Mindy Newell: Depression Really Sucks

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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20 Responses

  1. Douglass Abramson says:

    I’m glad you’re feeling better. I have some experience with depression, so I empathize with what you went through.

    As for the rest of your topics (In no particular order):
    She’s still The Master. If actor now refers to both sexes, The Master can too.
    I agree wholeheartedly with you on the midterms.
    For the Nicholas Locarno/Tom Paris conundrum, I made up a backstory that resolves it: Starfleet Academy let Tom Paris enroll under the Locarno name, so he could be his own person and not Admiral Paris’ son. If you make that adjustment to the character’s backstory; the events of First Duty align with Tom Paris’ background, as given in Caretaker.

  2. mike weber says:

    Been there, bought the god-damn t-shirts.

  3. George Haberberger says:

    “I don’t understand any woman who votes the Republican ticket. No one’s forcing anyone to have an abortion, lady. And what business is it of yours, anyway, if another woman chooses to do so?”

    This is a question that has an obvious answer for anyone who knows that life begins at conception. It is why my wife, and a lot of other women I know, votes Republican. You may as well ask what business was Kitty Genovese’screams to her neighbors.

    • mike weber says:

      No, for anyone who thinks life begins at conception.

      If it couldn’t survive on its own, it ain’t “alive”.

      The only “evidence” you could possibly cite for your counterfactual belief is “God told me so”. (Whatever you dress it up as, that’s what it will be at root.)

      Stop trying to force your religion down my throat.

    • Mindy Newell says:

      That’s cool, George, really. I don’t think anyone’s denying that life begins at conception; well, maybe the far-lefties.

      But I’m just talking about choice here. There are situations in which bringing a baby into the world is detrimental to the child and/or the woman and her family and loved ones. I’m not just talking about cases of incest and/or rape and/or birth defects. And I don’t know ANY woman who has ever said: “Tra-la-la, I’m going to have an abortion today.” Every women I’ve assisted with during “TOP’s” (Termination of Pregnancy) are very upset and need A LOT of TLC==some are quiet and stoic, some are openly crying, but ALL come to the decision to terminate a pregnancy because of various reasons, and as a nurse, I believe it is my duty to support them in a difficult time and situation.

      Abortion has been going forEVER, George. If Roe vs. Wade is overturned (and I know that the judicial decision does stand on shaky legal reasoning), women will continue to have abortions, only they (especially the lower-income population) will be forced to once more retreat to UNSAFE and MEDICALLY UNSOUND procedures (i.e., the “backstreet, on a dirty kitchen table, using dirty instruments or wire hangars”) that will result in thousands of women’s unnecessary deaths.

      It’s about the separation of church and state guaranteed in our Constitution.

      It’s about a private matter that is between the woman and her God.

      It’s a matter of CHOICE.

      P.S.: I would like to see the legality of abortion changed from 24 weeks down to 10 weeks. Preferably, for me, at least, I think the cut-off should be 7 weeks, because by the time 8 weeks has passed the baby is fully formed, but sometimes women don’t realize they’re pregnant that early. When Roe vs. Wade was passed, it was impossible to keep a fetus/child alive outside the womb at 24 weeks. It’s not easy now, but it is possible with the advances in neonatology and NICU’s.

      P.S.S.: Most late-term abortions are because of medical problems.

      • mike weber says:

        I deny that life – well, human life – begins at conception, as i said above.

        Until the developing embryo could – with proper medical care and assistance – exist outside the womb, it’s not life.

        In some* cases, it’s a malignant growth that threatens the woman’s life.


        * Many (? haven’t got actual stats) – Like that woman who died because the Catholic hospital would not permit the emergency procedure that MIGHT have saved her life – at the cost of the fetus/baby.

  4. George Haberberger says:

    A year-old, month-old, day-old baby can’t survive on its own. A patient on a respirator or other form of life-support can’t survive on their own. Are they not alive?

    “The only “evidence” you could possibly cite for your counterfactual belief is ‘God told me so’. (Whatever you dress it up as, that’s what it will be at root.)”

    You’re wrong. My belief in God has nothing to do with being Pro-Life and it is not why I am Pro-Life. There are Pro-Life atheists.


    “Atheist and civil libertarian journalist Nat Hentoff said that ‘Being without theology isn’t the slightest hindrance to being pro-life.’ Atheist philosophy professor Don Marquis declared abortion is ‘immoral’ because it denies developing fetuses “a future like ours.”

    Surely you don’t insist morality is based on religion.

    • Mindy Newell says:

      Again I say, this country is based on the, among other things, THE SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE.

      That includes aetheists and agnostics.

    • mike weber says:

      Okay – if it can’t (due to stage of development, as opposed to fetal damage or malformation) survive without proper and appropriate medical support and treatment, it ain’t alive.

      I don’t deny that there are atheist anti-abortion True Believers.

      I do, however, say that, without actual information, that they are almost certainly only a small fraction. The great majority of anti-abortion sentiment and agitation comes from religion – particularly the extremely patriarchial and misogynistic (not necessarily both at once, but more often than not) groups within it.

      Can’t remember who said it, but

      If men got pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament

      • mike weber says:


        I do, however, say that, without actual information to the contrary to tell me different, that they are almost certainly only a small fraction…

        Editing on the fly can make you leave out words.

        That still may not be perfect, but i think it’s a touch clearer

  5. George Haberberger says:

    Atheists are usually offended when you attempt to couch their non-belief as a belief. Besides the separation of church and state has nothing to do with the determination of when life begins.

    • Mindy Newell says:

      George and Mike,

      Yesterday I wrote a lengthy reply to both of you, but now it’s gone! So my reply about the separation of church and state and aetheists and agnostics naturally doesn’t make any sense.

      I’m going to write “the boss” (Glenn) and ask him what the heck happened to my reply.

    • mike weber says:

      Separation of church and state has nothing to do with when life begins, indeed – but it has EVERYTHING to do with believers trying to use the government to force their beliefs on others.


      I absolutely agree with you that atheists are as much True Believers as Christians or Islamic terrorists. Just as Christians or religious Jews, they believe based on no objectively-verifiable evidence.

      WHich is why i’m an agnostic trending toward skepticism.

  6. George Haberberger says:

    I must admit your reply, (that just appeared somewhat recently), surprises me, in a good way.

    Yes, I realize abortion has been going on forever. So have a lot of bad things but at least we don’t sanction them and give them the imprimatur of legality. If Roe v Wade were overturned it isn’t absolutely necessary that women would have to resort to back alley abortions. I would hope the legislation that repeals Roe would include medical care and adoption services for the mothers and babies.

    And while I am sure most women do not blithely intend to get abortions instead of using responsible contraception, those who do, do exist and society should not enable them.

    • mike weber says:

      That is just so full of wrong that a reply is not possible, since it would be to treat it as actual reasonable and reasoned discourse.

  7. George Haberberger says:

    “That is just so full of wrong that a reply is not possible, since it would be to treat it as actual reasonable and reasoned discourse.”

    Too bad. I believe it is reasonable discourse.

    And the old adage: “If men got pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.” is proved false because most Pro-Life people are women and they can get pregnant.

  8. George Haberberger says:

    “I deny that life – well, human life – begins at conception, as i said above.”

    Interesting disclaimer there. You’re saying other life begins at conception but not human life? I can only assume that is because that would be… inconvenient which is really not a justifiable reason.