“Minx was an experimental imprint for DC Comics and we are extremely proud of the books we published and the stories we told during the past two years,” the publisher said in a statement released this morning. “We thank all of the writers and artists who lent their talents to our endeavor and especially thank readers who came along for the ride. DC Comics remains committed to publishing diverse material for diverse audiences as we continue to welcome new readers.”
According to Comic Book Resources, some solicited and otherwise approved books will be published, while others won’t — at least not as part of the imprint.
Announced in November 2007 and launched the following spring with much fanfare and an impressive — by comic-book standards, at least — marketing budget, Minx targeted the growing young-adult demographic in the book market.
Headed by Vertigo’s Shelly Bond and Karen Berger, the line debuted with The PLAIN Janes, by popular YA novelist Cecil Castellucci and Street Angel artist Jim Rugg. They also recruited the likes of Andi Watson, Derek Kirk Kim, Rebecca Donner, Brian Wood, Aaron Alexovich, Alisa Kwitney, Ross Campbell and Mike Carey.
Despite the $250,000 marketing budget, assistance from Alloy Marketing + Media — the company that promoted The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and Gossip Girl – mainstream-media coverage, and a mix of talent familiar to readers in both the comics and the YA book markets, Minx didn’t seem to find its audience. (That, of course, is a familiar refrain.) CBR reports that Random House, DC’s book-trade distributor, apparently hasn’t been able to place the Minx books in the YA sections of chain stores, which would seem essential when marketing a graphic novels written by the authors of The Queen of Cool and Boy Proof and Flirting in Cars.
Tom Spurgeon considers some other factors that may have played into the failure of the line, and wonders how the closing might affect similar offerings by other companies, as well as expectations for DC’s upcoming thriller imprint Vertigo Crime.
Update 2: Artist Steve Rolston (Degrassi: Extra Credit, Queen & Country) says that Emiko Superstar, the graphic novel he created with Mariko Tamaki (Skim), will be released next month by Minx. However:
What I hadn’t announced yet was that we had already begun work on a spin-off graphic novel. DC has invited us to re-pitch it as a Vertigo book.
I didn’t. But what if I had, and Minx had bought Chiggers? I would probably be out of a job right now. Chiggers is not vastly better or more innovative than some Minx books. It’s a genre book. I’ve seen mentions of the Minx books mainly falling into the formula of “this summer changed my life!!!”, and Chiggers is literally that. After Chiggers I would probably have written Chiggers 2. I’d have gone through, hit the required story beats, churned out another book of exactly the same length, and stagnated as an artist and a writer. I might never have recovered from that.