Category: Columns

DENNIS O’NEIL: Universal Upheaval!

So the universe upheaved and a gap appeared in time and here we are, at the far end of that gap. (Or the near end, if we’re looking backwards. But never mind.) We’ve again grubbed residence in Comicmixland and vowed to deliver weekly blather.

But, with a deep bow to Bill Maher, we have new rules—or to be exact, just rules, since when I last did this nobody mentioned rules, though I did promise Mike Gold and myself to do at least 500 words per installment, lest I be mistaken for a carbuncle. The 500 word deal still holds, but Mike has added a new proviso; subject matter should be somehow related to comics.

Pretty draconian, huh?

Actually, Mike’s edict doesn’t much close any doors. First, a lot is happening in comics and related media per se and, second, virtually everything in our media-drenched, perpetual-news-cycling global civilization is connected. Always has been. Really. Remember the butterfly effect: The sumbitch flapping around a garden in Tokyo today will cause your hat to blow off next Tuesday and the breath I just took may have contained an atom that was once part of Cleopatra. (And, more painfully, the monetary crisis in Greece may bump your mortgage.) And we all come from the same place, out there among the stars in the baby cosmos.

So yeah, the world is a vast network of interconnections, and it’s a lot easier to see that now that it was a century ago. It shouldn’t be much of a rhetorical trick to write about comics and still acknowledge that other things exist, and are worthy our notice.

(I wonder: could you have a comprehensive knowledge of comics, beginning with [[[The Yellow Kid]]] and ending with…oh, I dunno – Chris Claremont’s run on [[[X-Men]]]? – could you know that and be ignorant of the history of the United States in the Twentieth Century? Maybe not.)

But where to begin?

Well, this week, nowhere. I’ve already burned away 329 of those 500 words and unless I want to content myself with knocking off a few haiku, there isn’t much room left for pontificating. But next week? Hey, this has been called the summer of the superhero movie, hasn’t it? And although I haven’t seen all of the films in question, and probably won’t in the next seven days (Thor has already hammered back to Asgard, which I think is somewhere just off Sunset Boulevard, and is not available for viewing) but doesn’t utter ignorance of my subject qualify me as a pundit? Darn right! And what’s happening behind the cameras—the changes in management—is worth a bit of uninformed opinionating, too.

A final note: In the previous incarnation of this feature, and in a comic book that the aforementioned Mike Gold and I worked on a couple of decades past, we recommended books we thought might amuse our readers. I’d like to continue recommending reading, but not every week, just when I come across something I think will be of particular interest to y’all.

Happy trails…

FRIDAY… Martha Thomases

MIKE GOLD: Hey, Here’s A Surprise!

Well, I’m having fun.

Back when we started out, ComicMix used to run all these fabulous columns written by all these swell writers and, well, by me too. Those columns disappeared after about a year and a half and a lot of people told us they wanted ‘em back. Among those people were most of the columnists themselves. And me. Man, I bitched up a storm. And nobody can bitch up a storm like me.

So we re-geared out operations (that term creates the ambiance that we actually have a clue as to what we’re doing), and, effective right now, we’re reinstating our daily columns. Joining returning writers Dennis O’Neil, John Ostrander, Martha Thomases, Michael Davis and myself are two newcomers: Marc Alan Fishman and Mindy Newell.

You know Marc from his frequent contributions to ComicMix. He’s just a kid, which is weird because his wife is pregnant with a smaller, younger kid. A life-long comics fan who knows his barbecue, Marc is part of the mighty Unshaven Comics crew. That’s at, where he’s joined by his buddies and my pals Matt Wright and Kyle Gnepper. Together, they publish indy comics that are truly worth reading; that’s how we found Marc in the first place. Check ‘em out at their website.

Chances are pretty damn good you’ve also heard of Mindy. She’s making her return to comics here at ComicMix; she spent about five years editing at Marvel Comics and ten years writing such features as Wonder Woman, Catwoman, the Legion of Super-Heroes, American Flagg!, Daredevil, Black Widow, The Next Wave… you get the idea. She’s also an operating room nurse, which I think might come in handy around here. Somebody told me – I think it was Mindy – that I cannot live on barbecue alone. I try.

We’ll be focusing more solidly on comics than we did last time around. Not to say we’ve abandoned the heavy political/social stuff: Martha, Michael and I have been writing those type of columns every week for for a couple years now and we’ll be continuing to do so until we get arrested for sedition.

But here at ComicMix we’ll be mostly talking about comics and directly related media and phenomena. We’ll probably be talking about the comics related movies and teevee shows and, if we can find somebody wealthy enough to buy tickets, even to comics related Broadway plays. Perhaps I’ll even do an expose about just how many Wonder Woman statues a 35-year-old woman can squeeze into her basement apartment.

Most important, we invite you to join in on the fun. We’re in for some hectic times in the greater comics world. DC is recreating itself again, and Marvel going nuts with special events. Everybody’s got something new, and new publishers continue to pop up like rabid Whac-a-Moles. Please feel free to comment until your fingers fall off. It’s probable that the relevant columnist will play in and we can get a nice little dialog going. Think of ComicMix as sort of like Twitter with an attention span.

And bring along your sense of humor.

THURSDAY: Dennis O’Neil!