Mindy Newell: Gail Simone and the Mayan Calendar

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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5 Responses

  1. Martha Thomases says:

    The people, united, will never be defeated.

  2. JosephW says:

    What I found most intriguing about this whole thing was the two-faced fans’ reactions. It seemed that there was a lot of outrage at the absurdity of Gail’s being terminated (although, when you look at it, it was shitloads less surreal than the Hostess execs who’d basically run that company into the ground despite all the concessions that had been made by labor over the last decade still getting the court’s okay to get their multi-million dollar bonuses while the employees lost all their built-up pension moneys, but I digress) but, it also seems that there were a WHOLE lot of fanboys who weren’t very kind to Gail or welcoming of her take on Batgirl. And I could swear I saw quite a few of the “God, Gail’s the worst Batgirl writer and I want Stephanie Brown back–NOW!!!!” fanboys who suddenly wanted Gail back on the book “AT ONCE!!!!!!!”

    I do agree that Gail was treated pretty shabbily but I wouldn’t really be surprised if this didn’t happen more often in the real world but it just doesn’t get covered because we don’t have “fans” and our jobs don’t have blogs dedicated to them.

    Bear in mind that, before the internet, people were treated very rudely quite often but there just wasn’t a way to shame the “bad guys” so publicly and so quickly and with the prospect of it going worldwide. I mean it’s not like people just suddenly started writing “Lose some weight you fat cow” on their receipts or restaurant workers writing “Coke for the bean-eater” on their soda cups. It’s just that the “victims” didn’t have the chance of letting everyone in the world know about it the way they do today. I’ve known people who go to work only to find their workplace padlocked and calls to the boss go unanswered (or, even better, “This number is no longer in service. Please check the number and try again.”).

  3. mike weber says:

    Nothing against Ms Simone – she did a good job – but i didn’t like the idea of Barbara Gordon suddenly up and around.
    And, yes, i have to admit that i preferred Stephanie… but that had nothing to do with the writing.

  1. December 24, 2012

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