Mindy Newell: It’s Personal, Not Business.

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.

You may also like...

11 Responses

  1. Russ Rogers says:

    Simply put, NOM is a HATE group. It HATES gays, and is there purely to make sure that gays don’t achieve similar rights to heterosexual couples. It’s a question of Human Rights.

    This is a crass example, but how would Michael Davis feel if Orson Scott Card were a member of the Westboro Baptist Church or a Grand Wizard of the KKK?

    I’ve been a big fan of Card’s for decades. I own and have read a majority of his works. But there are several books written by him on my shelf that I haven’t gotten around to reading yet. And the revelation that he’s on the Board of NOM doesn’t make me eager to pick them up! The thought of it just leaves a flavor like dirty pennies in my mouth, a bad taste, metallic and cold.

    • Russ,

      I’d feel the same way. Take the writer and his fucked up views to task anywhere and everywhere thus making the writer and his views target one. Warner caved like a little bitch and pulled Ice T’s album from stores after the outrage over the song ‘Cop Killer’ AFTER the release.

      The massive outcry over that song was relentless and 20 years later still felt. Lastly, for anyone who has not read the article-please do as it may appear to some from what Wendy and Russ wrote that I was supporting the writer, let me be very clear I would not piss on him if he was on fire.

      • Mindy Newell says:

        Michael, I’m sorry if my article gave the impression that you were supporting Card. Since I was talking about the business side of things, I chose to quote that part of your column.

        • Mindy,

          I said SOME people may have taken it that way. I don’t think you implied it but for the sake of the not to bright I thought it best to be crystal clear. ;-)

  2. Brian K. Eason says:

    For me it’s a business decision of a different sort. If I give money to Mr. Card (who has the right to be a loathsome bigot), then I am, de facto, giving money to the hate group he supports. I will not give money to support a cause that I oppose, therefore I will not give money to Mr. Card.

    Thank you for the article, Mindy.

  3. David Gerrold has made a couple of incredibly well-spoken comments about the issue on his facebook feed. The first boils down to the fact that while he hates what OSC says and believes, he doesn’t hate him as a person, and will not stand to see him lose work over his beliefs.

    In his second one, he offered his services to DC as equal time. In honesty, the story he pitched has been done several times, but I think he could come up with a good one, tho.

  4. John Ostrander says:

    Mindy, I like your column (as always) but DC and its patent companies are businesses which, despite what the Mittster said, are NOT people. Superman is something they SELL and the concept that Superman is an icon is something else that they’re selling. There are PEOPLE that I like at companies but I do not and will not trust a company per se.

    If firing Card was good business for DC, they’d fire him. Not because it might be right but because it wouldn’t make them money or even lose them money. They perceive hiring him, and the controversy surrounding it, to be good publicity and hence good business. If Card was as much a racist as he is a homophobe, he would be gone because that would be bad for business. Being a homophobe (or for that matter, if he was a sexist) is not perceived as being as much of a problem. If it was, he’d be gone.

    Card would still be a homophobe if he was writing Sugar and Spike. Doesn’t change anything that he’s writing Superman. IMO.

    Myself, I won’t read him and I won’t buy what he’s writing.

    As I said, tho — good column.

    • Mindy Newell says:

      @ John: I totally get what you’re saying about the business side of it, John.

      I do think it’s interesting that you point out that “if Card was as much a racist as he is a homophobe (or for that matter, if he was a sexist) he would be gone because that that would be bad for business. In my experience, people who are bigoted against one group tend to be bigoted against other groups. I can’t definitely say that Card has a “thing” about blacks, Jews, Mexicans, or other ethnicities, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

      As to not hiring a known racist as opposed to hiring someone who doesn’t like gays (and I’m including lesbians in the word “gay”) because hiring a racist is bad for business, but DC perceives that hiring someone who actively works against the civil, i.e., HUMAN, rights of gays won’t be such a big deal, well, that logic just doesn’t work for me. There’s just something fundamentally wrong about it.

      They are behind the eight ball on this one, John.

  5. Mike Gold says:

    Card won’t write Sugar and Spike. DC is holding that one out for Alan Moore’s return. DARK SUGAR RETURNS!

  6. George Haberberger says:

    “The total blockage of Obama’s proposals, the continuation of the birthers and their lies, the about-to-be sequestration of our economy is all about the hatred of our first black President. Operative Word Is Black.”

    That’s ridiculous. The president got his tax increases to avoid the fiscal cliff a couple of months ago. Now he wants more without any serious spending cuts. I heard him on the news this morning saying that the choice is between cutting programs for the poor kids and cutting programs for the disabled kids. As if those were the only choices. I am so tired of any resistance to the president’s policies as proof of racism. It is not. I guess Dr. Ben Carson must be a racist is that were true.The sequestration was the president’s idea as some kind horrible event that he would never let happen. If it happens, (and I am not entirely sure that that would be bad thing), it is because of his inability to compromise.

  7. Bill Mulligan says:

    Mindy, if we are going to have a set of rules and opinions that all writers must have or be denied the opportunity to ply their trade, where will this end?

    I’ll go out on a limb here and state that there have been and perhaps still are creators who were, in their personal lives, truly dreadful people. At the very least they were bigots and not “It wouldn’t surprise me” bigots as you speculate Card is (and, btw, I would have deleted that bit of speculation–it’s too ugly to be thrown out there on the basis of what you admit is no grounding whatsoever) but actual “I hate blacks and think they are inferior” bigotry. They were not shunned and shamed and fired.

    And if this is done to card you will have ceded any and all right to moral umbrage when it is done to someone else for reasons you disapprove of.

    McCarthyism was evil NOT because the people who lost work after being accused of being communists were, in fact, NOT communists. It was evil because even if true that is not a good reason to deny people the right to earn a living.

    These tactics are unworthy of the gay rights movement. They are the tactics of those who have no other options because they are arguing from a position of weakness. And that’s not the case. I’ll work hard for gay rights but I won’t turn into Roy Cohen to do it and I wouldn’t recommend anyone else to do so either. Among other factors, it will drive away potential allies who disdain such thuggish behavior.

    Card’s views are odious, his tactics are completely within the boundaries of honest political action. It’s hard to imagine the NOM becoming sympathetic in my eyes but any attempt to blacklist members will do the impossible and make card and his ilk look like the good guys, fighting for what they believe against a mob too chickenshit to duke it out in the political arena. How on Earth is any of this helpful? If I feel this way I can only imagine how those who are on the fence see it. The folks who fight for gay rights just by disparaging those who are on the other side just make it tougher to change the hearts and minds of those we need to bring over to the right side and, frankly, I wish they’d find another cause to advocate. They’re a malignant millstone.