. Most of the gains came from the addition of the “special” guests.
That’s only a 2% increase but an increase is still progress. I’d like to see more female spotlight guests as I can say that many of the women in the featured category could have stood up to their male counterparts in terms of not only talent and recognition.
I”ll also mention that there seems to be more diversity in the male guests this year. It would nice to see more of that in female guests as well.
The attendance at NYCC by women is growing every year and last year NYCC PR said they comprised 40% of the total. That’s the same percentage that The Beat recently identified as comics fans using Facebook.
Makes me wish I were going this year but I am ticketless (if someone has a pass for Saturday please let me know!).
And please if you are going to comment on this post with a “who cares about women in comics” or want to argue about why this matters that’s your choice but I’m sure there places who be more likely to high bro you.