NYCC Women of Marvel Panel

Moderator: Jeanine Schaefer

Sana Amanat (Editor), Katie Kubert (Editor), Ellie Pyle (Associate Editor), Emily Shaw (Assistant Editor), Judy Stephens (Marvel.com), Ari Cowan (Social Media Manager), Kelly Sue DcConnick (Captain Marvel), Marguerite Bennett (Angela: Asgard’s Assassin), G. Willow Wilson (Ms. Marvel), Margaret Stohl (Black Widow YA Novel), Erica Henderson (Squirrel Girl), Stephanie Hans (cover artist) , Jenn Grunwald (Editor) Stacey Lee (Silk), Sara Pichelli (All-New X-Men).

Kelly Sue DeConnick provided a nice preamble to the panel by giving words of wisdom to female creators trying to get into the industry. She called on female artists and writers to band together and pointed out that ideas are cheap and doing the work is hard.

Schaefer started off the panel by introducing everyone on stage. And making a few plugs.

First she plugged the Women of Marvel podcast, which is a weekly podcast available on Marvel.com or from iTunes.

She also announced that G. Willow Wilson will be writing an arc of X-Men, that finds the female team sent into the bowels of the Earth.

March 2015 will see Women of Marvel variant covers by 25 of the top female artists in the industry to celebrate Women’s History Month.

Stohl will be writing a Black Widow YA novel. Stohl describes it as a dream come true and the “badassingest” thing that she’s ever done. She points out that Black Widow is more of a Wolverine than a Captain America. It’ll be on shelves in Spring 2015.

Gamora will get her own solo title, written by Nicole Perlman, who wrote screenplay for Guardians of the Galaxy. It launches in Spring 2015. (As a side note, Nicole was Wilson’s lab partner in high school.)

Then came the Q&A portion of the panel.

The first question was from a young woman who loved comics and was trying to get into the industry, but felt discouraged by the stories about misogyny in the industry. Why should she keep trying to get into the industry. Everyone offered words of encouragement. DeConnick pointed out that Comics isn’t the only place with sexism, but you have to fight because you have to and because “we need you to fight.” She also told the young woman to use this room and panel as motivation for when she felt discouraged.

The next question was about Scarlet Witch; can she get an ongoing, because she’s underutilized and everyone as has pretty much gotten over “no more mutants.” Schaefer pointed out that the world isn’t quite all over “no more mutants.” But beyond that she couldn’t comment.

Another young woman pointed out the difference between this panel and the Cup O Joe panel and wondered why there weren’t more women on the big panel. According to panel, pictures paint a powerful image, but it’s not the whole story. The presence of women in editorial is booming. DeConnick used to know every woman at the Big Two. She also promised that next year the Cup O Joe panel will look different.

The next question came from someone who wondered that, with the demise of the Fantastic Four, will Sue Storm get her own series? The panel was coy and said only that creators are interested in that and “let’s see what happens.”

Will females be the leads of other Marvel media aspects? The panel pointed out that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Agent Carter and Jessica Jones all feature, or will feature, strong female leads. They said that they also want more and are working towards it. Everyone in attendance was then urged to keep asking. “Don’t stop asking, don’t stop consuming the stuff. Make noise!”

One young in high school asked the panel how she could get more people to read comics, because she’s the only one in her school who does. Some of the suggestions offered; give your books to your friends, use the Marvel movies to get people into comics, start a (comic) book club. Wilson pointed out that everything starts with the fans. “There’s no substitute for word of mouth.”

Stohl was asked about advice for someone who wants to get into the world of comics and YA writing. Her advice; “put your butt in the seat and write it.”

The panel ended with a plug for Women of Marvel podcast and reminding everyone to email them at womenof@marvel.com.

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