Internet Crush: Ladydrawers

Anyone who gets geeky about gender, numbers, and comics should check out Ladydrawers today! Writer and artist Anne Elizabeth Moore teams up with a female comics artist to produce comics explore various inequities within the comics industry—from who’s being hired, who’s being printed, and who’s inside the pages (and how fully dressed they are!). Here’s some sample pages….

From “In Comics World, Women Are Invisible - Except When They’re Naked” illustrated by Sara Drake
A black, white, and yellow comic featuring a man shrugging his shoulders in his boxers facing four women in their underwear looking mad. The text reads: But once we start stripping characters down to their drawers something weird happens: female characters flourish. Ladies in comic books are nearly twice as likely to appear partially clothesd or out right naked than male characters. A total of 489 instances of male nudity were counted, compared to 859 instances of female nudity. (A full 7% of all instances of male nudity were drawn by david B. and Heatley). One girl says 'So half the population but twice the nakedness. How does that even happen?' Another girl says, 'Hey! Cut it out ya creep!'

From “Why Are There No Great Women Comics Artists?” illustrated by Christa Donner
Four panels with a pink/purple color scheme. The first panel is 1. There are no great comics artists besides Jack Kirby and he is all man. 2. Super busy that night washing their hair. 3. Never been in a fight: can't draw good fight scenes. 4. Secret cult of men possibly associated with the promise keepers/tea party who control all comics creators' destinies.

From “Comics Publishers: Who Are They?” illustrated by Lucy Knisley
A red, white, and black colored three panel comic. Text reads: In May 2011, some students and volunteers in chicago decided on a plan to look at the current scope of comic-book publishing in North America. Choosing from among the largest 20 publishers (largest either in terms of output or in terms of that vague thing known as 'cultural impact') each participant chose a single publisher to research, based on their own tastes and interest. We counted pages, creators, characters, editors, incidents of nudity, prices.

This isn’t the first time Moore has tackled the numbers behind gender inequity in comics collaboratively. In 2010 she and James Payne edited the Women’s Comic Anthology, an illustrated collection of gender and race disparity in the comics industry—and it’s available as a PDF! Bitch readers might also remember when she and Esther Pearl Watson teamed up for the “Gender and Comics Potluck” (Confidential, #49), an illustrated feature on trans and women comics artists (now in poster-form!).

In the most recent Ladydrawers installment, MariNaomi illustrated the stats behind male vs. females creators of some of the major comics publishers compared with the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, with a promise to follow up next week about what those numbers might actually mean in terms of labor and income. Here’s a revealing sample panel….

a black background with white bodies representing men and pink bodies representing women. There are only eight pink bodies compared with dozens of white bodies.

For less depressing stats, take heart knowing that the Small Press Expo (SPX) recently held in Washington D.C., featured women prominently in their line-up (Diane Noomin what!). Ladydrawers brings attention to disparities in comics (acknowledging that these numbers, these samples, and these collecting methods are just one piece of the larger story) while promoting female comics creators. Check back at for more Ladydrawers updates!

Previously: Internet Crush: Cisgender News, Internet Crush: Kartina Richardson

by Kjerstin Johnson
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Kjerstin Johnson is a writer and editor in Portland, Oregon. She is the former editor in chief of Bitch. She tweets at @kajerstin

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