Diana Tambyn sends word of this year’s Women of Comics meeting at this years Paradise Comic-Con in Toronto. The debut of the Minx line will be a special focus:

Over 20 female comic book writers, artists, and editors will come together June 9-10 at Women of Comics II – part of the 2007 Paradise Toronto Comicon.

Women of Comics II will showcase female talent and creativity in what has traditionally been a male-dominated industry. Sponsored by All New Comics Inc., the symposium will feature signings, portfolio reviews, panel discussions, and direct interaction with the artists.

This year, the spotlight is on Minx, a new graphic novel imprint from DC/Vertigo aimed at teenage girls. Designed as an alternative to traditional teen books and Manga, Minx is a series of paperbacks by writers and artists from both the comic book world and young adult fiction. “We’re really excited about the material, and we’ve got a lot of great writers and artists who are really passionate about the stories that they want to tell”, says Shelly Bond, group editor at Vertigo.

Minx debuts with the May 16 launch of The Plain Janes, written by noted Canadian young adult novelist Cecil Castellucci (Boy Proof, The Queen of Cool), illustrated by indie favourite Jim Rugg (Street Angel), and edited by Bond (who came up with the idea for Minx). Both Castellucci and Bond are featured guests of Women of Comics II.

The story follows a girl named Jane, who leaves the city for suburbia after a terrorist attack. In the school cafeteria she meets three girls named Jane who are anything but ordinary. They form a group dedicated to creating acts of anonymous public art as a form of political protest (P.L.A.I.N – People Loving Art in Neighborhoods).

On working on The Plain Janes, Castellucci says:” It would have been really nice growing up to have had comic books (written by women or men) that told the kinds of stories that I longed to read. I hope to do many more graphic novels involving the Janes and perhaps one day I’ll get to do a regular monthly series of my own!”

At 176 pages with black and white interiors and slightly bigger than a comic book digest, the line is more in step with Young Adult paperbacks. Each title also includes previews for three other Minx books as a special bonus and retail for 11.99 each.

The following is the full 2007 Women of Comics II guest list. For more information, visit http://www.womenofcomics.com:

* Shelly Bond
* Cecil Castellucci
* Svetlana Chmakova
* Danielle Corsetto
* Tania Del Rio
* Janet Hetherington
* Faith Erin Hicks
* Joan Hilty
* Liana K.
* Kiss Machine Presents
* Michèle Laframboise
* Tara McPherson
* Robyn Moore
* Patricia Mulvihill
* Christine Norrie
* Nicola Scott
* Gail Simone
* Tara Tallan
* Diana Tamblyn
* Raina Telgemeier
* More to come!

The 5th Annual Paradise Toronto Comicon runs from June 8-10 in Hall C at the Direct Energy Centre on the CNE Grounds.