MINDY NEWELL: Music To Write By

Mindy Newell

These days Mindy Newell knows that if she could do it all over again she’d have gone to college for screenwriting and film editing. Instead she became a nurse to please her parents and pleasing your parents was what it was all about for nice Jewish girls who graduated from high school in 1971. But the creative larva was in her soul, and when the cocoon broke and the butterfly emerged, it flew to DC’s New Talent Showcase program. Under the auspices of legendary editors Karen Berger, Len Wein, Julius Schwartz, Paul Levitz, and ComicMix’s own Robert Greenberger, Mindy learned the craft and art of writing comics, including Tales Of The Legion, V, Legionnaires 3, Amethyst, Lois Lane: When It Rains God Is Crying, and numerous other comics, including a Superman story based on a dream Mindy had as a child. She also worked on Howard Chaykin’s American Flagg! and other independent comics. All this time Mindy continued to work as a nurse while being a single mom to her daughter Alixandra, until the late and dear Mark Gruenwald hired her as an assistant editor at Marvel, while writing stories of the Black Widow and Daredevil. She edited NFL Pro Action, a licensed kid’s magazine about football with the NFL until Marvel imploded in 1996. Returning to full-time nursing, she she also co-wrote a story for 2000 A.D. with her then-husband, British artist John Higgins. A few years ago Mike Gold called and asked her to join the team of columnists here at ComicMix, where her topics freely range from comics to pop culture to politics; she even wrote a piece about the great American thoroughbred Secretariat, which caused editor Mike to tell her that she had won the prize for the most off-topic column ever written ComicMix.

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9 Responses

  1. Martha Thomases says:

    Check out Mark Knopfler’s LOCAL HERO soundtrack. Lush, and full of yearning and narrative.

  2. John Ostrander says:

    I also use soundtracks whenever I can when i work. Sometimes I’ll get ides for moods or even scenes.

  3. I listen to glee when I’m working too. I feel 10% less shame now that I know others do. And for the sake of this comment, Mindy, you are now a 34 year old construction worker named Gary, with a wife and 3 kids.

  4. Michael Harper says:

    I’ve got maybe three or four soundtrack albums besides Star Wars, including Wall-E and Ottman’s Superman, but the one I go to everytime I’m needing something orchestral is Bernard Herrmann’s “The 7th Voyage of Sinbad”. Mostly if I need to boost my circulation, I pop on Dave Edmunds, Dire Straits, Blue Oyster Cult, or whatever tickles my fancy at the moment. Martha, the last track on Straits’ “Alchemy” is a magnificent live version of the “Local Hero” theme. It grabs me by the heartstrings everytime.

  5. Gillian says:

    You missed Sondheim’s Into the Woods!! You’re obviously a huge fan, so maybe you just haven’t caught this one on stage, but it is absolute genius. My favorite musical, EVER, for just the reason you said — it conveys situational moods and emotion perfectly, and besides that, the lyrics are *brilliant*. It’s about everyday families ans the ways that they’te messed up and dysfunctional and how you have to look at that, go back and figure it out (by going “into the Woods” of your past pain) in order to see the patterns you’re repeating and change your future — it’s jusy amazing, and all in very memorable rhyme! ;) Every breakup I ever went through in my wayward youth, I’d listen to ITW over and over and never failed to be syruck by some line of Sondheim’s incredible wisdom that I’d previously missed somehow… Anyway, fellow Sondheim fan, check it out again — you won’t be sorry!

    • Gillian says:

      P.S. sorry for all the typos — phone makes it very difficult to scroll back and correct ’em — but I think the meaning got through. And I forgot to say that I really enjoyed your post (which I somehow got to through a circuitous path leading from clips of Catweazle on YouTube — go figure! :)

      • Mindy Newell says:

        No worries about typos, Gillian!

        Nope, never did see INTO THE WOODS, although I know some of the music.

        Hope you come back for more!!!!