The same Batgirl-clad fan who made appearances at many DC panels over the weekend asked why there aren’t more female creators on DC titles. DiDio said that DC Comics hires the best writers and artists they can, to much applause from the audience. Morrison quipped that he looks great in a dress, to which the questioner responded, “I appreciate you trying to brush me off.” Morrison then encouraged women in the audience to submit their work to DC.
I legitimately believe that DC isn’t looking for male or female creators: they are looking for people that are willing to churn out the exact work that Dan Didio’s editorial reign seems to demand. This means sticking to the people that have already proven themselves valuable to the company in one capacity or another. Look at the lineup of creators in the “New 52″ and you’ll see many, many familiar names from the last two decades.
DC’s retrenching is not nearly as radical as they want you to believe. Yes, they’re retooling characters and concepts a bit, but they’re not bringing in new voices. There is there simply no good business reason for them to do so; the linchpin of their strategy is digital distribution and not a creative renaissance. Do I wish it were the latter? Yes, I do, but it can’t be because their business isn’t strong enough at this time to be able to take the occasional flyer that allows real growth for the genre.
None of this excuses the hiring imbalance, but it does show that to the top brass, it’s not as simple as “hire some women, please.”
(Also, if you want your questions about gender and hiring policies at DC to be taken seriously, perhaps asking them when dressed as one of the company’s iconic characters isn’t the best way to go about it. You should hold your convictions strongly enough to put your name and face on them.)