DC Cancels Minx Imprint

This morning, DC released the following statement about it's Minx imprint:

Minx will cease publication beginning January ’09. 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. 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.

Minx launched as a line of graphic novels aimed at a teen, female audience in May of 2007 with the 146 page The P.L.A.I.N. Janes by Cecil Castellucci and Jim (Street Angel) Rugg. Since then, the line has released a dozen books written by both comic book writers such as Mike Carey, as well as novelists such as Castellucci.

At the time of the line's launch, it was noted that DC would team with Alloy Marketing + Media to promote Minx in the coming months, and had a budget of $250,000, making it “the largest thing we’ve done in at least three decades,” according to DC president and publisher Paul Levitz. The titles in the line received their share of positive press and reviews, but never really caught on in the numbers that justified their continued existance, apparently.

As many commented at the line's inception, reaching the target audience (teen girls that were buying manga) with a line of books produced by an American publisher was an ambitious goal, and one that rarely - if ever - has worked in comics, that is, to develop a new audience for a new line of material created whole cloth. It's unclear which books will still be released under the imprint, but some titles in various stages of production, will not see printe under the imprint. Additionally, the titles found a difficult road in physiclaly finding their audience as well, as direct comic shops which were more superhero centric virtually ignored the books, while bookstores didn't know where to shelve them, given that they were something new that only superficially resembled manga titles or even young adult fiction.

The launch by DC came after its manga line launch (CMX) which still continues along, but seems to suggest that the "if you publish it, they will come" model of publishing comics still doesn't work. DC's other native print imprint, Vertigo (Wildstorm was acquired in 1999) grew as a place where already existing titles and popular charatcers that were tonally similiar were collected.

The Minx line was overseen by Shelly Bond and Sr. VP Karen Berger, both from DC’s Vertigo imprint.

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