GERMAN, and other International Comics Survey developments!

As you are surely aware, we here at Ladydrawers HQ—in conjunction with pals actually literally around the world—are working hard to gather any and every bit of data we can on race, gender, physical ability, maternity, and economics in the comics industry, everywhere. This, as you can imagine, is a difficult and time-consuming task, especially when it is all volunteer run by folks who don’t get paid a ton in their regular jobs. Which, by the way, is just as true for women in comics in the US as it is for women in comics in Finland, if our current findings are any indication! (Spoiler alert: they are.)

That being said, through the tireless efforts of Vienna-based women’s rights and culture organizer Katharina Brandl, we have just added a German language edition of our international comics survey! Please forward it far and wide to all your German-speaking comics-creating pals (and those who aspire to such an exalted position) so we can continue to provide you with interesting and depressing information on global freedom of expression!

We are working hard to complete Swedish, Malay, Russian, French, Japanese, and other versions of the survey now. (If you have language skills to donate, please get in touch!) In response to our current translations, we could use more male and non-binary respondents. We would like to have more English-speaking respondents. We appreciate the possibility of more Spanish- and Latvian-speaking respondents. We crave more dolphin respondents, but what are you gonna do? We require more Italian-speaking respondents. To achieve these, we have decided leave all versions of the survey open until further notice.

That all being said, our handy guide to currently existing translations of the International Comics Survey is here:

Please share them far and wide, so we can gather as much information as possible. And thank you so much for your input into our exciting if overly sobering work!


Photo on 2013-04-21 at 13.16 #6

It contains our latest creation, a survey about emotional labor! We’re asking food service workers to participate by filling out a quick chart after each work shift. We’re seeking to gather data about how you feel at the end of your workday. By gauging the levels of happiness, stress, and pride people experience in an average day, we aim to expand upon and better define the concept of emotional labor. This information will be used to fuel discussion and creativity at Life and Labor, a workshop led by cartoonist Delia Jean and journalist Sarah Jaffe. (You can also download the survey here: but please return it to us at the email address below when you’re done!)

We encourage participants to share stories, drawings and notes about their on-the-job experiences. Just place them in the pre-addressed envelope and send them along with your completed survey! For more information, please email Thank you for your help with this project!



Hey folks,

Truthout asked us to throw together some handy banner-ads for when they redesign the front page of their site, and the fabulous Nicole Boyett created these. Since the strip’s being used in classrooms and linked to all over the place, we wanted to post them for public use. We’re fans of diversity, you probably figured out, so feel free to use the one that is most appealing, and remember to use this link, which has all the strips—most recent first!


So You Want to Work in Comics

Delia Jean Hickey was drawing comics about gender and economics before she ever even heard of the Ladydrawers. (Check her hiLARious Station In Life Comics here. Like, now.) As part of the Ladydrawers crew, she researched the economics of the comics industry and, as a final project, drew comic from which the below is excerpted.

You can get the whole thing now at Challengers Comics, Chicago Comics, and the Graham Crackers in Lakeview, but by Monday they’re likely to be at all the other Chicago comic-book stores, too.

Without further ado:


Readership Statistics IV: The Role of Marketing

The Role of Marketing

Do you think comics are effectively marketed to women?
Yes 79 4%
No 1630 92%
What forms of marketing comics do you think are most effective in selling comics to women?
Previews (the catalog) 266 17%
Individual comic shop marketing 518 33%
Television and movie adaptations 1084 69%
Previews (advanced views at a comic) 466 30%
Reviews 841 54%
Interviews and feature articles on comic sites 721 46%
People may select more than one checkbox, so percentages may add up to more than 100%.
Do you think comics publishers are better or worse at marketing to women than companies in other typically male-driven industries like video games?
Better 594 34%
Worse 1008 57%
Do you think the direct market is good at marketing itself and its products?
Yes 584 33%
No 974 55%
Between the community, the cultural preconceptions, the content, or the marketing, which do you think plays the biggest role in the low percentage of women in comics?
Community 84 5%
Cultural preconceptions 812 46%
Content 163 9%
Marketing 73 4%
All of the above 510 29%
Other 121 7%

Readership Statistics, III: The Role of Content

The Role of Content

What’s the gender of your favorite comic book character?
Female 548 31%
Male 1033 59%
Other 182 10%

Not sure what people count as “other” BUT I’m interested to see how close this divide is to the divide in gender of respondents.

Do you think content is a deciding factor for women who do or don’t read comics?
Yes, I think the current content of comics keeps women away. 931 53%
Yes, I think the current content of comics brings women in. 128 7%
No, I think the current content of comics is fine and women aren’t reading for other reasons. 478 27%
No, I think the current content of comics is fine and women are reading them. 159 9%
Do you think women in comics are accurately portrayed?
Yes 48 3%
No 428 24%
Sometimes 1249 71%

Yes, I realize this was vague given the broad amount of genres it covered.  But it’s still an interesting breakdown.

Do you think female creators are better at portraying female characters?
Yes 1168 66%
No 511 29%
Do you think increasing female creators in comics would increase female readership?
Yes 1365 77%
No 340 19%

Is gender of comics creators a deciding factor in your comics purchases?
Yes 139 8%
No 1575 89%