Well, in the last few weeks I have: gotten really sick (twice, with the same cold), gone on vacation, and gone to NAIBA.  I need to do a follow-up post for the panel I spoke on at NAIBA because I have a question for everybody, but first!  Today’s news.

No, not the bailout!  The news that MINX, an imprint of DC comics aimed exclusively at teenage girls, will be ending in January.  I am totally bummed about this.  I read almost all the MINX books.  I’d be the first to say that not all of them were masterpieces, but they were a lot of important things, including a good price, interesting to teenage girls, and a good tool for booksellers.  If I’m remembering correctly, they were all safe in terms of content.  I used a MINX book, Good As Lily, for YA Book Group in April.  It was the first time any of the readers had read a graphic novel, and they all loved it.  Basically, it created a whole pool of new readers of comics, and even better, there was a ready-made shallow end to jump into, of other MINX books  No need to leap right to Watchmen or any number of other so-called classics of comics that couldn’t be less interesting to your average 14-year-old girl.

I hope there will continue to be efforts from the comics industry to provide content and format that is appealing to teen girls.  I know I shunned comics as a teen girl, because they seemed stupid and because it doesn’t take much intuition to notice that the industry doesn’t really even necessarily want teen girls to be part of the club.  I only started reading them late in high school when I wanted to impress the guy I was dating.  (This did cause me to love comics in their own right, but sitting around waiting for women to read comics because they fall in love with comics nerds is maybe not the most secure way to build a bigger fan base.)  I don’t see it as pandering, I see it as meeting a genuine hole in the market.  Teen girls are one of the main reasons manga has become as big as it has in bookstores–they like the price, they like the endless nature of the series, they like the stories that revolve around contemporary issues.  I firmly believe that comics are a separate medium from books–and to that end should have just as many genres as books, including contemporary teen YA.


1 comment so far

  1. jmcc on

    Good to hear you’re feeling better. I’m curious to hear about your panel!

    I just got back from out regional meeting. It was pretty good.
    The Indiebound people froze at the concept of being able to view a book before being directed to find a local store and I had a hard time explaining what I meant, but I like the indiebound more than not.

    Comics are definitely a different medium – possibly more endangered than books. Ultimately I support anything that helps people learn to love reading. What are your thoughts on Graphic Novels?

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