Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Friday, September 26, 2008

On Minx and Untapped Markets

A lot of other people than me have posted about the ending of DC's Minx line and much more intelligently. But I figured I'd add my own reaction anyway.

I'm sad, on an intellectual level, as I really liked seeing DC try something new as well as try marketing comic books for young women. I think that was a good idea and I hope they keep occasionally taking risks like that even if this particular endeavor didn't work out.

At the same time, I'm indifferent otherwise. I've never read a MINX book. I couldn't tell you what's good or not. None of them looked particularly interesting to me. I've never been much into slice of life dramas anyway, unless they have a phenomenal level of soap opera style cheese, and I drifted away from most manga ages ago. I'm a super-hero fan, plain and simple. I knew MINX wasn't for me.

But I'm still sad.

At the same time I'm hopeful. Because even if MINX failed, the overall impression still stands. DC WANTS young female readers. Those young female readers are out there, and even if this didn't grab them, something else may. The important thing is to keep trying.

What *I*'d personally like to see, though I can by no means assert that it would sell to anyone but me, is more superhero-comics for young women. It occurs to me that there are many young female heroes in the DCU and I think if packaged correctly, they could really appeal to young women.

There's nothing inherently male about superheroes after all, and I remember being one of many young girls religiously into shows like She-Ra and hell, even Sailor Moon. There were a gratuitous amount of tie-in products for those, as I recall, too.

I think what *I* would do, and I'm going to preface this with what we all know already: I have no marketing experience, I have no real notion of what anyone but me would buy, yadda and et cetera, what *I* would try is to re-package Supergirl and Batgirl and set them up as the flagship comics for a mini-line of superhero comics directed toward girls. I think characters like Wonder Girl (even if she is a bit angry/angsty at this time), Miss Martian (I'd bet SHE would entice some of the magical girl crowd as well as some of the sci-fi lovers), Stargirl (If Mr. Terrific can have two comics, I can't see why she couldn't), Raven (who would totally appeal to the cute little proto-Goths I see hovering about Hot Topic), maybe even Shining Knight to entice the high fantasy girl-crossdresses-as-boy fan crowd. Heck, why not give Spoiler her own comic with this group too? We KNOW she's got an audience after all. And heck, much as I dislike her, I admit, her costume/image is cool.

Oh and naturally, I'd want to bring back Amethyst. She's a quintessential American take on a Magical Girl, and if anyone gets to the Sailor Moon type crowd, it'd probably be Amethyst.

I'm sure not all the comics would succeed, but I think it says something that to this day little girls are still buying pink Supergirl lunchboxes without ever reading the comics. Cartoons like Winx and W.I.T.C.H. and all that sort of mind-rotting cute magic crap seem to be fairly successful. Girls like seeing pretty female characters in cute costumes playing with magic or superpowers doing good things and maybe meeting some good friends or finding a bit of romance along the way. DC has a plethora of young female characters with a variety of features and traits that would appeal to this audience, the trick is just getting the product out there and letting those little girls (and their parents) know that these exist.

Minx was a good idea, but it was, I think, a niche market, like general indy comics. The sales were never going to soar past a certain point. I suspect, however, that the potential market for Winx and W.I.T.C.H. and the Disney fairies and the Magical Barbie adventures, and Sailor Moon (or whatever magical girl type manga/anime is popular right now, I'm out of touch) is considerably larger than the kind of audience that would go for the Minx comics. I also think that DC and Marvel already have the tools at hand to change this. The real issue is actually using said tools and letting the little girls and their parents out there KNOW that you've got something here that they would probably like.

That's just my amateur two-cents. :-)


  • At September 26, 2008 8:06 AM, Blogger LurkerWithout said…

    Mr. Terrific doesn't have two comics, DC cancelled Checkmate. Though I agree, given the success of 'toons like Winx and Witch and what not, bringing back Gemworld seems like a no-brainer. Maybe test the idea with a couple guest appearances, then a 4-issue mini at least...

  • At September 26, 2008 8:19 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    He did for more than a year, so I think my statement still applies. :-)

  • At September 26, 2008 8:43 AM, Blogger Matthew E said…

    The idea that I like - and I can't for the life of me remember who came up with it - is that of giving Princess Projectra her own comic, or even her own TV show. Oh, I know she isn't a well-known character outside of Legion fandom, but that just means you can do whatever you want with her.

    And look at the premise. She's a magical future space princess whose boyfriend is the greatest martial artist of all time and whose friends are all superheroes. She even already has her own supporting cast: her father King Voxv, her evil cousin Pharoxx, the sinister Hagga, the mysterious Orakills...

    It's a license to print money.

  • At September 26, 2008 9:46 AM, Blogger SallyP said…

    I feel about the same way. I never read the Minx line, but I'm sorry that other people won't have the chance to read it.

  • At September 26, 2008 10:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    My idea:

    A new magical team up Charlie Angel's style, but done for girls.

    Zatanna would be Charlie

    Misfit, Cyclone, and Traci 13 would be the "Angels", and it would have a magic focus. Camoes by Marvels, Blue Beetle, Black Alice, others...

  • At September 26, 2008 12:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I like Arstal's idea! I'd totally buy that. And if you want another Legion suggestion, how about the White Witch? Mysa's journey from black sheep of her family to master sorceress would be interesting, and she has a powerful evil counterpart in Mordru.

    I'm glad that there's others who seem to feel that the focus on "slice of life" stories hurt Minx. I know I never cared for them, either.

    I, uh, I like both Winx Club and WITCH. Until the last season, Winx was actually pretty good (aside from the romances - other older fans I know dislike their handling, too), and WITCH is actually better in comic form - which Disney is determined not to give the US market for some weird reason. But yeah, I like them, and aside from some of the romances and all, I think the heroines are pretty capable. All in all, I wouldn't mind watching them with my theoretical daughter.

  • At September 27, 2008 5:45 PM, Blogger Evan Waters said…

    Gail Simone has frequently said that DC should do something with Amethyst, Princess of the Gemworld. And that sounds like something I'd read, especially if she wrote it.

  • At September 28, 2008 4:09 PM, Blogger Diabolu Frank said…

    I agree with everything you said. My only caveat is that Keith Giffen sorta-kinda turned Amethyst evil in those "Weirdoverse" comics nobody read.

  • At October 02, 2008 9:51 PM, Blogger Mickle said…

    "....that the potential market considerably larger than the kind of audience that would go for the Minx comics."

    Inasmuch as there are* actual W.I.T.C.H. graphic novels that sell, I'd say you are exactly right.

    "which Disney is determined not to give the US market for some weird reason."

    huh? is this a different series of comics that you are talking about? Because there is a series on the shelves in bookstores.

    *or were, in any case. I'm not so sure about the current overall popularity of W.I.T.C.H. myself.


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