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In the wake of the Angoulême Grand Prix debacle, I started the painful process of looking over the numbers over the years… the numbers being the ratio of men to women winners for various comic book awards. It is not pretty.

I started with the Eisner Awards and then went to the Harvey Awards, each a barren wasteland when it comes to recognizing female talent in the industry.

Here’s a breakdown of what I mean:

Best Writer
Eisners – 0
Harveys – 0

Best Artist
Eisners – 1 (Fiona Staples in 2015)
Harveys – 2 (Fiona Staples in 2013, 2014)

Best Writer/Artist or Best Cartoonist (as per the Harvey’s)
Eisners – 1 (Raina Telgemeier in 2015)
Harveys – 1 (Kate Beaton in 2012)

Best Writer/Artist: Drama
Eisners – 0

Best Writer/Artist: Humor
Eisners – 0

Best Painter/Multimedia Artist
Eisners – 6 (Jill Thompson in 2001, 2004, 2007, 2009, 2010 and Fiona Staples in 2014)

Best Artist/Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team
Eisners – 2 (Pia Guerra w Jose Marzan Jr. in 2008 and Fiona Staples in 2015)
Harveys – 0

Best Colours
Eisners – 5 (Lynn Varley in 1999, Laura DePuy in 2000, 2002, Laura Allred in 2012 and Jordie Bellaire in 2014)
Harveys – 5 (Lynn Varley in 1999, Laura Martin (formerly) DePuy in 2006, 2008, 2010, Patricia Mulvihill in 2004, Fiona Staples, 2013)

Best Letterer
Eisners – 0
Harveys – 0

Best Cover Artist
Eisners – 0
Harveys – 1 (Fiona Staples in 2014)

Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition
Eisners – 2 (Linda Medley in 1998, Hope Larson in 2007)
Harveys – 0

Best Editor
Eisners – 4 (Karen Berger in 1992, 1994, 1995 and Bronwyn Taggart in 1996)
Harveys

Best New Talent
Harveys – 2 (Jessica Abel, 1997 and Sara Pichelli, 2012)

I excluded the comics that dealt directly with awarding a book because that’s honestly JUST as bad (for the most part). But regardless, there’s clearly a problem here. The Eisner’s are nominated by a panel of 5 people and then the nominees are voted on by professionals in the industry. The Harvey Award nominations get picked via open vote submissions by comic book professionals. They’re then voted on by professionals.

Overall:
In 27 years of the Eisner’s (since 1988), there have been 22 female winners, technically only 17 as a few of the women have won numerous times. That’s compared to the 198 men that have taken home an award over the years.

In 27 years of the Harvey Awards (since 1988), 15 awards have been presented to women. Of those awards, only 6 of the names are unique. 118 men have been awarded over the years.

emma

We obviously can’t change the past and the complete disregard of women in the industry and women are popping up more frequently on the ballot and on the list of winners but we’re still lacking the recognition that is deserved.

Help fight the blatant sexism that continues to plague this industry. If you, as a professional, are nominated for a category that somehow, in this day and age, doesn’t manage to have a woman on it, consider withdrawing your name.

Enough is enough. There are too many women that fight for recognition. Stand up for the change you want to see in this industry.

One Response

  1. Adam Keith

    Completely agree with you that there is a problem here. I would be curious to see the overall number of women in comics compared to men (award worthy or not). I think that is the root cause of the issue we are seeing. It would be difficult to genuinely make even the awarding by gender if the talent pool is severely biased toward male…

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