Like we said, we’re collating our thoughts on Minx, the new DC/Vertigo imprint aimed at teenaged girls, and other women and comics related matters. We will say that the story in the New York Times that broke the story did DC no favors in the comics industry with its PR like quotes, and Karen Berger has to explain one of them in an interview at ICv2 News:
[Q]: The first question is about the opening quote in The New York Times article, which was, “It’s time we got teenage girls reading comics.” Were you talking about DC comics? Because there are a lot of teenage girls reading comics.
[A]: Yes, exactly. It’s reading DC Comics. Teenage girls do read manga, obviously, and I made a big point of that when I was being interviewed–that the influence of manga in terms of getting teenage girls to read comics in general is amazing and wonderful–and I don’t think that came across that fully in the New York Times piece. Of course, teenage girls are reading comics, they’re reading manga. What that quote really means is that the point for us is that it’s time for teenage girls to be reading DC comics and also to be reading comics that are published by an American publisher because there’s nobody in the States who is doing anything in full force. Scholastic has done a number of books for teenage girls, and small press and self-publishers have, but in terms of the major imprints, there’s no American publisher doing it, and that was really my point.
The other beef against Minx is the lack of female creators. Male creator Aaron Alexovitch, who is working on CONFESSIONS OF A BLABBERMOUTH and KIMMIE66 for the line, sheds some light at
I’ve got two books coming out with Minx toward the end of next year, so I figured I’d throw in my two bits on the male/female question… I think the key difference between Minx and every other attempt by the “Big Two” to reach teen girls is in Shelly’s approach. Most of the “girl comics” I’ve seen give me the impression some editor spun their rolodex of artists, picked a name and said “Gimme sumpin’ ROMANCEY.” I mean, hey, Jack Kirby did “girl comics,” right? Anybody can do it!
But when Shelly was building the line, she specifically sought out people who were doing work that ALREADY appealed to girls. People like Andi Watson and Ross Campbell don’t have to “target” that market. They just do their thing and the audience is there. It seems like a pretty obvious strategy, yeah, but if you think about it, until fairly recently that would’ve been a pretty shallow pool of talent to build your line on.
Until Vertigo, manga, and the goth comics scene came along, it was extremely difficult to make a career for yourself without pandering in some way to the testosterone set. Not impossible, but difficult. And for the record, I know for a fact Shelly looked for more female creators (I mean… why wouldn’t she? The internet kvetchers out there need to provide a counter-theory here.), and that it still kind of bugs her that there aren’t more involved in the launch. I know she spent a lot of time going back and forth with a friend of mine over at SLG, for instance.
But you have to respect the fact that at the end of the day, she and Karen went with the ideas that appealed to them most instead of instituting some kind of quota system. They’re definitely still looking, though, and if the line does well enough, I’m sure it’ll attract more pitches from women.