Minx in Chief

November 27, 2006

Newsarama’s Matt Brady interviews DC’s Karen Berger about Minx. Berger provides additional detail on some of the titles and the philosophy behind the line.

“There’s no one out there, when you think about it, doing a line of graphic novels for teenage girls. You have manga, but it’s import and, while there’s a lot of really great stuff, it’s not fully for teenage girls.”

Discounting the heavily branded Shojo Beat.

“Scholastic has a few titles, but those are skewing younger or older. No one is really attacking this area in a full-fledged way with a major imprint, and we’re doing it.”

And I suppose it’s true that, while Tokyopop’s global books do feature a number of teen-girl-friendly stories, Tokyopop has always resisted the kind of categorization that Viz employs (Shojo Beat, Shonen Jump, Signature, etc.). She never actually mentions Tokyopop, though perhaps there might be some coded references:

“We’re not bringing in manga storytelling devices, we’re telling clear straightforward stories in a way that we feel they should be told, but we’re not adapting any manga. We’re looking at this as an alternative to manga – as an alternative to young adult fiction – we’re trying to find a new area of contemporary fiction.”

Consider me torn. I would like for this line to succeed, because more good comics for young adult readers always makes me happy, and in spite of the fact that I’m staring 40 square in the eye, I tend to like a lot of the comics already available for young adult readers. I’m glad that DC finally decided to engage this audience in a serious way and handed the enterprise to people who, as Warren Ellis put it, are “more curatorial than editorial.” And the quality of the talent attached certainly seems to bear that out; I’m genuinely excited by the possibilities of the books.

But there’s just something about the way it’s being framed that’s making me stompy. Tons of publishers have released great material for this audience, whether original or licensed. Stamping “Minx” on it and hiring a marketing firm doesn’t make it new, no matter how shrewd the execution.

Go north

November 27, 2006

There’s a nice profile of Scott Chantler, creator of Northwest Passage, in the Toronto Star (found via ¡Journalista!), tying in with a Beguiling-sponsored event at the Toronto Reference Library. I mention this only because I love the book and will bring it up at any opportunity. The article is an enjoyable read:

“’There’s a real movement within the comics medium into that sort of middle ground, between corporate superhero comics and the independent artsy comics that veer toward mopey autobiographies,’ says Chantler.”

And that movement’s name is Minx! Oh, wait… never mind.

Back on the subject of Northwest Passage, Chantler shared some good news in comments on a previous post:

“You’ll be glad to know that a collected edition of NORTHWEST PASSAGE is scheduled for spring (good thing, too, because vol.1 is sold out.) It’s going to feature an *enormous* section of sketches, script excerpts, and commentary.”

One of the rare comics that I’ll have to buy twice. I can always give the individual volumes to the library.