Mindy Newell: The Culture Cult

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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8 Responses

  1. Consider me in the cult of wishing your father many many more sandwiches. Great read this morning, Mindy.

  2. “Cult” is used to refer to anything of quality now, as the assumption is that the general public wouldn’t know good if it gave them a bop in the snoot. It gives the show/film/whatever a bit of snob appeal as well, that little “this is OUR thing, you wouldn’t understand”.

    Indeed, I think it’s one of the reasons there’s such pushback to comics becoming “mainstream”. Do you remember the speech at the end of Casino about how Vegas has changed, over the slo-mo shot of the polyester grandmas racing for the nickel slots? That how many fans think about The Masses coming to comics, and to places like Comic-Con. The much discussed “fake geek girl” is just one facet of a larger general hatred.

    Twin Peaks had a mad bit of reversed reality over the past week. Out of nowhere, and based on no facts, rumors popped up that a Twin Peaks remake was in the offing. And there wasn’t. But someone as NBC, in the middle of a flurry of phone calls to see if it was a thing, realized “You know, that would be cool”, and decided to MAKE it a thing. So now there ARE talks about bringing it back.

    Go figger.

  3. Bill Mulligan says:

    Wow, that is awesome news about your dad!

  4. Mindy Newell says:

    I’m telling you, it’s really UNBELIEVABLE!!!!! I lit a candle–not normally a thing Jews do–in thanks and prayer to God–the Goddess, the power behind all power in the universe, whatever or whomever you think runs things–for this miracle.

  5. Martha Thomases says:

    Your dad rocks, kiddo. Mazel tog.

  6. John Ostrander says:

    Good article, Mindy, and I’m glad to hear about your Dad. I’ve only met him the one time, I think, but it was a great pleasure.

  7. George Haberberger says:

    Great news about your Dad, Mindy. But I still like to read that story about your Dad’s war experiences. Now there seems an even better reason for it.

  8. Russ Rogers says:

    Congratulations on your Christmas Miracle. What wonderful story. Thanks for sharing it (and so many others) here. Be well and rock on!