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caporushes



Joined: 18 Nov 2008
Posts: 16
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 2:49 pm Reply with quote
The Minx line is I think widely agreed to have failed in part because they didn't know what they were doing. They wanted to make "comics for girls but without magic!", which was presumably their strategy to capture a market shojo wasn't getting. (Can you see the flaw in this already?) Only the result was things that felt like alternative comics that were already being made, and would have been more at home in, say, Image (ignoring company lines, here). It was also felt that they were shelved in the wrong place in bookstores, which is arguably where most female readers get their comics (as opposed to the boys-club atmosphere of a comic shop) so the readers they wanted weren't even seeing them to pick them up. And various and sundry other reasons, like being pulled too quickly, initial unhappiness over having mostly men working on it, etc.

Ahh there are a lot of other things I want to say but I'm having trouble gathering my thoughts into a coherent post. Perhaps later...

By the way: it is not some magical myth that if you take care of your appearance people will be more attracted to you. It is an actual truth about the world that someone who is less attractive but is well groomed, dresses well, etc is going to be perceived as equally or more attractive than someone who may have a better face but is a shlub. (To a certain point, of course.) So that's not some sort of horrible evil perpetuated by the media, it's just actually true.
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Alestal



Joined: 22 Apr 2005
Posts: 597
Location: Dallas, Texas
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 5:41 pm Reply with quote
I love how they are bringing NANA and Paradise Kiss into many of the recent discussions.
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konkonsn



Joined: 30 Apr 2008
Posts: 172
Location: Illinois
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 6:33 pm Reply with quote
GisforGrenade wrote:
Some girls really need to realise that it isn't the evil patriarchial society that is keeping them down but often their own attitudes and actions.


No, it's patriarchy. Now, I do believe that personality is a combination of genetics and environment, but there's no gene that tells women that they're born second class citizens. That's all environment. What you're saying about attraction goes into this next quote I'm going to bring up...

caporushes wrote:
It is an actual truth about the world that someone who is less attractive but is well groomed, dresses well, etc is going to be perceived as equally or more attractive than someone who may have a better face but is a shlub. (To a certain point, of course.)


...which is true. The problem is that women are excepted to do a lot more "cleaning up" than men. In fact, men are often applauded because they put in the effort to look nice while women are excepted to look nice and are considered lazy if they don't.

There's a huge different between getting up two hours before you have a class/work to do your hair and make-up just to look "presentable" and getting up a half-an-hour earlier to shower and put on clean clothes.
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infinitebeauty



Joined: 13 Feb 2007
Posts: 75
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 6:48 pm Reply with quote
I thought that this was a really interesting article, especially as 'women in comics' can be such a touchy subject.
I feel I must cite Big Barda (at least how she has been traditionally presented) as a female superhero who wasn't 'domesticated' by her marriage. It might be because of her upbringing, but Scott never dictated her life, she did what she wanted, and she was most certainly not a perfect housewife. She wasn't ugly (although I would argue that most in-world men probably were a little scared of her), but she was most certainly interesting. She never had to relinquish her identity to be with Scott.

And I call upon Jaime Reyes as a 'constant dork':

Tim Drake and Bart Allen used to be constant dorks, before they got angsted up. Deadpool is a constant dork, but then, there isn't really a 'civillian' Deadpool. And he's probably too badass to count as a dork, although I see him as one.

I think that the idea of women not wanting to be punished for having power is interesting, especially with the twisting of characters such as Wonder Girl and Black Canary.
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wandering-dreamer



Joined: 21 Jan 2008
Posts: 1733
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 6:58 pm Reply with quote
I believe I actually read some of the Minx imprint comics, I remember reading one called "Plain Janes" that was about a bunch of artist girls at school that um, were all named Jane. Honestly, the story was odd (why is a girl trying to make friends with a bunch of other girls with her name if they obviously don't like her?) and I really didn't like the art. I just find manga art to have cleaner lines and shading and really don't like the American style (even before I read manga). So I think that part of the reason there are fewer comics for girls in America is because fewer people think to tell a story like that. In Japan people know that they can tell a story, any kind of story, in a manga. In the US comics are still thought of only as "super-hero stories". I'd be interested to see if this changes in the next few years as some people have grown up with manga, maybe then we'll get better written stories in all genres.
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vashfanatic



Joined: 16 Jun 2005
Posts: 3468
Location: Back stateside
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:03 pm Reply with quote
I found this article very interesting, especially in light of another site I frequent doing a series of vlogs on how the character of Wonder Woman has been treated by different writers.

My only problem was this exchange:
Barb: I think it works well for the male characters. Japanese hero characters, the leads, are usually nerds, or average guys who one day discover they're secretly heirs to magical thrones or swords or powers. Naruto is such a little dork, but ever so powerful.
Casey: The classic male wish-fulfillment fantasy. Naruto, Harry Potter, Star Wars—all the same story.

Why is that specifically male wish fulfillment? It counts for a lot of my personal daydreams, as well as the backbone plot to many a shoujo manga. I'm just unclear on why that idea is somehow "male."
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ArthurFrDent



Joined: 05 Aug 2008
Posts: 466
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:05 pm Reply with quote
"There's a huge different between getting up two hours before you have a class/work to do your hair and make-up just to look "presentable" and getting up a half-an-hour earlier to shower and put on clean clothes." - konkonsn

So are peacocks victims of the peahen matriarchy because they are the ones that have to attract visually? I'm all for the belief that our big, messy brain pans are able to think beyond all that evolutionary mating stuff... But that doesn't seem to change the fact that men want to know what a woman looks like, and she wants to know if he's "financially stable"... Also? Who is doing the applauding when men dress well? Other men? No, women. Men care what women look like, not other men... even so, we are rarely as nasty about a woman's looks as other women are. "she looks so trashy in that, I can't believe she is wearing it!"

We are different, men and women, and we cannot be made the same. How cool is that? We can be treated the same under law, and should be. Beyond that? Accept my 6' tall and shaped like a bear, the same way I accept your 5'5" and NOT shaped like a bear... If we all brought the same thing to the table, it would make for a very dull existance.

/tangent sorta.
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vashfanatic



Joined: 16 Jun 2005
Posts: 3468
Location: Back stateside
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:14 pm Reply with quote
ArthurFrDent wrote:
But that doesn't seem to change the fact that men want to know what a woman looks like, and she wants to know if he's "financially stable"...


Oh you have got to be kidding me... granted, I agree that women do as much to perpetuate the "you must look good!" idea as men, but this line here is a bunch of bull. Women wanted to know if men were financially stable because back in the day only men worked. Not true now! I don't care if a man can support me, I want to support myself - and men care about a lot more than what their partner looks like, not to mention that women care about how a guy looks too! And of course this makes no allowances for people who are homosexual, bisexual, transgendered... Maybe this kind of thinking would fly in the 1950s, but welcome to the 21st century!!

/finishes rant
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infinitebeauty



Joined: 13 Feb 2007
Posts: 75
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 8:22 pm Reply with quote
wandering-dreamer wrote:
I believe I actually read some of the Minx imprint comics, I remember reading one called "Plain Janes"...I really didn't like the art. I just find manga art to have cleaner lines and shading and really don't like the American style (even before I read manga). So I think that part of the reason there are fewer comics for girls in America is because fewer people think to tell a story like that. In Japan people know that they can tell a story, any kind of story, in a manga.

The P.L.A.I.N Janes had rather unfortunate art, I agree, but what makes you think it is representative of all American comic art? In fact, what is 'the American style'? Alex Ross, Karl Kerschl, Rafael Albuquerque, Bruce Timm, George Perez, Art Balthazar...all of these people have different, recognizable styles.
Would you be offended at someone saying that all manga looks the same? The same applies to American comics too. They aren't all the same style.

As for telling any kind of story in a manga, well, a manga is simply a comic from Japan. Anyone with an idea of structure and pacing can tell any kind of story in a visual medium. The fact that mainstream American comics are superhero-oriented is that they sell. There are plenty of other American comics out that aren't superhero based, you just need to know where to look. The stories in them are good when written by someone who knows what they are doing (Mike Carey, who wrote Lucifer, for example) and awful when the writer is awful. It's the same in Japan. There are good and bad stories out there.

I thought the Minx line was a lovely idea, and it's a shame it was marketed so badly. I would have loved to see more stories like My Faith in Frankie.
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The Risky Penguin



Joined: 04 Oct 2007
Posts: 88
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 12:13 am Reply with quote
Casey wrote:
Not necessarily. Some magical girls actually age when they power up. I'm thinking Fullmoon wo Sagashite. But I seem to remember that one of the classic magical girl anime had something similar...

UFO Ultramaiden Valkyrie is another one I can think of that she grows up when she power up.
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littlegreenwolf



Joined: 10 Aug 2002
Posts: 4794
Location: Seattle, WA
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:05 am Reply with quote
Meh, I adored the Plain Janes art style. I think Plain Janes failed because the story was a bit too bland "teenage rebel" with not enough shock factor, if that makes any sense. It was a cute story, just not something to stay in you head. That, and for 9.99 you were getting maybe about half the pages of a regular manga for the same price.

The MINX line had a very diverse range of different types of art. None of the others even resembled Jim Rugg's clean line style for Plain Janes. Mike Carey's Re-Gifters, also from the MINX line had a refreshing, active style that resembled manga, but not so much that it was one of those blantant Ameri-manga attempts Tokyopop releases. It was black and white with screen \tones, and all together gave a feeling of constant movement, and I loved it because it shouted personality to me.

Good as Lily had a manga feel to it as well, and then there was Clubbing that felt like an interesting mix of Johnen Vasquez meets anime. I don't think for a moment the art styles were what made MINX fail. In the end I think it was lack of romance, and their marketing.

The lack of romance was what surprised me most about the line. How unfocused on guys all the titles were. There was no love-sick heroine, and I loved it. But I'm 23 and have been reading comics from both sides since I was little. Teen girls in general probably really want bishonen, but for the few who don't they now have Minx as an option, and as a sign that yes, American comics can be for a regular girl.
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infinitebeauty



Joined: 13 Feb 2007
Posts: 75
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:57 am Reply with quote
littlegreenwolf:
I don't think that the art styles were what made MINX fail either! I wasn't a fan of the Plain Janes art style (it was their heads, really), and Sonny Liew (who illustrated Re-Gifters and My Faith in Frankie) has a very expressive style. Good as Lily and Clubbing also had interesting styles. I am also of the opinion that (lack of) marketing is what made the MINX line fail, but perhaps the fact that there wasn't much romance was a contributing factor. Re-Gifters probably came closest to being a romance, and even that seemed more about finding yourself, rather than obsessing about others.
Although I much prefer self-realization stories to romances, I realize that I am in the minority when it comes to young girls/women/teenagers.

Another reason, although this one is more difficult to prove, could be that girls, tired of romanceless comics, moved on to manga and became trapped by the mindset that only manga was allowed to have good stories. Or they didn't hear about MINX. Or the creators of MINX didn't know their target group as well as they thought, which led to the more 'self-realization'/'acceptance' type stories, rather than ones with love-struck heroines.
(And if anything that I said about romances sounded derogatory, I apologize. I'm not a fan, but I don't mean to belittle them.)
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konkonsn



Joined: 30 Apr 2008
Posts: 172
Location: Illinois
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 11:33 am Reply with quote
ArthurFrDent wrote:
So are peacocks victims of the peahen matriarchy because they are the ones that have to attract visually?


Except women aren't born with flawless skin, hair in whatever style is pleasing to the generation, and fine-toned bodies. Peacocks attract visually for health reasons; better looking male means less disease. The same is true for in that we like our mates to be healthy-looking; but looking healthy and looking like every woman presented on TV are two totally different things.

Quote:
Who is doing the applauding when men dress well? Other men?


Um, yes? Do you not read magazine articles and newspapers that laud stars for their clean cuts or ridicule John Kerry for his botox injections? How about the modeling and acting agencies that generally require younger males to be smooth shaven?

Quote:
...we are rarely as nasty about a woman's looks as other women are. "she looks so trashy in that, I can't believe she is wearing it!"


Men may not comment on our clothing specifically, but they use words like "whore" or "MILF." What about when guys talk about a girl "putting out?" It's the exact same type of judgement.

Quote:
We are different, men and women, and we cannot be made the same.


I don't get where this falls into your discussion...so because I'm a tiny girl, I should follow unnatural beauty standards that would not be required of me if I was some bear-like guy? Wait, let me put that another way: Vagina = $$$ on makeup; Penis = natural. Got it.
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ryogasasaki



Joined: 15 Dec 2008
Posts: 41
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 12:33 pm Reply with quote
"castrating Tuxedo Mask"

I couldn't have put it better. lol.
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abunai
Old Regular


Joined: 05 Mar 2004
Posts: 5463
Location: 露命
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 1:12 pm Reply with quote
konkonsn wrote:
Peacocks attract visually for health reasons; better looking male means less disease.

I understand Gaëtan Dugas was a good-looking fellow...

- abunai
I associate "better-looking" with "more likely to carry STD".
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