Breaking news: Minx line canceled

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10013 400x600 Breaking news: Minx line canceledOver at CBR, Andy Khouri reports that DC has canceled the Minx line, the much-talked-about line of GNs aimed at the female YA market, launched with much fanfare last year. Khouri’s story doesn’t go into detail on which books will be released, but it appears some will still come out, only not under the Minx imprint. Other books, including one already in the can, will not be published, but reversion to creators is under discussion.

We can’t say we’re entirely surprised, but the move seems to come down to the old problem of finding an audience, and the conclusions reached by those close to the situation are grim ones:

Developed over several years and backed with the full financial support of DC Comics parent Warner Bros., the MINX line and its many titles are generally well reviewed, and the imprint’s ambitious goal was met with optimism and support from direct market retailers. Nevertheless, CBR News was told that Random House, DC’s book trade distributor, has not been able to successfully place MINX titles in the coveted young adult sections of bookstores like Barnes & Noble.

Multiple sources close to the situation agree Bond and DC aren’t to blame for MINX’s cancellation, and that this development should be seen as a depressing indication that a market for alternative young adult comics does not exist in the capacity to support an initiative of this kind, if at all.


We keep hearing that Random House has a huge influence over DC’s plans in the bookstore market…it seems the Minx line has been the first victim of some pruning.

We’ll be weighing in with more thoughts later, but Valerie D’Orazio keys in on the marketing problems as well:

Were the Minx books “comics” or “books?” Where were they to be racked at the comic shop, and where were they to be racked in the book store? As of two weeks ago, I saw Minx titles kept in the “teen novel” section of Barnes and Noble — some distance, perhaps a whole floor or two, away from the graphic novel section. Would there be that crossover readership from the teen novel crowd? Would they open up that copy of Re-Gifters and be like “hey, cool” or would they be turned off?

UPDATE: We knew Dirk would have a field day with this, http://tcj.com/journalista/“>and he doen’t let us down.

DC seems to have gambled everything on the notion that the manga model of bookstore success could be duplicated: That if you threw Stuart Levy levels of money into a new market, you stood a good chance of grabbing Tokyopop’s magic. Unfortunately, Tokyopop’s “magic” amounted to the possession of the Sailor Moon line of books, which played on a groundswell of young television viewers who remembered the animated series fondly and were hungry for more, backed up by titles like CLAMP’s Cardcaptor Sakura to feed the demand for similar works. Minx simply didn’t have anything like that initial spark in their inventory, and thus the enormous amount of money thrown at the line became a millstone around its neck. Success needed to come quickly in order to justify the initial cash outlay, and Minx just couldn’t meet such ridiculously high expectations. This race required a tortoise, not a hare, but DC Comics foolishly bet everything on the hare. The result is yet another tombstone for the graveyard.

Comments

  1. Purely anecdotal here. I order the graphic novels (among other things) for a large library system (20+ branches covering urban, suburban, and a few rural areas) in Ohio. We ordered lots of copies of all the Minx titles so far. Just as retail outlets use sales figures to gauge the success of a title or author, libraries use circulation statistics to do so. How many times has the book gone out? How many branches has the book circulated from? And so on.

    Sadly, in our system at least, the Minx books were universal duds. They sat on our shelves gathering dust while most manga and superhero fare from the Big 2 continued to fly out the door at a brisk pace. I’m not entirely sure what this means, but since marketing has less of an impact on public library patron use patterns than it does on retail buying patterns, I am tempted to say that part of the problem lies in the material itself. I’m not denigrating the quality of these graphic novels, but maybe the appeal wasn’t as strong as DC felt it was.

  2. Tintin Pantoja says:

    Well, that sucks. Despite my earlier dissatisfaction with Minx’s direction, I asked my high school librarian to order the entire list last week. The librarian had to be really careful about sexual/violence issues in their books, and Minx was one of the few brands I knew about and could vouch for…with actual female-centric stories.

  3. i just know it’s somehow my fault.

  4. I think it’s worthwhile to go read Heidi’s earlier article on Minx, and the comments thread that goes with.

    Handy link:
    http://pwbeat.publishersweekly.com/blog/2006/12/01/you-minx-you/#more-1238

    Boy, it sure is pretty outside today.

  5. Thomas Gerhardt says:

    Oooops.

    *must… resist… laughing*

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    oh, too late.

  6. Anecdotal evidence… when I worked at the Lincoln Center Barnes & Noble, the first title, Plain JANES, was ordered and placed in the Young Adult comics & manga section. (Not a good category, as a lot of young adults are over in the adult graphic novel section reading manga and super hero and everything else. YA GN occupies two shelves, compared to five in the children’s department, and at least fifty in GN.) It barely sold. I was a bit shocked that the other initial titles were not even ordered by the YA buyer, because I thought they were well done.

    As one last hurrah, DC should merchandise an endcap near the graphic novel section and feature the entire line for one month in all B&N stores, just to see if the categorization is killing the line. I think it is, because DC’s CMX line, which also had controversy at the beginning, is still running with almost no marketing. Perhaps Minx will get folded into CMX as an Original English Language manga line? (Piranha Press was folded into Paradox, which seems to have been folded into Vertigo.)

    The last two titles, according to the DC Spring 2009 catalog, are “Insta-Life” by Deborah Vankin and Rick Mays (March 2009) and “All Nighter” by David Hahn (April 2009).

  7. Well, this sucks. I’ve really enjoyed everything I’ve read from the Minx line, and was looking forward to checking out more. Then again, I’m neither teen-aged nor a girl so I’m not exactly what DC was looking for in an audience.

  8. I think one thing we can add to the Minx line’s problems was its very narrow social focus. Most of the books seemed to ceneter on (and cater to) artsy-progressive, Boho culture alterna-misfits that a fraction of female consumers would connect with, yet so many more wouldn’t. Here, let’s look at descriptions of several MINX titles:

    Burnout:“…family secrets and the politics of ecoterrorism set against the lush backdrop of the Pacific Northwest.”

    Emiko Superstar“Watch Emi go from dull, suburban babysitter to eclectic urban art star compliments of one crazy summer!”

    The Plain Janes:“When a transfer student named Jane is forced to move from the cool confines of Metro City to Suburbia, she thinks her life is overBut there in the lunch room at the reject table she finds her tribe: three other girls named Jane. Main Jane encourages them to form a secret art gang and paint the town P.L.A.I.N. — People Loving Art In Neighborhoods. But can art attacks really save the hell that is high school?”

    Janes in Love:“P.L.A.I.N. – People Loving Art In Neighborhoods – goes global when the art gang procures a spot in the Metro City Museum of Modern Art Contest.”

    Re-Gifters:“Meet Jen Dik Seong — or “Dixie” as she’s known to her friends. Korean American, dirt poor, and living on the ragged edge of LA’s Koreatown….”

    Water Baby:“Surfer Girl Brody just got her leg bitten off by a shark. Jake, her shark of an ex-boyfriend, is back and when it comes to Brody’s couch, he’s not budging. It’s up to Brody and her BFF Louisa to embark on the roadtrip from hell, narrowly escaping weird hitchhikers and shark-infested nightmares, to get Jake out of their lives forever. This time it’s personal!”

    Kimmie66:“Telly Kade is pretty much your typical 23rd century teen. She’s got impossible hair, misfit friends, a big sloppy brother…and a pair of VR goggles that lets her live among the vampires…”

    The New York Four:“Riley is about to find out what an adventure — and a mystery — living in New York City can be. The ultimate insider’s guide to NYC is seen through the eyes of Brooklyn-born Riley. Raised by stuffy, literati parents, Riley’s a shy, straight-A student who convinces three other NYU brainiacs to join a research group for fast cash.”

    I know it may be shocking to the birkenstock mocca-sippers, RAD surfer GRRRRLs, and art crowd progressives, but there’s a whole world of young women out there who weren’t included in the MINX tagline of “Your Life, Your Books”. I’m not necessarily suggesting that MINX should have included a line of books aimed at the cheerleader crowd, but at the same time, I think most objective people can look at the MINX line and realize just how narrow it’s social spectrum was.

  9. I think Dirk is spot on with one of the key reasons for the line’s failure.

    “DC Comics launched its Minx line to great fanfare, handing a quarter of a million dollars to Alloy Media & Marketing — or was it half a mil? I forget — in a determined effort to sell under a dozen releases a year. The overhead that all this generated was almost certainly too much, too soon when it came to publishing a category of books (American-made graphic novels for teenage girls) that really didn’t exist until the Minx line was created. There was simply no way for such a small number of titles from an unknown imprint to justify such a budget in the short term. If you’re building a line with an eye for six or seven years down the road, it’s a different matter, of course… but when has DC Comics ever shown such foresight?”

    http://tcj.com/journalista/?p=687

  10. Thomas Gerhardt says:

    Announcing that the panel would focus on Vertigo’s new original graphic novels, Berger’s first slide showed the cover of Mat Johnson and Warren Pleece’s Incognegro. Asked how many had read the book, only a handful of the audience raised their hands. Berger seemed surprised, since as she stated, the book has received “wonderful reviews” including in The New York Times.

    source: http://forum.newsarama.com/showthread.php?t=154470

    Although it deals with that other line from DC that is about to go “we don’t do comics anymore, we do INDIE art books, the reported reaction illustrates quite nicely what the problem is, and I am terribly sorry for the snark, but just as Independent movies, you may find yourself going, “oh, how deep and lushly they show the poverty of the modern soul”, but you know something? Unless you are aiming for an award somewhere or a few colun inches of newspaper space in the section nobody really reads to begin with, don’t act surprised if the market doesn’t want you.

    And, oh, don’t blame it on the consumers.

    Multiple sources close to the situation agree Bond and DC aren’t to blame for MINX’s cancellation, and that this development should be seen as a depressing indication that a market for alternative young adult comics does not exist in the capacity to support an initiative of this kind, if at all.

    source: http://comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=18205

    What is this? Lehman Bros? You know, if only the people having to PAY for each book (as opposed to getting it free to review) hadn’t been so woefully retarded as to not see our genius? The folks at DC created a line that was unfocused, didn’t take into account the fight for shelf space with bigger publishers, didn’t have a PR strategy in place that could have hyped female creators in order to gel the line into a sharp, focused push into an ALREADY overcrowded market, that of girl teen books, and it comes down to “the market wasn’t ready for our inherent hip stuff?”

    Again, I’m sorry, who’s running your ship? McCain?

    The Minx line failed because it was launched with incredible arrogance (“we’re DC! hear us roar!”), without a visible strategy to establish the line as a PRODUCT people wanted to pay for… and how is that not the fault of management? Oh, and yes, that failure WAS predictable.

  11. At least they tried. They failed but at least they tried.

  12. This happens every time someone gets up and decides to Change the Industry. You pour a lot of money and marketing into a small but diverse initial lineup, say, four books, with a basic concept that sets out to be different from whatever is out there.

    You get some readers, you get some good reviews, you figure everything’s going well, so you put out some more books. And then lots more. The circulation of readers doesn’t catch up to the acceleration of publishing and, before you know it, your bottom line can’t justify itself.

    Maybe instead of hollering about how you’re going to Change the Industry, you could just write a damn good book and publish it. Let the change happen organically, instead of trying to force it.

    I doubt Neil Gaiman set out to Change the Industry when he started writing The Sandman, but that’s exactly what he did. Now, I may not like Gaiman’s output or those books in particular, but it did lead to Vertigo Comics, which did lead to Y: The Last Man, so I figure I owe the man some props.

  13. Brian Davison says:

    So let me get this straight…DC launches a line targeted to the female Indie book crowd and its failure is due to improper handling of the bookstore market?

    It couldn’t be that these books simply appealed to a very small audience in an industry that is gradually being eaten away by various external factors?

  14. Nora Rocket says:

    @ Thomas Gerhardt: yeah, I think you’ve got it there.

    I was at the panel where the Incognegro “zuh-huh?!??” moment went down (followed by the editor asking the audience how Vertigo could reach them [!!!] and an audience member saying something about how personal home shelf space is the chief limitation on the consumer’s buying…riiiiiiiiight) and I immediately thought, marketing. Maybe my take’s a little skewed (marketing/sales background), but I see what Thomas sees: not that it’s the consumer’s collective fault for not being hep to the books, but that it can be laid partially at the feet of management for not marketing it right, whether the Minx line entire or Incognegro, and partially at the feet of the sales system that failed to place it to its best advantage. I know from my Borders days that sometimes a book gets sold as one subject when it might also fit with another subject, another buyer; trying to shift it later to a different category/buyer is/was nearly impossible. Maybe Torsten can corroborate from B&N as well, but when I worked in trade with those buyers, it was the same story: once sold in YA GN, never to be picked up in another, possibly more ‘exposed’ section?

    But then, this is just Monday morning quarterbackin’ from my somewhat informed, speculative self…. I hope for the best for Minx creators, anyways–I’m no teen, but I enjoyed the books.

  15. “…[T]his development should be seen as a depressing indication that a market for alternative young adult comics does not exist in the capacity to support an initiative of this kind, if at all.”

    Yeah, because manga sure isn’t doing blockbuster numbers selling to that same market.

  16. //…[T]his development should be seen as a depressing indication that a market for alternative young adult comics does not exist in the capacity to support an initiative of this kind, if at all.//

    “Yeah, because manga sure isn’t doing blockbuster numbers selling to that same market.”

    Alternative TO manga.

  17. I hate to agree with Deppey, but it’s true that you can’t just build a line out of nothing in today’s market. On an earlier post here I said something to the effect that the only way to launch successful kids’ books would be as loss-leaders for a time, gambling on the hope of being able to create a successful franchise or two owned by the parent company (rather than by association with a previous franchise, which cuts into the company’s profits). It looks like MINX– like most of DC’s attempts with other imprints– is a victim of the general “hard to sell new characters” climate.

  18. Regarding bookstore classification… yes, it is hard to change. But that’s where guerrilla marketing comes into play. We booksellers can leave a copy where it’s SUPPOSED to be, and then take the other copies and merchandise them whereever. We can handsell them to customers. We can place them on the New Release shelves/tables. If there are empty endcaps or displays available, management requires us to fill them with something, so any idea gets heard. (“How about ‘graphic novels by famous authors’? We’ve got Stephen King, Orson Scott Card…”)

    I can see why DC placed them in Teen Fiction. Manga is so crowded, and I think DC wanted to market the titles beyond the manga reading public. The trade dress was wonderful, and if given some display push, would sell nicely. Unfortunately, as I and others have noted, there isn’t much of a teen graphic novel category in stores. Five years from now, maybe. Just as Piranha and Paradox were ahead of the market, so too was Minx. Regarding the evolution of Vertigo, I remember they actively marketed the titles through record stores. Was that initially successful?

  19. Alan Coil says:

    1. I don’t see this as an anti-DC story at all. It’s very straight forward reporting.

    2. I see so much hatred bleeding through in the replies. Hatred of all things DC and hatred of Heidi having a thought in her head.

    3. Heidi can breathe in my mouth any time she wants to—Future Mr. Beat giving prior permission for me to volunteer for such a task.

  20. What happens to the writers, artists, editors and the like when an imprint is canceled?

  21. In my neck of the woods, my first exposure to this line of books was on FCBD. The sampler was very interesting.
    Then one local comic shop carried one copy each of a few books in the line. That’s it. No bookstore space, not where else, and no posters, or any POS materials. Several books sitting on the bottom shelf in a gaming/action figure comic store staffed by males.

  22. Brian Wood says:

    posted to my website:

    The ending of Minx is, of course, sad, and it should be sad to all of us, not just those involved in producing and publishing the books. A lot of people were very negative of the imprint from the start, for all kind of reasons, but I would hope that all of us (meaning industry professionals and readers alike) would have been happy to see Minx live up to its potential, to capture a new audience and bring more people in. The fact it didn’t, that it couldn’t, is bad news for everyone and a reason to mourn the loss.

    Editor Shelly Bond called me up yesterday and told me the bad news. I wasn’t part of Minx from day one, but I know how important this was to her, going back a lot of years. She is a fantastic editor, a great supporter and champion, and one of the most sincere and genuine people I have met in my career. Because of her not only does THE NEW YORK FOUR exist, but there will be a second volume in the series. Not sure when, or under what imprint, but we’re working on it. I have no doubt that she went out of her way to make sure that happened for me and my collaborator Ryan Kelly.

    I fear clicking around on the web to read the news and reactions to this. No doubt there will be plenty of armchair quarterbacking, people not only crying that they knew it was coming, or they predicted it, or that it’s some kind of triumph of their way of thinking over Shelly and DC’s… but also comments suggesting what Minx could have done differently in order to make it. Like they alone had the magic solution, the secret formula. I think I can say with utter certainty that anything that the collective “we” could think up, it occurred to DC first. They tried all they could, and it didn’t work. Again, this is bad for all of us. But they tried, we all tried. Minx represents not only a financial risk undertaken by DC, but the hard work and ideas and hopes of a lot of writers and artists and editors and people supporting us.

    Today is Shelly Bond’s birthday, by the way.

  23. So sad.

    IMHO…

    The problem wasn’t the marketing.

    The problem was the product.

    I echo Mark Engblom’s comment. The Minx line was for the most part, a hyper niche proposition, not for the majority of teen and tween girls. Unless, of course, the hyper niche is what DC wanted in the first place.

  24. Steven R. Stahl says:

    I’d have to agree with those who believe that simply producing what someone thinks is “good,” whether that someone is a reviewer or an adult, has little to do with how it sells–or moves. I worked as a public library’s book buyer for more than three years (2000-2003); what girls wanted to read was paperback serial stuff, so that’s what I bought for them. There were a couple of girls who were heavily into Laurell Hamilton-type vampire romance fiction and wanted us to buy or borrow books by various authors in that genre. We found what we could.

    Non-librarians might not appreciate the importance of the turnover rate, especially at libraries which lease books. Librarians might have opinions about literature, and want to buy what they think is good, instead of junk that’s popular, but the library’s turnover rate stat has a lot to do with indicating how well a book buyer is doing his or her job. A library is a business.

    SRS

  25. Re-release “Waterbaby” under the Vertigo imprint. It was too adult, in my opinion, for most teens, but it was a quality book that might have made a far bigger impact under a different imprint/ marketing strategy.

  26. “I’m not necessarily suggesting that MINX should have included a line of books aimed at the cheerleader crowd, but at the same time, I think most objective people can look at the MINX line and realize just how narrow it’s social spectrum was. ”

    This was a feeling I was getting from the line. I’d also say that it felt like Minx was fighting in a market space that is currently being won by books that are more unabashedly soap opera and more unabashedly fantastic than the Minx books were. In many ways, the Minx books I read felt like conventional YA girls books that I’ve seen, but they were fighting with Ouran High School Host Club, Nodame, and similar books, and I think the extra soap opera and fantasy won out.

    Honestly, if I wanted to compete in that market, I’d grab Chynna Clugston, ask her to remove the most obvious sex jokes from her work, and then let her go to town on whatever she felt like. I think her material is by far the most competitive in that area, and is likely to have the broadest appeal among the girls I see going through the comics shelves at my local library.

  27. Whether or not you agree with their publishing philosophy or branding it is ALWAYS a shame when a paying venue for creative works has to call it quits. There’s now one less opportunity for original comics works to be published for profit. The Minx line may not have been all things to all people, but its success could have inspired others to create competition and help build an even healthier comic market.

  28. “Honestly, if I wanted to compete in that market, I’d grab Chynna Clugston, ask her to remove the most obvious sex jokes from her work, and then let her go to town on whatever she felt like.”

    –That’s what Scholastic did with their Graphix line (which predates Minx) and Chynna created Queen Bee:

    http://www.scholastic.com/queenbee/author.htm

    I haven’t heard much about whether that book did well for them or not.

  29. Brian, I agree that armchair quarterbacking of the “I told you so” and “HAHA! I am experiencing schadenfreude!” variety are wrong, but I don’t think it’s fair to say that any speculation about what went wrong and how something like Minx might be done differently isn’t appropriate. I don’t know as much about the collective DC mind as you do, but I’m not sure how it’s fair to say that people in different parts of the industry couldn’t possibly see this in a way that they perhaps didn’t. I don’t have any answers, but I want people to think about this and offer theories because I would love to see a line of graphic novels targeted to girls succeed, and that can’t happen without that kind of thinking and speculating.

    I was intrigued by Jason’s comment: “I’m neither teen-aged nor a girl so I’m not exactly what DC was looking for in an audience.” I keep seeing comments like this. And, correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the Minx books do unexpectedly well in the direct market? It seems that DC found an audience for their Minx books, but it wasn’t what they expected! I’m wondering what they could have done about that. If they accepted the audience that they had, the mission of their imprint wouldn’t be fulfilled. But how did they change and adapt with the second round of graphic novels? Did they try to find a different kind of story, a different marketing strategy? Again, I don’t have answers. I just wonder because we learn from others’ mistakes and successes.

  30. Thomas Gerhardt says:

    The fun thing about the intertubes is that one can always link to something one said earlier, when other people were laughing or shrugging

    http://pwbeat.publishersweekly.com/blog/2006/12/01/you-minx-you/#comment-20372

  31. My condolences, of course, to the creators and editors involved with the Minx line.

    I see a lot of valid points being made above, about mis-fires in marketing, about a failure to take a longer view on things, but I think that on the whole, the remarks about the content failing to excite the intended audience is the most important factor.

    Just WHY this failure occurred is probably a complex matter, likely a confluence of factors including the Manhattan-centric nature of U.S. comics creators, the failure to appreciate the role of fantasy in YA appetites, the lack of female creators, and perhaps the misapprehension that “alternative” must mean material such as what Fantagraphics or Top Shelf publishes. (Not to knock those two publishers, I have a great deal of respect for them, but they are not attracting hoards of young female readers, are they?)

  32. That “Lea” up there is not me, BTW.

  33. Mark Coale says:

    @ Torsten

    “We booksellers can leave a copy where it’s SUPPOSED to be, and then take the other copies and merchandise them whereever.”

    Glad you could do that at BN. When I did that at Borders, I was chastised and made to move the books back to where they belong. (In this instance, it was taken a floorstack of Bill O’Reilly’s book and moving it from TV/Media to Political Science.)

  34. Alan Coil says:

    kwaku asks:

    “What happens to the writers, artists, editors and the like when an imprint is canceled?”

    A couple of them were government plants, the rest will be sent to Guantanamo for advanced interrogation.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    Or they could just continue on with their lives and find other jobs, either in a creative field or working for a corporation.

  35. I am always sad to hear of a line failing that shrinks the market of opportunities for writers and artists in alternative style comics, but I believe the creators DC employed for Minx are all talented enough to have little difficulty finding work with other publishers or within other DC imprints.

    That being said, as a girl and as a girl who reads teen girl manga and comics and as part of (honest it should be said) the target audience for Minx even if I’m not a teen because I swear my tastes in books are just the same, I didn’t find a single Minx book appealing enough to buy. And I make sure to flip through every one that comes out in the hope of finding something new that does! (and read halfway through a couple in the store just to make sure I didn’t give up too easy *cough*)

    Like others above me have pointed out, the stories felt NY/big city-centric and definitely outsider-looking-in-with-scorn focused characters. I felt no sympathy or relateability with the characters or story lines, and the dripping-with-witty-sarcasm dialog often fell short of the mark . . . like somebody was trying too hard to sound witty and humorous at the same time. Or showing off. I hate to say it, but as much as I love witty-sarcasm, I can only handle it in small doses and believe it tends to be more appropriate in adult fiction than in teen fiction. Tramps Like Us and Peach Girl make an excellent comparison in this regard.

    Which brings me to another complaint about Minx books: the art.

    Total turn off. Not because I thought it was bad art, but rather that the majority of artists simply were not well suited for teen lit. When I think of girl teen lit, I think of soft lines and curves and a well-fleshed attention to feminine details such as found in Peach Girl (manga) or Breaking Up (American comic). But the majority of art in the Minx line (one obvious exception being Ross’s “Water Baby”) was largely squarish with thick, blocky lines and very little attention to such details as clothing, hair, and accessories with girls who evolved and changed their appearances throughout the books like so many girls do. I like a good mix of eye candy in my comics which is something the Minx line often glaringly lacked.

    Then there was layout. Back when Minx was just getting started and DC was trying to explain their views, this is what Karen Berger had to say about layout in the Minx comics line: “We’re doing a more straight-forward American grid style, four-to-six panels per page kind of thing.”

    And that was perhaps the biggest turnoff of all, the one that put the seal on the door and threw away the key. The layouts in the Minx books are glaringly bland to someone raise on manga, and it’s difficult to get a real sense of pacing when nearly everything’s laid out in the same grid pattern. I’ve written multiple tutorials on the importance of layout in comics and get asked by libraries and schools to give presentations on this topic, so of course this is a personal passion of mine . . . and I’m getting the sense that the lack of dynamics in layouts wasn’t the artists’ fault but rather a limitation set by DC itself who basically said, “Don’t make it look like manga!”

    Except . . . that’s the BEST PART of manga! That’s what makes so many shoujo series so danged readable and easy to slip in to.

    So this is coming from somebody who loves teen girls comics to death and isn’t prejudiced by who publishes them or an author or artist’s country of origin. I came to the Minx line with an open mind (albeit an offended one by the title, but not prejudiced and WANTING more good American girl stories in the market place because I want this particular genre to grow) and was left with the impression that this was a showcase of good talent in a very bad situation: artists writing or drawing for a genre that just doesn’t fit their style and didn’t appeal beyond a very specific niche. I saw these books not as mass-market material but more something to be shelved alongside the indy books with wildly diverse styles meandering from the norm.

    IMHO. This had little to do with the marketing (other than that I believe the breadth of marketing invested in this line was unneeded) and all to do with content and audience.
    ——————————-
    For an example of not just a great but incredible teen chic graphic novel lit, just look at Breaking Up. If American girl graphic novels were to take a certain style and embrace it, I would most hope for it to be something like this. Except thicker . . . Blankets has both areas covered hands down. :)

  36. Well!
    Rivkah said everything that needed to be said!
    If the stories AND art were top notch, there will have been NO reason for lack of success. In this world of the internet? Word of mouth alone can propel the book to stratospheric heights.

  37. Ditto

    Still, it’s sad to see a comic cancelled.

    If only DC hadn’t poured money into it at the get go. There are girls out there that loved it and DC only needed to wait for that love to be spread by word of mouth.

  38. “If the stories AND art were top notch, there will have been NO reason for lack of success.”

    Lots of things which are good die for no readily apparent reason. Story and art are certainly not the only possibilities, and it’s even plausible that they aren’t even one of the reasons that the line died. Quality doesn’t always equal success, and success isn’t always a result of quality. A cursory glance at network television is all one needs to prove that point.

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Trackbacks

  1. […] The first comment at Heidi’s post points out that in his library system, the books “sat on our shelves gathering dust while most manga and superhero fare from the Big 2 continued to fly out the door at a brisk pace.” Similar Posts: Minx Now and Future § Minx No More: DC Cancels Girls’ GN Line § More on Minx § Who Buys Minx? § Today’s Minx Update […]

  2. […] The first comment at Heidi’s post points out that in his library system, the books “sat on our shelves gathering dust while most manga and superhero fare from the Big 2 continued to fly out the door at a brisk pace.” Similar Posts: Minx Now and Future § Minx No More: DC Cancels Girls’ GN Line § More on Minx § Who Buys Minx? § Today’s Minx Update […]

  3. […] So much news… Filed under: thoughts on comics — genuinearticle @ 8:51 pm The comics blogosphere is abuzz with news and commentary on the demise of DC’s Minx imprint, a line of comics aimed at teen girls/young women.  Although it had been years in the making, Minx was launched just under a year ago.  So far, it looks like it’s the brand that’s leaving the market, not necessarily the books. […]

  4. […] Heidi MacDonald at The Beat (1) Heidi MacDonald at The Beat (2) Heidi MacDonald at The Beat (3) This last post has lots of links to other discussions. I hope you weren’t planning on doing anything else today. Also, read the comments on all three of Heidi’s posts as they are fascinating freewheeling discussions. […]

  5. […] Breaking news: Minx line canceled […]

  6. […] But as a fan, it rings hollow to me. This is the same company that yanked Minx off the shelves less than two years after it launched (with much disagreement about whose fault it was), and is planning to cancel the wonderful gateway comic Blue Beetle, one of the most original superhero reimaginings the line has launched in years. (More comments here.) With so much shuffling going on behind the scenes, further puppetry leaves a bitter taste in my mouth: do these events and cancellations really help sales enough to be worth it? Shouldn’t DC be able to sustain a line without gimmicky “deaths” like this? I don’t know. I do know that these forced narrative shifts make me less interested in these stories, because the results feel less like comics than giant shiny advertisements for a property. […]

  7. […] Minx, a line of graphic novels aimed at teenage girls and introduced with much fanfare and a large budget by DC Comics in 2006, has been canceled. Much discussion about DC’s decision to throw in the towel after the line has been out a bare two years has centered on Minx’s dearth of female creators, its unfortunate placement in bookstores, and its lack of the fantasy elements so beloved by teenage girls. And people are wondering why DC Comics pulled the plug so quickly, since it was trying to carve out a completely new niche for realistic girls’ comics and needed to build an audience. There is no already-established audience for realistic teenage girls’ comics. There is a huge established audience for manga, but Minx was not manga. Apparently, some people got confused. They thought that girls who like pretty art with beautiful young men who look like fashion models (manga) would want to read deliberately realistic, even exaggeratedly awkward art with ugly young men who look like they’ve never matched a tie to a suit (Minx). No. […]

  8. […] It’s all over the Internet at this point, but The Beat links to a CBR report that DC is canceling the Minx books. No one is really too surprised and most people seem to be conflicted but sad about it. I know I am. […]

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