Minx No More: DC Cancels Girls’ GN Line
Wow. I knew the DC line of graphic novels for
girls young adults (as DC puts it, and that wishy-washiness may have been one of its problems) wasn’t getting a lot of attention, but I expected it to last through its second year instead of being truncated.
Comic Book Resources is reporting that DC has cancelled the Minx line. After putting out six books in 2007, this year so far they’d released
- Burnout (best of the lot, in my opinion)
- Water Baby
- Janes in Love, sequel to the debut release
- The New York Four
The big problem? Distribution. CBR states
Random House, DC’s book trade distributor, has not been able to successfully place MINX titles in the coveted young adult sections of bookstores
I’ve previously speculated that the books were selling better in the established comic direct market than bookstores, which wasn’t the goal for the line, although it plays to DC’s strengths and comfort levels.
But then, the line was formed out of jealousy. Shelly Bond, the editor behind the imprint, said she “pitched this line as an alternative to manga, but also as an alternative to traditional fiction” — in other words, why aren’t these kids buying OUR comics? Which is typical DC thinking.
Too much of the promotion revolved around what the books weren’t, instead of what they were. The analysis at the CBR article states 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
Alternative to what? Again, that’s being reactive — “we’re not superheroes, we’re not manga” — instead of proactive. What are you, then? And the answer is some middling soap opera work without much passion, telling comfortable stories about young women who learn to accept themselves (and often get a boyfriend) after a significant event, with serviceable but not astounding art.
Also, DC spent at least $125,000 just on promotion. That’s a lot of money to expect a new line reaching to a new market to cover in under two years. An initiative of some other kind might be very well supportable.
Let’s not forget one major issue: the lack of significant female creative contribution, a problem from the start.
No one loved these books. Some of them weren’t bad, but none of them were truly great. And that, ultimately, is why they failed. Although being part of a company that over-controls creative efforts and isn’t really sure whether it wants women readers probably also contributed.
So farewell to the non-published titles:
- Emiko Superstar by Mariko Tamaki and Steve Rolston (previously scheduled for October – anyone have an advance copy they don’t want?)
- Token by Alisa Kwitney and Joelle Jones (whose work I loved on 12 Reasons Why I Love Her – I’ll miss this one the most)
- All Nighter by David Hahn (was due in January 2009)
- Clubbing in Tokyo by Andi Watson
Perhaps some will be resurrected under Vertigo, or elsewhere.
Pure speculation: also announced this week was that another couple of CMX books were cancelled to be resolicited at a later date. Is that the next imprint to face cost-cutting?