In an early afternoon panel Friday at the New York Comic Con, Minx creators discussed their latest projects. On hand to discuss the Minx line were editor Shelly Bond, Inaki Miranda, Rebecca Donner (“Burnout”), Brian Wood (“New York Four”), Alisa Kwitney, and Grazia Lobaccaro, and moderator Gayley Carrillo
“Burnout” is set in the Oregon mountains, and pits extreme conservationists (“to the degree of eco-terrorism”) against those looking to exploit the natural resources. “The story of a boy and a girl falling in love. There’s one one problem– that he will soon be her stepbrother.”
Donner joked that character Dani’s deepest darkest secret is that she “keeps a signed photograph of a shirtless Inaki Miranda.”
“Water Baby” by Ross Campbell is about a punk rock girl whose leg is bitten off by a shark. And her ex-boyfriend is squatting in her apartment.
Wood said that “New York Four,” illustrated by Ryan Kelly, is a first year at college story. The four girls know each other from having the same AP classes, who “each have their own quirks.” Our heroine Reilly’s life is complicated by a secret boyfriend “that she only knows through texting.”
The writer said Kelly “captured that feeling where you go to see this unknown band, and you love it to death, and that’s something we’ve all felt.”
Cecll Castelluci and Jim Rugg will do a sequel to innaugural title “Plain Janes,” “Janes in Love,” in September.
Bond said, “Teenage readers are really savvy… what makes the Minx line work is that there’s some gravitas.”
“Emiko Superstar” by Mariko Tamaki and Steve Rolston is “an homage to Andy Warhol and pop art,” Bond said. A suburban babysitter named Amiko discovers an underground factory which serves as a performance art house. Shipping in September.
“Token” by Alisa Kwitney and Joel Jones is set in the 1980s “back when Miami was so violently uncool.” Shira’s best friend is seventy-five, and serves as that “older, more sexually knowing” friend, “except she’s seventy-five.” Shira shoplifts at Woolworth’s, where she meets a boy who will help her along the petty thieving path. Coming in October.
Bond also previewed 2009 books, including “All Nighter” by writer/artist David Hahn, who was not in attendance. It’s about a group of kids who hang out in a diner, the summer before they start college. A new roommate leads to a mys
“Clubbing in Tokyo” by Andi Watson and Grazia Lobaccaro follows Lottie Brooks as she goes to stay with her uncle who works at an English language school. Bond said it is a “murder mystery about a cat that is possessed.”
Fan asked whether Minx would use other mainstream DC creators like Gail Simone or Amanda Conner. Bond said that she was open to “great ideas and amazing art,” and that if they proposed a great story with the right tone she would absolutely be interested.
Carrillo mentioned that last year’s titles trended younger, but that now there is room for a greater range of stories, such as the somewhat darker “Water Baby.”
Another question asked about material provoking “parental anger.” Bond said that there were no strict guidelines but that she had to feel comfortable with the material, look at what comparable books were doing in terms of content, and sometimes talk with librarians.. “My rule of thumb is that if people aren’t sure, the parent should read the book first before the child.”
What should teens and parents know about Minx? Kwitney said “the books will be exciting” but that this is not “like the McDonald’s hamburger, which will taste the same in Tokyo or New Yorkï¿½”it’s not that.”
Donner said that as a teen she did not want to feel like someone was marketing to her; in “Burnout,” she said her aim was to tell a story about teenagers and take it seriously. “These are all books that are works of art in themselves.”
“All these mainstream publishers are here at the comic convention,” Cayley said, pointing out that comics are “slowly creeping” into the prominent place of prose books.
The panelists said that both comic shops and stores like Borders are important for the Minx line, and they were curious as to whether the books were typically displayed with YA fiction or graphic novels and manga.