The Plain Janes (Minx)
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The Plain Janes (Minx) [Paperback]

Cecil Castellucci , Jim Rugg
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 7–10—Young adult author Castellucci makes her graphic-novel debut with this quirky comic. Jane's parents relocate to the suburbs when she's caught in a bomb attack in Metro City. Bored and lonely in her new town and school, the teen is thrilled when she meets three other girls named Jane, all of them as out of place as she is. They form a secret club, the Plain Janes, and decide to liven up the town with art. Some people like their work, but most are frightened, and the local police call the Plain Janes' work "art attacks." Castellucci gives each girl a distinct personality, and spirited, compassionate Main Jane is especially captivating. Rugg's drawings aren't in superhero or manga style, but resemble the more spare, clean style of alternative comics creators such as Dan Clowes and Craig Thompson. A thoughtful look at the pressures to conform and the importance of self-expression, this is also a highly accessible read. Regular comics readers will enjoy it, but fans of soul-searching, realistic young adult fiction should know about it as well.—Lisa Goldstein, Brooklyn Public Library, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* For the first book in a new series aimed at teenage girls, DC comics recruited novelist Castellucci (Boy Proof, 2004, and The Queen of Cool, 2005) to write this story about outsiders who come together, calling up themes from the author's popular YA novels. Relocated to suburbia after a brush with disaster in the big city (and fueled by an urge not to be terrified of the world as a result), Jane rallies a small group of outcasts into a team of "art terrorists," shaking the town from its conservative complacency by putting bubbles in the city fountain and wrapping objects on the street as Christmas packages. Their activities end up rallying the local teenagers to their cause and working the adults into a dither. The book has its share of stereotypes--the science geek, the psychotically overprotective mother, the irrepressible gay teen--but this is thought-provoking stuff. The art, inspired by Dan Clowes' work, is absolutely engaging. Packaged like manga this is a fresh, exciting use of the graphic-novel format. Jesse Karp
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


"Castellucci imparts an infectious, punky energy to her female leads, which Rugg renders with humor and nuance. GRADE: A-" -- Washington Post

"DC Comics' imprint of graphic novels for girls, Minx, starts off with a bang with this elegant story of art in the suburbs." -- Publishers Weekly

"You don't have to be a comic book geek to dig . . . Minx." -- Vanity Fair

"[MINX is off to a promising start with The Plain Janes. . . . The story is filled with unforced insights about the role of art in our lives, and Jim Rugg's understated illustrations let these moments glimmer quietly on the page." -- National Public Radio's All Things Considered

From the Publisher

MINX is a new young adult graphic novel imprint designed as an alternative to young adult chick lit and Manga. MINX books use the popularity and visual impact of the graphic novel to produce smart, sequential stories, and strong female protagonists drive the imprint through edgy, evocative and fearless plotlines.

About the Author

Cecil Castellucci grew up in New York City. In addition to writing Boy Proof, The Queen of Cool and the upcoming novel Beige, she's a filmmaker, an actress and a sing/songwriter. She currently lives in Hollywood.

Jim Rugg is the artist and co-creator of Street Angel. He grew up in and currently lives near Pittsburgh.

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