Mindy Newell: I Owe It All To Television

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...

7 Responses

  1. George Haberberger says:

    MIndy, in your list of “shows that tried but weren’t as successful” you forgot Firefly.

    • Mindy Newell says:

      Oy, George! I forgot FIREFLY!!!! And ANGEL!…which I’m watching right now, Season 2, courtesy of the wonderful DVD!

      Joss Wheedon, creator of FIREFLY, ANGEL, and of course BUFFY, was (and is) a comics fan. Which I’m sure you know!

  2. mike weber says:

    Re: the magic words “What If?” – have you seen Cocteau’s 1940s “Beauty and the Beast”? It begins with a title card invoking the magic words “Once upon a time…”

    • Mindy Newell says:

      Yes, Mike, I have seen Cocteau’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST many times–my absolutely favorite! adaptation of the fairy tale. (I’m not so much a fan of the Disney version exactly because I’ve seen Cocteau’s version.)

      Fantastic, romantic, and…hmm, what’s the word?….existential?


  3. Craig L says:

    I’m from your generation – born the Friday before Captain Kangaroo AND the Mickey Mouse Club debuted (also Alfred Hitchcock Presents, but I wasn’t old enough to watch it during its original run) and I never outgrew being a cartoon fan, being the perfect age to start enjoying Bullwinkle, Huckleberry Hound and Looney Tunes theatricals, and the first glimpse of Anime on AstroBoy. And my science fiction sensibilities were built upon a now-forgotten cheaply-animated cartoon titled (seriously!) “Colonel Bleep”. But there were so many other TV influences… check out this list of series that debuted 50 years ago this month! Bewitched, Addams Family, Munsters, Gilligan’s Island, Man from UNCLE, Flipper, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (undersea preceded outer space). And Jonny Quest… failed in prime time but led to Saturday Morning Superman, Space Ghost and Fantastic 4. But TV’s main Comic Book Superhero influence, from 1966 until whenever Smallville debuted… was Adam West’s Batman (and the Batman 66 comic scratches an itch I didn’t even know I had!) It’s a good time to be getting old without growing up.

    • Mindy Newell says:

      Omg, Craig, I absolutely adored COLONEL BLEEP!!!!! I wasn’t a big fan of THE MUNSTERS because I didn’t think Herman Munster was funny, just stupid, and I felt sorry for him (oy!), but, boy, did I love THE ADDAMS FAMILY (adapted from the New Yorker cartoon by Charles Addams)! I was also in love with (“Open Channel D”) THE MAN FROM U.N,C.L.E. ( Do you remember what U.N.C.L.E. stood for? See below for the answer.) Do you remember the episode of PLEASE DON’T EAT THE DAISIES in which Napoleon Solo and Ilya Kuryakin appeared–and the boys see them going into the tailor shop in the coda after being convinced they weren’t the agents from the TV show And JOURNEY TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA was also a favorite.

      Of course I watched JONNY QUEST and SPAAAAAAAAACE GHOST, as well as SPEED RACER and GIGANTOR.

      Oh, the memories….

      Answer: United Network Command for Law and Enforcement