Tagged: Adriane Nash

Mike Gold Shuffles Off to Buffalo

“Shuffle Off To Buffalo” is a song that premiered in the 1933 movie 42nd Street, later to become a Broadway musical. Much, much later. The song was written by the legendary team of Al Dubin and Harry Warren, and the movie in which it was preformed was, very arguably, the most erotic movie Warner Bros. made while the Warner Bros. were still running the joint.

It is in that spirit that I announce that this is my last column for ComicMix. I’ve been here almost 12 years, and I have done nothing else (professionally) for such a long stretch. They say people with short attention spans are the most creative.

No, wait. “They” don’t say that. I do.

There are lots of reasons for my departure, the most significant of which is, quite frankly, I’ve been looking to leave for several years. Again, my short attention span: my professional mind wanders the same way my id does. When ComicMix chose to go in a different and largely unarticulated direction, I seized the opportunity to change my business url.

I shall be getting back to writing, and I will be expanding my podcast and publishing work. That’s what I do during those brief periods when I’m not being sarcastic. Maybe I’ll write that exposé about the comics industry; who knows?

 (Damn. I think I just caused a bunch of people to enjoy some serious insomnia.)

Adriane Nash, late of the ComicMix staff, is organizing a new website called Pop Culture Squad www.popculturesquad.com, when it goes up in a couple months) and she asked me to write and consult. That’s really cool: PCS’s scope goes well beyond our beloved world of comic book culture, and I’d like to swim in those waters for a while. Amusingly, a number of other people whose work occupies this space feel the same way. We’re not going to be getting the band together, Adriane is forming a new band. Think of it as Cream, with me playing the part of Ginger Baker. I’m very excited, which is a wonderful thing to behold but gross and icky to consider.

I will continue to do Weird Sounds Inside The Gold Mind, my weekly kickass on-demand rock ‘n’ blues Internet radio program on www.getthepointradio.com. I hit the ten-year mark next spring, which seems weird. People who judiciously wish to contact me can do so at mikegold@popculturesquad.com. Tell me Groucho sent you, and then go find your DeSoto keys.

Usually, in times like this the writer talks about how much he is grateful to work with such fine people. Well, yeah: running the columns here allowed me to exercise some muscles I hadn’t been using much for decades, and I have been privileged to work with many, many fine writers. The fact that most of them are also close friends made the whole enchilada all the more digestible. There are many others I wish to thank, and most of them know who they are. Of course, a few people think I’d wish to thank them, but are mistaken. I’m not going to cockblock my favorite hobby: provoking paranoia.

But I would like to single out one person: Brian Alvey, who cofounded this joint and moved on to reconquer the Internet still again. I learned a lot from Brian, and I am grateful for the opportunity to work with him.

Saying next year will be a better year for all is to invite a deathmatch between the forces of karma and the gravity of cynicism. Have a happy holiday season, unless your name is Donald J. Trump. If it is, fry in hell, motherfucker. For the rest of us, all noble in comparison, I shall part with a stanza from Dubin and Warren:

I’ll go home and get my panties

You go home and get your scanties

And away we’ll go


Off we’re gonna shuffle

Shuffle off to Buffalo

Marc Alan Fishman and the Rise of the Meninists

Meninist: A (satirical) belief showing the hypocrisy of first world feminism by flipping the sexes and complaining about men’s rights in a similar way to what first world feminists do.

Tip of the hat to ComicMix’s Adriane Nash for introducing me to the term via her always well-observed, vitriolic Facebook posts where she often denotes an active war being fought against stupidity – not just against meninists, but idiots from all genders and persuasions. And a polite nod to my comic book compatriot Danny Limor for the inspiration this week.

Is there something in the water these days? With DC finally enjoying both fan praise and box office dollars with the release of Wonder Woman, there’s been a definitive rise in the empowerment of women – if not in actual practice certainly at least via mentions and discussions on all the social feeds I frequent. And everyone is rightfully justified in the celebration of women. Wonder Woman was a phenomenal accomplishment – not because it is a well-written movie that is helmed stem to stern by a woman, but because it was finally a DC release that didn’t rely solely on gritty destruction and seething angst. It was a celebration of compassion and love – two concepts missing from anything else produced by the studio to date.

In our post-modern world, what is loved must also be reviled by the counter-masses. Hence the coined term at the beginning of this article. My feed has been popped here and there with “WTF” posts linking to articles that complain about Gal Gadot’s minuscule paycheck, screeds that posit Warner Bros installed some kind of glass ceiling to prevent the movie from succeeding, to backlash for having the utter gall to offer a presser of the movie to just women. It’s enough to drive me to carve out my Y chromosome in disgust.

Wonder Woman aside, the meninist agenda even crept its way into professional wrestling. At the Money In the Bank pay-per-view not a week back, a history-making titular ladder match specifically booked with just female performers was won by a man. The goal, clearly, to elicit heel heat – unabashed anger against the villains – but transparent enough to be unaccepted by smart fans. It was evident from the finish of the match that Vince McMahon’s creative team sought to be protective of their female talent, but in doing so missed the very point they celebrated with a video package pre-match! To have specifically called out that this was the first time the Money In the Bank Ladder match would have all female participants… only to cause the victor (The Queen of Staten Island, Carmella) to claim her prize by way of a male manager, reduces history to something fans will pray for retconning.

For those following along, the WWE heard the backlash loud and clear and stripped their superstar of her newly-acquired briefcase of doom. But much like the butthurt bloggers denied access to the all-lady Wonder Woman screening, it comes as too little, too late.

So, what gives? For every victory, there is defeat. Perhaps it’s a sign of the times, but seemingly everyone these days feels compelled to take a side – creating these now more vocal outliers who decry things that need no opposition. Wonder Woman was fantastic. The WWE’s female divisions – that’s right they have enough talent to field no fewer than three decent rosters full of femmes fatale – have literally never been more capable and captivating. To see a group of men who actively shun these things puts a knot in my stomach right next to the one formed by Trump supporters.

Women writ-large face a tougher time garnering the same riches (be it fame, fortune, or good old-fashioned respect). It’s a proven fact. One so well documented, I need not even provide you with an errant Google link’s worth of response. It doesn’t matter to a select few idiots, who thanks to the internet whose voice now carries louder and larger than ever necessary.

To proclaim the victories of women as an unbalancing is as absurd as electing a four-time bankruptee to the highest position of governing…

Nevermind. This is why we can’t have nice things, my fellow nerds.

Mike Gold: Randomonium™

As I type these words, today is today. Usually, today is yesterday or a day before or so, and if any of our other columnists pulled this stunt I’d be bitching my brains off. But, to paraphrase stand-up philosopher par excellence Mel Brooks, “it’s good to be the king editor.”

I do have an excuse, and a good one at that. I just got back from Manhattan Island where we had a wonderful dinner with the classy part of ComicMix, The Tweeks, a.k.a. Maddy and Anya Ernst. Oh, yeah, their mom Jen was there as well – even in New York City, letting even adult-looking underagers wander about is frowned upon. The “us” part consisted of four members of the ComicMix crew – Tweeks’ producer and associate editor Adriane Nash, columnist Joe Corallo, utility infielder Wizardly Glenn Hauman, along with the amazing Brandy Hauman who hangs around with us to show us what it’s like to have a real job, and the oft-aforementioned geriatric boy editor.

Yeah, that’s my superhero name. Geriatric Boy. It fits me like a glove. And if it don’t fit… But I digress.

We had a wonderful time. Well, at least I did, but I don’t think the others were faking. We stayed so long the restaurant manager sorta suggested they wanted the opportunity to make money off of some other folks. We stood in front of the place jabbering for another hour.

We talked about the stuff you might think a gaggle of ComicMixers would discuss: Star Wars, Doctor Who, food, architecture, theater, improv, opera (a little bit), comics… Jen and I talked about Chicago because that’s what people who lived in Chicago always do. Hell, we do that when we’re only around New Yorkers as well. It seems to annoy the pettier of our east coast clan.

I’m not going to rat anybody out, and I’m certainly not going to discuss Maddy and Anya’s career plans or anything like that. Not only would doing so be rude of me, but I’d also be pre-empting material from The Tweeks’ weekly (if not more often) video blogs. If I did that, Adriane would roll up a copy of the Sunday New York Times and bop me on the nose with it, shouting “bad editor – bad editor.”

Sigh. I hate being a grown-up. Lucky for me, I only do that for a living. And even then, rarely.

Maddy, Anya and Jen live in Orange County, which makes going to that ridiculously overstuffed comic book convention fairly easy – for them. The show is in several weeks, and if you look through the website you can see the high quality of their interviews with celebrities and other people who hire public relations firms. All of them (I believe) are online here at ComicMix, and it’s really fun to watch how they’ve evolved and improved since they started this thing three years ago. When they were eleven. Now, they’re fourteen.

If the Tweeks are any indication, they’re making smarter and more stylish fourteen-year-olds than they did when I was that age. Oh, sure, I was smart all right, but in my case, that word qualified the next word, which was “aleck.”

I’m a big believer in mentoring. Indeed, when it comes to such activity I am a fundamentalist. I’m really proud of Adriane’s work in that regard – and that is the result of her work and not her being my daughter. Which, need I remind you, has been the coolest thing that ever happened to me.

This is not to take anything away from the Tweeks’ parents. Parenting is a different thing from mentoring. Mentors can say “See ya!” when they want to or need to. Parents have their gig forever. I dunno; maybe it’s something to do with “responsibility.”

It was a great evening. It was the reason I really love this job.

Happy summer solstice. If it seems like the longest day of the year… trust your instincts.





Mike Gold: Malled By Wonder Woman!

Last week, we had one of those delightful father/daughter days when Adriane and I went diving for Funko. According to our drivers’ licenses, we are “adults” but, according to our predilections, we are “fans.” Personally, I’m only an adult when I’m on the clock, and then only when I’m in court. Hey, it’s a living.

Whereas we, like most of you out there in comics ethersphere, saw Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 the week before, we weren’t really looking for GOTG stuff. Oh, sure, if they’ve got a Funko Pop with Baby Groot teething on Drax’s arm I’m buying it but, as you probably know better than me, the really good shit is grabbed well before the movie opens. Nope; we were spelunking for Wonder Woman chachkas, coming soon to a theater near you.

The trick is, there are certain Pops that are made exclusively for certain retailers. Target has theirs, Electronics Boutique and Game Stop have theirs, and so on down the drive past the malls and big box stores on the road formally known as “Main Street.” So doing the fanboy supermarket sweeps involves checking out a number of establishments.

Despite Adriane’s adulthood, she’s more familiar with the product than I am. It’s not like I don’t have a small shitload of Funko stuff, but Adriane’s collection could fill a warehouse. That’s fine by me, as long as I don’t have to schlep it the next time she moves. And Adriane doesn’t want to have to move my comic book collection. This is known as “21st-century quid pro quo.” So as we zot down the aisles, Adriane brings to my attention the more unusual stuff.

Which brought us to the Lego aisle. To be specific, it brings us to the Lego Lashina toy. Yes, your favorite Jack Kirby S&M character is now a Lego toy. This is pretty damn cool, unless the Department of Children and Family Services tends to frequent your home.

I realize Lashina is a card-carrying member of the DC Universe in all its forms. She’s been in the Suicide Squad. She’s been on Smallville. She’s been on sundry DC cartoons. And, honestly, I’m not opposed to S&M among consenting… um… Lego toys. Maybe she’ll get her own Lego movie.

But somebody’s gotta tell me what Krypto is doing there.

We didn’t get many Wonder Woman exclusives (remember when they were called “chase cards?”), but I did score a great Peter Capaldi as the guitar-playing Doctor; something to hold on to as they jerk us around with the “who is the new Doctor” bit… even though the BBC already filmed the regeneration scene.

I suspect Adriane will keep an eye on eBay, the best place on Earth to overpay for already overly expensive collectibles. The forthcoming Wonder Woman movie allows us to resurrect and adapt an old joke: Funko Pop! can market an invisible bi-plane in an empty box.

I wonder what that will go for on eBay.

Then Adriane showed me the Funko Pop! Vito Corleone.  Yep, The Godfather. Hey, they had to put something next to their Fredo vinyl. Why not a murdering drug dealer who refuses his Academy Award?

As weird as that seems to me, to be completely honest when (not if) Funko comes out with a line of Pops dedicated to Fritz Lang’s M… I am there!

Mike Gold: Crawling Out Of The Primordial Slime

Superman Old

Superman was studying for his Bar Mitzvah on the day I was born.

I’ll save you the math. Superman was “born” in 1938. Both of his parents were Jewish. It is safe to assume that by the time a Jewish boy is 12 he’s probably studying for his Bar Mitzvah.

That means that your erstwhile writer and man-about-town is now a senior citizen. Actually, that happened yesterday, as you read these words. I’m posting this on August 3rd, so even if I get hit by a truck the day before Medicare you still get to read me whining and moaning and bitching about my antiquity.

It’s a shame that comic books have become respectable. Quite frankly, I’d make that argument even if I were only half my age, and that would still be twice the age I act. Because there has been damn little “respectable” about the first 65 years of my life, I plan on leaving through that same door.

I want to hear some even older drug store geezer walk over to his comic book rack scream “Hey! You! Geriatric twit! This ain’t no library!”

Come to think of it, I’ll settle for finding a drug store with a comic book rack.

Unlike every major and about a billion minor mainstream superheroes, I doubt any of us will get rebooted. As you regulars know, I’m not crazy about reboots. If they have to happen at all, they should only happen to people who are held together by staples.

On the other hand, I am held together by a team of people as patient with me as they are critical to me. First and foremost, by daughter Adriane Nash, who transformed my life entirely and massively for the better. All of my brothers and sisters here at ComicMix; it’s amazing what we’ve all went through this past decade. Even amazinger, we made it through the muck. My friends, which include my professional collaborators, which means I am goddamned motherfucking lucky.

To take a step back, what holds me together is the love, support, ego, and craft of the entire comics community. Talent, bureaucrats (yep; I’m one of them), fans, bloggers, store owners, store workers, technicians, movie makers, television show makers, cosplayers, and creative malcontents and misfits: That’s our comics community, and I’m proud and grateful to have been part of that all these ridiculous years.

This pocket dimension of ours is so cool even people who loathe each other do so on a first-name basis. That’s really cool. I mean, when was the last time you heard somebody scream “You degenerate piece of shit! I damn you and all your children born and unborn for the next seven generations…” followed by that person’s first name. There’s a strong possibility that this phrase was uttered after two friends disagreed as to which Jack Kirby creation was better: the Silver Surfer, or Thor.

(Thor. Hate me if you must.)

You gotta love it. My deepest thanks to each and every one of you.

Let’s see how much longer I can milk this puppy.

Thanks and a tip of my hat to Denny O’Neil and John Ostrander, who got there first and showed me the way.


Mike Gold: Roseanne Roseannadanna Was Right!

“It just goes to show ya, it’s always something. If it’s not one thing, it’s another.”

Deathless words from the late Roseanne Roseannadanna. And, as the saying goes, truer words were never spoken. Today’s column almost didn’t happen, and I’m writing this so late that it’s possible my editor won’t be able to take a whack at it.

Yes, I am a firm believer in people not editing themselves. Even the editor-in-chief gets edited. Of course in that situation the EIC becomes just another freelancer, and freelancers know all the tricks of getting stuff past their editor. The most effective way is to turn in your stuff so late that the editor can’t get to it. Unfortunately, assistant editor Adriane Nash knows that stunt. Nonetheless, all the mistakes and typos herein today are the writer’s, and I’m mostly using only nine fingers so give me a break.

You might recall that last year at roughly this time I shattered all the bones from my shoulder down to almost my elbow, resulting in bionic replacements. This time around, I fucked up less dramatically but more whimsically. The bones in the middle finger of my right hand somehow got screwed up and for the last couple of months I stoically dealt with the pain and discomfort until I decided that stoicism sucks. So Monday I went to the doctor who would decide if I needed to be cut up or just given a shot. Together, we decided to give the shot a shot; we could always cut me up later.

That’s when he warned me the shot would cause agonizing pain for about 30 seconds. Evidently, the last guy who got this shot from him loudly and repeatedly called the doctor a cocksucker, which, he assured me, was incorrect. So I went through my mental thesaurus in a vain attempt to come up with an epithet that would be both clever and accurate.

That was needless. Whatever came out of my mouth was sub-articulate. I writhed and flinched and buckled so hard my chauffeur, the aforementioned Ms. Nash, thought I was going to break something. That thought crossed my mind as well. Thirty seconds never lasted so long.

GB2-logo-ghostbusters-33868869-726-1000Afterwards, my middle finger went completely numb – as it was supposed to. It felt like it was made of rubber and it ballooned up to the size of one of Fatso’s fingers, Fatso being of The Ghostly Trio fame. And that allusion to Casper the Friendly Ghost is about as close to comics as I’m going to get this week.

There are many things you cannot do with a totally numb middle finger, and typing heads the list. Adriane stepped in to edit Emily’s and Molly’s columns – she routinely handles Bob’s and the Tweeks – and I took the rest of the day off. Much like the previous month, I believe.

I woke up Tuesday morning intending to write about Hawkgirlwoman being part of next year’s new CW superhero series and the difficulties inherent therein. Hopefully, I’ll be able to do that next week. It’s an interesting idea, but I couldn’t execute it because that damn finger was still numb. Slowly, very slowly, the numbness wore off. Well, not totally, but it’s twelve hours before publication and it’s sufficiently functional for me to write about my favorite topic: me and my pain and agony.

It’s always something. If I didn’t need the middle finger of my right hand to communicate with my fellow Fairfield County Connecticut drivers, I would have chopped it off and worn it around my neck. But now that my middle finger is slowly regaining function, I can drive to the Indiana governors’ mansion and put that very finger to good use.

Yes. I know today is April Fool’s Day. I’ll celebrate later.

Mike Gold: The Fifth of November

v for vendettaThis is a special day at La Casa del Oro. It’s my daughter’s birthday. Adriane Nash, also a ComicMixer (if you wonder how she got that job, I strongly suspect years and years of working at and managing comic book stores played a significant part), turns… ah, it’s not my place to say. But she’s one year older than she was yesterday.

Adriane was born on November 5th due, in no small part, to her mother Linda’s fantastic sense of humor. In case you didn’t know, November 5th is also Guy Fawkes Day.

If you’re not an anarchist you might not know about Guy Fawkes. According to Wiki (as well as a couple dozen books in my library, just in case you’re uncertain of my politics) he was a member of a group of English Catholics who planned the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605. This was a somewhat complicated plan to assassinate King James I on November 5 1605, blow up the House of Lords, and put a Catholic monarch on the throne. Make no little plans, as Daniel Burnham liked to say. Guy was in charge of the gunpowder they stockpiled in Westminster Palace. Somebody ratted him out and the government did what they did in those days: they spent several days questioning and torturing the malcontent, and ultimately he fessed up.

On January 31, the day of his execution, Fawkes jumped from the scaffold where he was to be hanged and broke his neck, a far, far, far less painful death than being drawn and quartered and semi-hanged and disemboweled and all that stuff you saw Mel Gibson go through in Braveheart. Brits just can’t let go of this one: on this date, Guy Fawkes Day, he is routinely hanged in effigy or tossed on a bonfire (his effigy, not his bones). Fireworks and frivolity ensue.

   Remember, remember!

   The fifth of November,

   The Gunpowder treason and plot;

   I know of no reason

   Why the Gunpowder treason

   Should ever be forgot!

   Guy Fawkes and his companions

   Did the scheme contrive,

   To blow the King and Parliament

   All up alive.

   Threescore barrels, laid below,

   To prove old England’s overthrow.

   But, by God’s providence, him they catch,

   With a dark lantern, lighting a match!

   A stick and a stake

   For King James’s sake!

   If you won’t give me one,

   I’ll take two,

   The better for me,

   And the worse for you.

   A rope, a rope, to hang the Pope,

   A penn’orth of cheese to choke him,

   A pint of beer to wash it down,

   And a jolly good fire to burn him.

   Holloa, boys! holloa, boys! make the bells ring!

   Holloa, boys! holloa boys! God save the King!

   Hip, hip, hooor-r-r-ray!

Oh, yes. Guy Fawkes and his story served as the inspiration for the truly classic Alan Moore / David Lloyd graphic novel V For Vendetta, which also happens to be my all-time favorite graphic novel. The likeness David employed became synonymous with the contemporary anarchist movement, the anti-World Trade Organization movement, and was also adopted by many in the Occupy movement three years ago.

Last Friday, I had one trick-or-treater wearing a V mask. Then again, I had another trick-or-treater dressed up as Ebola.

Both received extra candy.


Mike Gold and His Invisible Donuts

(For reasons that will become obvious, this, my first column in about a month, is to be run both on www.MichaelDavisWorld.com and on www.ComicMix.com. Go nuts; read it twice and offer contradictory comments!)

I have a friend named Larry Schlam, a noted child’s rights advocate and a former Bronx street-corner singer. Back around 1973 he and I were cutting through the Montgomery Ward store in downtown Chicago and I wanted to stop at their donut shop, which was excellent. Larry, who is prone to eating frog’s legs and sushi (not necessarily together), explained the concept of “empty calories.” This past month, I learned the concept of invisible donuts.

This winter, the convention has been to slip on the massive ice floe that has engulfed most of this nation east of the Rocky Mountains. That’s not for me. I don’t roll that way. A month ago I took a fall about thirty feet below the ice, at the Times Square subway station. Had this not been an accident, I would have had the foresight to bring along a coffee can to collect contributions. Intention aside, I managed to pulverize my left shoulder – and, of course, I’m left-handed. I’m damn near left-everything.

But I say “pulverize” instead of “break” because that’s exactly what happened. Several X-Ray technicians, emergency room personnel, and my surgeon-to-be all wondered why I wasn’t on a morphine drip. Nonetheless, my shoulder replacement surgery was scheduled for about two weeks later, doubtlessly so I had time to reflect upon my behavior. However, I was given Oxycodone and Vicodin to battle the pain. They said I was stoic. I said it hurt.

Both are opiates and are taken recreationally by some. Contrary to common wisdom medicine is an art form and not a science – what works for you could be no more effective than a Skittle for me. The meds helped with the pain, but the concurrent high was insufficient for me to break out my Jimi Hendrix albums. So it goes.

When it finally came time to go under the knife, I was told I’d be in hospital for one night, maybe two. Surgery was scheduled for the last Monday in February. But I woke up on Thursday with a bit of grogginess and that whole unmentionable catheter thing (yes, guys, you too can squirm). Being in compos mentis, I figured I was wrong and the surgery must have happened on Wednesday.

Well, I was wrong. The new shoulder went in on Monday, and Tuesday evening I had a severe reaction to the anesthesia. My blood oxygen was down to a near-lethal level and I was acting like – in the words of my gifted daughter Adriane – a 220 pound drunken three year old. Evidently I was funny and charming, but I scared the hell out of the assembled medical practitioners. As I do not drink alcohol and do not have a street drug problem (they called around to confirm this), they were dumbfounded.

Meanwhile, I was having a blast. Prior to my blood oxygen train wreck I announced to the assembled masses that two boxes of invisible donuts had just materialized on my chest. Given the circumstances, I believe there was some attempt to quantify the humor of my revelation. A short time later, Adriane saw me pantomiming eating those donuts. She asked “Are you, ah, eating those donuts?” I responded mouth-closed (even in my condo in Wackyland, I endeavor to remain polite) by opening my eyes brightly and nodding happily.

I’m told I spent Wednesday in the ICU until my numbers recovered, and I was discharged the following Friday. My new shoulder has more chrome in it than a ’57 Buick and I still can’t use my left arm for more than a few minutes – this piece will have taken me about six times as long to write. After a few more doctors, I’ll be starting physical therapy in a couple weeks. Larry Hama, who’s been through this type of thing and just had a hip replacement, advised me “Whatever the therapist tells you to do, do it.” That’s good enough for me.

So I haven’t quite disappeared from the planet as of yet. I’m blessed with good friends, comrades who cover for me without squawking, a wonderful slew of professionals at Norwalk and Stamford Hospitals, and a daughter so awesome and self-sacrificing I wonder what I did in a prior life to deserve her.

Invisible donuts are just as satisfying as the real thing – but getting them is a bitch.

Mike Gold will get back to performing his weekly two-hour Weird Sounds Inside The Gold Mind ass-kicking rock, blues and blather radio show on The Point, www.getthepointradio.com and on iNetRadio, www.iNetRadio.com as part of “Hit Oldies” every Sunday at 7:00 PM Eastern, rebroadcast three times during the week – check www.getthepointradio.com above for times and on-demand streaming information. He thinks this will happen on Sunday, March 16th. Gold also joins MDW’s Marc Alan Fishman, Martha Thomases and Michael Davis as a weekly columnist at www.comicmix.com where he pontificates on matters of four-color. Gold also joins ComicMix’s Marc Alan Fishman, Martha Thomases and Michael Davis as a weekly columnist at www.michaeldavisworld.com, and chances are you’re presently reading these words at one of those two venues.

MINDY NEWELL: You Say You Want A Resolution…

Newell Art 140106Well, 2014 is six days old, and though I’m not too maudlin about it, I’m glad 2013 is over. It wasn’t my worst year ever – that was pretty much 2006, though 2009 does come close, for reasons that I’m not going into here because some things do have to stay off this page – but 2013 was the year I lost my father. No, he isn’t dead, but he is gone for good, and this is how I know.

We (Glenn, Alix, Jeff, and Meyer Manuel) were visiting my parents on New Year’s Day. I had brought my father up to an apartment from the nursing home division; my parents live in a continuous care adult community. We were having either a late lunch or an early dinner, and one thing about my dad, he hasn’t lost his appetite. He eats everything put in front of him, even eggs, which, in fact, he actively disliked. Anyway, my brother made a joke about how there’s nothing wrong with Daddy’s appetite and how, even when he was in a coma last year, somehow if we put food in his mouth he ate it. We all laughed (a sad, kinda bitter laugh, I think), and then all of a sudden my mom started coughing. She kept coughing. Hard. And all of a sudden I realized she wasn’t just coughing, she was choking.

I went to give her the Heimlich, but Glenn had realized what was going on the same time I did and got to her first. It took a couple of too many abdominal thrusts for comfort, but it worked, thank God. Mom sat down, cried just a little bit because she was really scared there for a moment (of course), drank some water… and I realized that my dad had just sat there during all this and continued to eat – no, wolf down – his french fries. He had been completely unaware of what was happening to his wife of nearly 66 years, of what had nearly happened. All he knew was his french fries. He was just staring at wherever it is that he stares at and eating his french fries. “That is not my father,” I thought. “My father is gone.”

So, so long, 2013. I hope the door hit you on the ass on the way out.

And hello, 2014.

What would I like to do this year?

Like Marc Alan Fishman, my fellow columnist here at ComixMix, I’d like to get back to the comics shop this year. Unlike Marc, I stopped going because of the financial blues I’ve been living with for the last couple of years, and I dream of the day I have real discretionary income in my checkbook register again. I’m making inroads, but sometimes the dream is overtaken by the nightmare, if you know what I mean.

I’d like to get off my procrastinating ass and talk to Editor Mike about a story idea that’s been floating in the back of my head for more than a couple of years. It could encompass all sorts of genres if I’m a good enough writer – a little bit of soap opera, a little bit of fantasy, a little bit of thriller, a little bit of romance, but not a little bit country or a little bit rock n’ roll. It can address a bunch of issues like racism and politics and evolution and love and hate and family and madness and sanity. That is, if I’m a good enough writer, which is the fear that keeps me procrastinating.

I’d like to stop thinking that my dreams are merely the flights of fancy of some crazy woman and act on them. Like, what the hell, why not work into a script the story of my father and his sharing a bottle of Scotch with Lord Mountbatten in Burma during World War II to Dreamworks and Steven Spielberg, whose father was a chief mechanic who was responsible for keeping those P-51 Mustangs flying the Hump in the C-B-I theatre during the war? The worse that could happen is that I hear nothing.

Or write it up as a short story and submit it to, oh, I don’t know, where do you submit a war story these days? The web is my best bet, but exactly what site? I’ll have to buy a current copy of Writer’s Digest.

Or maybe I can do in comic form after all, only then I have to find an artist. God, I wish I could draw and just do my own stuff; the toughest part of being a writer only (only a writer?) in a visual medium is seeing everything in your head so clearly but not being able to translate the whole picture onto the page.

Did I ever tell you that artists amaze me?

I’d like to go to San Diego this year. Yep, I’ve never been to the San Diego Comic-Con. I can hear all the groans now from those who have walked the floors of the convention center, hear all the complaints about how it’s not about comics anymore, that it’s now a marketing tool for Hollywood. But I don’t care. I’d like to experience it at least once. I’d like to go to some panels and I’d like to star gaze just a little bit (but not collect autographs because autographs have never interested me) and I’d like to see people I haven’t seen in too many years and I’d like to go to the beach and watch the sun set into the Pacific Ocean instead of rising up out of the Atlantic.

And I’d like to write Wonder Woman again, and do another Lois Lane book. I’d like to sit down over a cup of tea (I don’t drink coffee) or a glass of wine with Gail Simone and meet Kelley Sue DeConnick and hang out with Martha Thomases (I want to pick up knitting again, Martha!). I’d like to be on a panel about women in comics at a convention and talk about the harassment going on and challenge some of these jerks in person – you want me take me on, you’re welcome to try, assholes.

And I’d like to say thanks to everybody who read my column in 2013. Thanks to everybody who wrote in response here on ComicMix and on Facebook and the League of Women Bloggers. Thanks for all the different opinions and the discussions they engendered.

And thanks to Mike Gold and Glenn Hauman and Adriane Nash and everybody at ComicMix who continue to let me open my big mouth right here, every week, every Monday, for better or for worse.

Happy New Year!











Presenting: Tweeks!

tweeks-twins-post-119x225-8995983Beginning tomorrow afternoon and every Thursday thereafter, ComicMix will run a video podcast featuring twin 11 year-olds Maddy and Anya Ernst. The San Diego sisters will discuss their most favorite (and sometimes their least favorite) aspects of pop culture.

The girls come by their expertise naturally. Anya was named Anyanka in utero by her mother, Jen, after the character on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Madeline, Maddy for short, was named after the French children’s book character. They love The Hunger Games (and their Katniss Barbie doll), Doctor Who, and My Little Pony. Less nerdy, they also adore musical theater, drag queens and Disneyland.

“Maddy and Anya represent the very next generation of fandom, and they do it with wit, style and tremendous enthusiasm,” ComicMix editor-in-chief Mike Gold babbled. I couldn’t be more excited about having them join our ComicMix team.”

The Tweeks will debut with their review and analysis of the new Doctor on Doctor Who, as well as a discussion about the upcoming 50th anniversary episode. Future video webcasts will discuss Phineas and Ferb, My Little Pony and the latest Lenore graphic novel. The webcasts will be co-produced and abetted by ComicMix editor Adriane Nash.

“Maddy and Anya are twins, they’re tweens and they’re geeks,” Nash noted. “That’s how they came up with the name “Tweeks!”