I’m still trying to clear all the cobwebs of brain medication from my skull (just 5 pages this month, holy god!), but I figured I should at least post some thoughts about the big Minx collapse last week…

If you haven’t heard, a few days ago DC Comics abruptly guillotined their whole “Minx” line of teen-girl-targeted books after just 16 months in the wild. The status of all their pending releases and pitches and whatnot is sort of up in the air right now, it seems. I had three pitches over there (including a Kimmie sequel), but I hadn’t heard anything about those in a while…

Anyway, here’s what I told Andy Khouri at Comic Book Resources (sorry to steal, but I’d just be repeating myself otherwise):

“Confessions of a Blabbermouth” illustrator Aaron Alexovich (also a character designer on “Invader Zim”) had the unique privilege of not just drawing a graphic novel aimed at teenage girls, but also collaborating with a teenage girl on its creation. “Mike [Carey] and Louise [Carey] put so much personality into those characters, I was more than happy to be dragged out of my typical spookyscreamymonster comfort zone,” Alexovich told CBR. “I’d work with them again anytime.”

Alexovich also wrote and illustrated for Minx the 176-page “Kimmie66,” a critically acclaimed graphic novel about a girl in the 23rd century who investigates the apparent suicide of her closest internet friend. “I have nothing but good things to say about working with Shelly on my Minx books,” he said. “‘Kimmie66’ was my first book for DC, so I sort of went into it expecting a pretty heavy editorial hand, but there was a lot more freedom than I expected. There was a lot of conversation and re-jiggering, yeah, but in the end, that book came out feeling just as much ‘mine’ as if I’d done it with a smaller publisher. That’s probably the saddest thing about Minx falling apart. It’s one less place at the Big Two for unique, personal voices to be heard. You can certainly pour a lot of your own voice into a Superman story, but it’s just not the same thing.”

“Kimmie66” is widely considered a highlight of the Minx line, but that didn’t make it any easier for its author to find in bookstores. “All I can say is that whenever I’m in a Borders, I look to see if my books are there, and I’ve found them maybe three times, always smooshed in among the ‘Captain Americas’ and whatnot,” he said. “I don’t think they ever found the best place to shelve the Minx stuff, to be honest. I don’t think I would have, either.

“Alternately,” Alexovich added, “maybe people just didn’t like them as much as they, y’know, liked other things.”

Read the whole thing here. It’s really in-depth… I think he got quotes from pretty much every creative team involved.

I haven’t really gone mucking through the comic blog-pits for other comments, but I did find some great posts on my Livejournal Friends Page:

Mariah (who helped edit Kimmie66) has her usual in-depth, well-thought-out take on the situation. I especially like that she brought up the lack of “genre” books in the line. Kimmie66 always seemed like an odd duck at Minx, and I’m absolutely certain the marketing department realized it… (There’s a reason Kimmie was released dead last in 2007.) This whole “real girls in the real world” dictate seemed to come about long after I’d finished my book, and it just depressed the hell out of me. I mean, that “teen girl” perspective has been so hard to find in so much “genre” stuff for so long, especially in comics, why not try to tap into that? Maybe more girls would read science fiction (or westerns, or war stories, or monster stuff, action-adventures, whatever) if the stories had more relatable protagonists and recognizable situations. Maybe they wouldn’t,* but it’s something for the next intrepid publisher to consider.

Mariah also points out that “Moxie” would’ve been a better name for the line. I agree 100%… but sadly, the focus groups did not. This, unfortunately, marks the first time I and any random group of average teenage girls have not been in total agreement on matters of personal taste.

Some other findings from my LJ Friends Page: Ross brings the whole line down with short-shorts,** Dave Roman (Agnes Quill rocks!) has some great points about serialization, my new favorite artist Faith Erin Hicks dodges a bullet, and Re-Gifter’s beyond-brilliant Sonny Liew wraps it all up thusly:

“As comics creators i guess all we can really do is try and tell the stories we think are worth telling and hope that the jungle of the marketplace out there somehow thinks they’re worth reading too.”

In other words: If you want certainty, may I suggest a career in mathematics?

*Yes, they would.

**Knock it off, Ross! Your work is beautiful and your girls are the truest, most realistic-looking teenagers in the business. Anyone who doubts that oughtta be strapped into one of those “Clockwork Orange” chairs and have Wet Moon forced into their eyes over and over and over again until they’re properly reprogramed.