The second volume of P.L.A.I.N. Janes from Minx hit stores this week, along with the sad news that the Minx imprint will cease publication in January.
The second Janes book is as much fun as the first, with the sassy high school girls creating unauthorized art around their small town. This time, things are complicated by crushes, with each Jane having her (or his) own love troubles.
Despite boy issues, though, Main Jane's goal is still to make art, and it is that goal that drives the story. I loved the My Body Is Beautiful piece, where the Janes, despairing of finding dresses that fit their individual shapes, leave the dresses strewn about a parking lot with chalk body outlines.
Cecil Castellucci 's gotten better with her voiceover narrations and Jim Rugg 's art is still cute. Janes in Love is targeted at a younger audience than the Bust readership, but it's still a good time for anyone who remembers high school.
On a more serious note, the end of the Minx line brought home to me what economic downturn really means. One of the first places people tend to cut spending is on entertainment, and that hurts the creative types first. Comics, magazines, books and art are often deemed luxuries and cut out of the budget, and the people who make them, unlike movie stars, often depend on every last sale to keep themselves going.
Minx was an experiment for DC, and we can hope that even though it didn't seem to take off, they'll continue to try new ways to draw a larger female audience into comics reading.
But at the risk of sounding like Bush after 9/11, I want to remind everyone to take care of the things you love. Support writers and artists and local businesses, now more than ever. Wal-Mart will be fine if the economy tanks. But lots of others may not.