By Christopher Borrelli
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Marvel and DC, historically the largest comic book publishers, won’t release customer demographics, but the past couple of years have seen several studies, from among others Publishers Weekly and Amazon’s popular Comixology hub for online comics, that suggest between 30 and 50 percent of new comic book readers in recent years have been female.
The origin story of Amy Chu, mild-mannered Harvard MBA from New Jersey, turned brand-name superhero scribe, goes like this: As a jet-setting business consultant, life was humming along, but she remained unsatisfied. Until about six years ago, when she ran into a friend from college with a prescient idea: Comic books for young women. The market looked underserved, but Chu knew nothing about comics. So she did research. She took an online comics-writing class (“I had no idea what they were talking about”), and with her friend, Georgia Lee, now a writer at the SyFy channel, flew to Chicago, to attend C2E2, the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, take notes, make contacts.
“We’re two women, just walking around this convention, and one of our first experiences is checking out the artists area and getting asked by guys if we’d model,” Chu said. “It was way worse than Wall Street, nobody on Wall Street ever asked me to model. And you’d get mansplained all the time, on everything. Nobody cared about a Harvard MBA.”
Still, she took to comics like a natural, and within a couple of years, Chu was writing for Wonder Woman and Deadpool and Poison Ivy and Ant-Man. Her timing had been right.
“I wouldn’t say it’s great now for women in comics,” she said. “It’s no advantage. People still question your professional credibility all the time. But we are getting closer to parity.”