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You know what the fastest growing demographic of comic reader is? Women aged 17 to 33. No, I did not make that up. No, that is not a skewed number. Facts, baby, all the way.
With that fact looming it’s not surprising to see a demographic that has been basically ignored by Marvel and DC Comics suddenly getting love. And by that I mean teenage girls.
It makes sense. The earlier you can hook a reader, the more likely they’ll be a comic reader for life. DC and Marvel have done that with dudes for years. But younger women? Eh, not so much.
Oh, they had books with younger characters - Batgirl and Spider-Girl come to mind, but those were a rarity. And DC Comics has certainly talked about going after that audience. I can still remember during the launch of the new 52 the Supergirl team saying they wanted the female audience reading “The Hunger Games”. If anyone has seen what is going on with Supergirl these days you’ll know that goal failed.
Marvel has dived full-in with targeting the younger female audience with Ms. Marvel. That book featuring a teen age girl is accessible to all ages and is one of the best comics of the year.
But yesterday, on a day when DC also announced a eye raising new team for Wonder Woman they also announced a book that has its eye on the female audience - Gotham Academy.
And you know what? I think they’ve got it right.
Kelly and I have one our favorite writers on this week, the always awesome Greg Rucka. We talk about his new series Lazarus (which you MUST pick up tomorrow) and his Kickstarter for Lady Sabre.
Kelly and I have a early review of Lazarus and we also review Becky Cloonan’s Demeter.
We also discuss the book DC announced last week that you all know we were going to discuss.
And finally our newest feature which you all seem to like DRAMATIC READING. This week we have a comment that objects to Kelly’s review of Man of Steel but also thinks just a bit too much about the sex life of Superman.
So please give us a listen! And as usual we ask that you leave us a comment and if you really do listen to the podcast you’ll know why you’ll want to for this edition.
This is an interesting issue for a few reasons. One, it is the story of Harper Row the female character that Scott Snyder created after being denied the use of Cass Cain. Two, it’s the first time a woman has drawn either Detective or Batman. The terrific Becky Cloonan now holds that title.
So let’s stop to look at this cover for a minute as it is DC Comics history:
The Source has posted a page from Becky Cloonan’s guest spot on Batman and you can see it below. As I wrote when this was announced this make Becky Cloonan one of the few women to draw for one of the Batbooks.
I did have to wince a little at the quote on the Source:
“The Bat-Office owes a huge thanks to Scott Snyder for hooking us up with Becky Cloonan,” BATMAN editor Mike Marts told THE SOURCE. “Becky’s an outstanding artist who has accomplished a lot of great projects in her career. We’re honored to have her illustrate BATMAN #12!”
I would certainly hope that DC had Becky Cloonan on their list of top artists — I mean isn’t their strategy, as stated as SDCC, that they want to “hire the best people?” — not sure why Snyder would have to be “hooking” them up.
Here’s a look at the page that features the new female character that I understand will have a key role in Batman, Harper Row.