More on Minx

Today’s hot story: Reaction to the news about DC’s Minx line.

Minx logo

Update 3: DC posted this logo.

Creators have begun commenting. At his message board (all links no longer available), Warren Ellis downplays concern over the lack of female creators, pointing to the two female editors and saying that the imprint is designed to make money, “not raise an ideological tent”. Andi Watson (one of the imprint’s writers) confirms that the editors tried to recruit more women, but “Some creators weren’t interested and then I guess other pitches were rejected (a bunch of mine went in the bin too).” Fabio Moon responds by speculating “maybe the creators were worried they would be tagged as ‘I’m a girl, I’ll write for girls’.”

Bryan Lee O’Malley brings up the long time involved in getting the effort going (possibly another discouraging factor?): “I pitched for this line too, and Shelly & I went back and forth for a few months on different ideas, but I was working on Scott Pilgrim v1 at the time and eventually had to drop out so I could finish it. I’m surprised it took them this long to announce the line (two and a half years since I was involved), but I think longer lead times are probably a good thing in the graphic novel biz.” Brian Wood brings it back to quality: “I think in the end all that’s going to matter is if the readers/consumers like the books, not what gender the creative team is. And if you look at the YA section at any B&N, it’s pretty diverse in that regard, so all the Minx books have to do is to be good.”

Andi Watson goes into more detail at his blog, saying in the comments “to be honest the page rate on a regular monthly book is better than on the MINX titles”, which might provide another explanation. I’m guessing that the books are work-for-hire, too, so some of the many talented women working for book publishers, where creator ownership is more common, might not have found the deals comparable. (That’s pure speculation on my part, of course.)

(Apropos of nothing, I wonder if we’ll ever see more of this forgotten Watson effort: “I did indeed write a tennis book for Marvel in the Jemas era that ended up in the bin. I wrote five or so issues and three or more were drawn before it got canned…if only I’d written a mixed-doubles issue with Wolverine guesting.” I had no idea that project had gotten that far along before it was nixed.)

Blog@Newsarama (link no longer available) gathers up a number of the links and has an active comment section, where the participants include a library consultant who’s glad to see more material for teenettes[1]; concern over the sexual implications of “minx”; concern over Alloy’s role, given their other titles and involvement in a plagarism scandal; and concern over the lack of female creators followed by the usual Newsarama backlash to such discussions.

Has anyone noticed that even creators known for their individual work as both writer/artist (like Watson) are being paired up with others to make sure that there’s no book done by only one person? DC has a history of this. The same thing happened with Bizarro Comics, where cartoonists mostly just wrote or just drew. Rumor has it that DC does such task splitting as a way of further protecting their copyright and justifying a book’s work-for-hire status.

Update 2: I’ve been told by a reliable source that a later wave of titles does include a book done by a writer/artist, so looks like I was wrong on that one, too.

Update: In a comment at the previous post, Ali provides some additional information on the line’s marketing plans:

… drawing from some additional details reported by Publishers Weekly, there’ll be a 2-page advertorial in the Alloy-owned Delia’s mail order catalog (shipped to approx. 900,000 young women); Alloy will generate e-mail blasts to consumers via its various websites; it will distribute book covers featuring Minx titles to students and directly to schools. Do I know if those sorts of marketing initiatives will be successful? Honestly, I don’t know. But I’m comfortable in guessing that many of those hundreds of thousands of tweenage girls and young women who will be touched by such marketing will not decide whatever they decide about the Minx line based on Alloy’s past problems.

That’s darned impressive. It’ll be interesting to see how DC, traditionally friendly to the direct market, sends customers to purchase the books. Will those many non-comic readers be directed towards comic shops or bookstores? Or even online purchasing?

1: I figured sooner or later someone was going to come up with a dismissive name for teen girls as a marketing targets; I thought I’d get an early vote in for something with old-fashioned flavor.


19 Responses to “More on Minx”

  1. Brian Wood Says:

    I would be very surprised if these books weren’t creator-owned.

    -bri

  2. Johanna Says:

    That’s good to hear, even if it makes my speculation wrong.

  3. lea Says:

    Well, I went and read at The Engine. That made me feel dirty, and not in a good way. That thread is chock-full of the usual bullshit, and it’s all coming from men.

    FWIW, I wrote to Shelley Bond twice earlier this year, since Paul Levitz said she was the “point person,” and never heard a peep back.
    So, there’s at least one female creator who went to DC (with unwarranted optomism and enthusiasm, fired up by a fantastic Wonder Woman manga I saw) and said, “Comics for girls! DC could actually DO something with that!” and never heard a damn thing back.

    Oh, well!

  4. lea Says:

    And I am totally unafraid of being tagged as “writes for girls” SOMEONE making comics has to, and there are plenty of girls reading, now.

  5. Sarah Says:

    *sigh* Sure, they chose for quality, and it just *happens* that only one woman ended up in the group! Funny how that’s been happening since the dawn of time.

    I’m sure a lot of the men who say things like that are well-meaning, but that line is played-out.

  6. Rachel N. Says:

    Heh, I already am tagged as “writes for girls.” I don’t see what’s so bad about it ;)

    Sonny Liew (or at least I think that’s who it is judging from the username sonnyliew) posted this in my livejournal on the subject:
    “The male/female thing is somewhat tricky – for my part, i know that those of us signing on knew that we were doing books meant for a manga-ish market; but I can’t remember if a teenage female audience was specifically mentioned.

    Drawing the book itself the only real concern was to make the storytelling work, gender never really came into it.

    Still I suppose when the line is being marketed so specifically, you can’t really escape gender issues – though,again, at the time of writing/drawing Re-gifters I don’t think many of us were aware of what direction the marketing would take.”

  7. Ali Kokmen Says:

    A few thoughts for those still interested in this:

    * The Publishers Weekly piece I mentioned is now online at http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6394743.html

    * Newsarama posted a Minx-centered interview with Karen Berger at http://forum.newsarama.com/showthread.php?t=92334

    * I like “teenettes” but I think “tweenagers” may have already caught on… ;-)

  8. Nat Gertler Says:

    According to Berger’s Newarama interview, Louise Carey is co-writing Confessions of a Blabbermouth, which adds to the female creative contingent count.

  9. TangognaT » Minx and Alloy Says:

    [...] I’m not really sure what to think yet about the new “Minx” line from DC comics aimed at teenage girls. I think out of all the titles announced, I’m probably most interested in “The P.L.A.I.N. Janes”, because it is being written by an established YA author and drawn by Jim “Street Angel” Rugg. I’m really curious to see if the marketing push by Alloy and the product placement in the Delia’s catalog will translate into sales. I also wonder what would have happened if the CMX line from DC had been marketed more agressively… [...]

  10. Rich Johnston Says:

    I read a preview issue of Watson’s 15-Love at San Diego years ago. Rather fun!

  11. Johanna Says:

    Ali: Thanks for keeping us updated. And “tweenagers” is younger than teens; “teenettes” is meant to divide by gender (and sound stupid).

  12. Nat Gertler Says:

    Perhaps “teeness” then, a la “waitress”, “stewardess”, etc.? The “ette” ending invokes words like “kitchenette”, where it is used as a diminutive rather than as a gender indication.

  13. Pitzer Says:

    Anything that gives me more Jim Rugg goodness is OK in my book. Can’t wait to check it out.

  14. James Schee Says:

    Hi just checking in from the local library, darn cable company making me wait a week for them to hook up my online serivice at the new house.

    Anyway, from just what I see here, I’m curious but not excited yet. I love Watson’s work, but like him as a whole with his art too, though the only time I’ve seen him writing only was in the Bizarro book. The others I know nothing about about, but I guess I’ll see.

    Odd logo, I hope they put it on the books right so they don’t all get put under M like the CMX ones.

  15. Comics Worth Reading Says:

    [...] In honor of the late Chick Checks, let’s count female creators: The complete 2007 Minx lineup was announced yesterday. Two are by male writer/artists. Two are by separate male writers and artists. One is by a male writer with two male artists. One is cowritten by a male and his daughter and illustrated by a male. One is by a female writer and male artist. (I’ve talked about the new imprint previously here and here.) [...]

  16. one diverse comic book nation » THE SHORT STACK: Diversity On The ‘Net - November 29, 2006 Says:

    [...] More On Minx – Johanna shows us the new Minx logo, questions the lack of women creators on the line, and questions the name (from Comics Worth Reading) [...]

  17. Comics Worth Reading Says:

    [...] I’m surprised,since I thought discussion might have died down by now, but people are still saying smart things about DC’s Minx line for teen girls. [...]

  18. one diverse comic book nation » Wowsie Wowsie Wonder Woman Says:

    [...] In just those 8 pages, I was simply charmed and then ultimately pissed because I wanted to know more. There’s been so much discussion about DC’s new Minx line, about its name and not having enough women creators and hopes that this line will encourage girls to read superhero comics, so this just seems like a no-brainer to me. If DC were smart, they’d take Pantoja up on her proposal. [...]

  19. Minx No More: DC Cancels Girls’ GN Line » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    [...] Let’s not forget one major issue: the lack of significant female creative contribution, a problem from the start. [...]




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