Mindy Newell: Are Comics Genetic?

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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3 Responses

  1. Martha Thomases says:

    My boy inherited the graphic storytelling fan gene. He not only carried around comics from the time he could walk, but he could tell a Chuck Jones cartoon from a Tex Avery cartoon at three.

  2. I didn’t get into comic books until I was in high school, but I read newspaper strips like a fiend as a little kiddie, and even then I was crazy about the history and creation of the form. I could tell you who Krazy Kat and the Yellow Kid were when I was eight, and I read everything I could get my hands on about cartooning. My drawings were always Peanuts and Garfield rip-offs, but there it was.

    I’m hoping to infect my niece with the bug– She’s only 7 months old, but she already has a nice stack of Owly comics waiting for her when she’s ready.

  3. My parents aren’t readers. And frankly? Neither was I, until I found comics.