Friday, 15 February 2013

Friday Feature - Graphic Novels for Female Readers 2: Minx

Minx was an imprint of DC Comics for teenage girls but sadly only ran between 2007-2008. It was aimed at intelligent and creative young women who enjoyed manga and indie graphic novels but felt too intimidated to read more mainstream American graphic novels such as Batman or Wonder Woman. Unfortunately due to factors such as mainstream booksellers placing Minx graphic novels with the 'boys comics', manga readers often shunning manga-style comics and the majority of Minx's creators being male the whole 'alternative graphic novels for young women' idea was considered not worth the trouble and Minx was cancelled.

To begin with each Minx graphic novel was a one-shot (single issue comic) though sequels were planned. The protagonists were always female (high school - college age) with their stories often being slice of life (though some had fantasy elements) sometimes featuring romance and always featuring personal growth. Though aimed at teenage girls the stories were never sugarcoated with the aforementioned life lessons often coming the hard way.

Due to the desire to attract readers of manga and indie graphic novels each book was A5 in size with a colour cover and greyscale pages. At the back of each book were samples of other Minx titles and three pages of blank panels to draw your own comic.

The Minx graphic novels were:
  • The P.L.A.I.N. Janes and Janes in Love by Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg - the artistic exploits of a group of high school misfits all called Jane.
  • Re-Gifters by Mike Carey, Sonny Liew and Marc Hempel - a young martial artist learns that there is much more emotion involved in the art of giving than just passing an object from one person to another.
  • Clubbing by Andi Watson and Josh Howard - a city goth discovers a sleepy village's creepy secret.
  • Good as Lily by Derek Kirk Kim and Jesse Hamm - a girl encounters three different versions of herself.
  • Confessions of a Blabbermouth by Mike Carey, Louise Carey and Aaron Alexovich - a young blogger learns you shouldn't write up every thought that pops into your head unedited.
  • Kimmie66 by Aaron Alexovich - a 23rd century girl investigates the suicide of a friend she has only met on the internet. 
  • Burnout by Rebecca Donner and Inaki Miranda - a young girl literally plays with fire when she starts dating a new boy.
  • Water Baby by Ross Campbell - a surfer girl who lost her leg goes on an ill-fated road trip.
  • The New York Four by Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly - explores both the glamour and loneliness of moving to the famous city that is New York
  • Emiko Superstar by Mariko Tamaki and Steve Rolston - a sheepish girl creates a new persona for herself during the summer holidays as a performance artist but learns glamour is subjective.
  • Token by Alisa Kwitney and Joelle Jones - when a single father starts to date his secretary his already awkward daughter vents her feelings of rejection and frustration by taking shoplifting lessons from a handsome stranger.
Unfortunately all the graphic novels only had single print runs and you probably won't be able to get them in a book or comic book shop anymore (I pretty much looted Forbidden Planet London...sorry guys) however you can still get them for reasonable prices from places like the Amazon Market Place and eBay.

I plan on reviewing each of the titles separately but if I had to pick one favourite it would be Emiko Superstar which features an extremely shy Japanese-American girl getting drawn to the surface glamour of an underground alternative performance art scene. Desperate to be cool for a summer she finds a way to join in but realises all that glitters isn't gold and that to maintain her fame she will have to compromise her morals...and I will leave the rest of that for its review!

I think it's a terrible shame that Minx didn't succeed. The reason more young women (or females in general) don't read graphic novels is because they don't feel many are aimed at them. This in turn creates a feeling that if a female IS interested in graphic novels she is being fake and doing it because that is what is cool with menfolk (which of course well all know is a load of guff). I sincerely hope that at some point DC does try Minx again...and when they do I want to be there writing for them.

Next week: We explore another of Ross Campbell's works further as the last (for now) of my graphic novels for female readers series!

1 comment:

  1. Nice post! I've nominated you for the Liebster award :) If you want to participate all the info is on my blog.


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