Tagged: Donald Trump

Mindy Newell: But Words Will Never Harm Me

I’ve been trying to get a hold on what’s happened in this country, just the same as everybody who lives in the United States of America who is the least bit sane. The only explanation I can come up with is complicated…or maybe it isn’t.

Charlie Chaplin TrumpSticks and stones

May break my bones,

But words will never harm me.

Remember that little ditty? Too bad it isn’t true… because words do matter. And that’s the epicenter of this particular quake.

Back in 2008 when President Barack Hussein Obama was elected to his first term, everybody was talking about a “post-racial” society because the guy who won the presidency was black. Only, of course, he isn’t, really; not black as in ebony or inky or onyx or jet. He’s café-au-lait or mocha or brown

But definitely not white. And to be actually white is to be affected by albinism, a genetic abnormality or mutation that affects the production of melanin, which is what pigments our skin color, and is derived from the amino acid tyrosine. Approximately 18,000 people in America have albinism. And they are all voting for Trump.

But I digress.

Another word that is thrown around with alacrity is race. In this context race is used to differentiate and more importantly, alienate people. It seems that too many goddamn people think that alien is a synonym for race. I would talk about how taxonomy of humans makes no distinction of skin color; we are all members of the genus Homo – Latin for “wise,” not gay – and the species sapiens – Latin for “man.” But I’m afraid I’d be wasting my breath. Carl Linnaeus, the Swedish botanist, medical doctor, and zoologist who invented “binomial nomenclature,” the system of classifying plant and animal life, coined the term in 1758. Um, “wise?” Carl? Maybe you should rethink that, because there are too many white people walking around thinking that a black person or a Jewish person or a Hispanic person or an Asian person or a Muslim person is a member of a different race.

And then there are the words that come out of politicians and Fox News and neo-Nazi groups and white supremacy groups that, since Barack Hussein Obama was first elected, have consistently and diligently given covert and overt permission to restrict, ghettoize, pummel, stab, and gun down. These words are Second Amendment Rights and Voting Rights and Confederacy and States’ Rights and Stand Your Ground.

Here’s a theory: Is it possible that on some deep psychological level, somewhere between the Superego and the Id (“Monsters, John. Monsters from the Id.”) Homo sapiens obsessed with words like “black” know that they could never get close enough to Barack Hussein Obama to kill him, so they bubble and boil and steam and cook until, in a horrible moment of transference and projection and all that psychobabble – words, again – they kill the next black individual they meet instead? Just to rub it in your face: they really want to kill that “nigger – yeah, I just typed that word for the first time in my life – in the White House,” but they can’t, so they kill the next best thing.

Hey, I’m just trying to make sense of it, to look for an explanation. Like historians trying to explain Adolf Hitler and his insane anti-Semitism. And speaking of “The Little Tramp”…

…There’s Donald Trump. A perpetual machine of words designed to inflame and incite who got a real chance to be standing on the Capitol steps on January 20, 2017, and with one hand on the Bible, swearing to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Nobody understands it, everybody’s trying to explain it, and ultimately, no one can.

Because there aren’t enough words in the dictionary to explain it.


Mindy Newell: Star Trek’s Commodore Donald? I Can’t Even…

doomsday machine trump

The absolute shit that is coming out of Donald Trump’s mouth is just…

I can’t even.

I’m writing this on Thursday, when I should (finally) be packing, because my daughter is picking me up at 1:30 this afternoon for my flight to Denver and the Comic Con. But this column appears on Monday afternoon and I’ll still be in the Mile High City, so I got up early, made myself a cup of tea, and sat down to talk about how I’m looking forward to the convention, my first in years…

… but I put on Morning Joe (on MSNBC) and I’m sitting here with my mouth open and my political side spinning as I watch Joe and Mika and Willie and their panel and their guest report on and talk about the absolute shit that is coming out of the Republican nominee’s mouth.

This week Trump has:

(1) Said that President Obama has “something else in mind” concerning ISIS and terrorist attack, then saying “I’ll let people just try to figure out what I said” when questioned by the press as to exactly what he meant by that… and retweeting an article from the news organization Breitbart that Obama supports terrorists. In case you didn’t figure it out, Trump has accused the President of treasonous actions.

(2) Banned the Washington Post from covering his campaign because of “inaccurate reporting.” Which news organization is next? He’s already banished BuzzFeed, Politico, The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, The Des Moines Register, and others.

(3) Tweeting “i told you so!” and “appreciate the congrats” and that he is the only one who can stop “them.” after the Orlando attack. (Yeah, that’s right, it’s all about him.)

(4) Said at a speech in Greensboro, North Carolina that “Iraq, crooked as hell. How about bringing baskets of money? Millions and millions of dollars and handing it out? I want to know, who are the soldiers that had that job because I think they’re living very well right now, whoever they may be.” (Yes, 115 U.S. soldiers were convicted of theft and bribery in Afghanistan and Iraq – but since the U.S. went to war in Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003, “2.5 million members of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard and related Reserve and National Guard units have been deployed in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars,” according to Department of Defense data. You do the math. The man is insulting the thousands who were killed and the hundreds of thousands who will carry scars, physical and mental, from those wars for the rest of their lives.)

(5) Told his own Republican party to just “be quiet” if they can’t support it, saying that he’ll “go it alone.” In other words, butt out!

Actually, that’s exactly what a growing number of Republicans are now starting to do. I almost feel sorry for them, as Ryan and McConnell and House Republicans and Senate Republicans find themselves drawn into “The Doomsday Machine,” staring down into its monstrous maw like Commodore Matt Decker as his shuttle is drawn into the beast, like Captain James T. Kirk waiting to be beamed back to the Enterprise as the Constellation gets closer and closer to the beast:

Kirk: (on the Constellation) Beam me aboard.

Spock: (on the bridge of the Enterprise) Energize.

Kyle: (in the Transporter room) Bridge, it’s shorted out again.

Scott: (in the Jefferies tube) Och, what’s wrong with it?

Kirk: Gentlemen, beam me aboard.

Spock: We can’t Captain. Transporter is out again.

Spock: Mister Scott, twenty seconds to detonation.

Spock: Mister Scott?

Spock? Mister Scott…

Spock: Try inverse phasing.

Sulu: (on the bridge of the Enterprise) Sixty kilometers, fifty, forty…

Sulu: (voice heard on Kirk’s communicator) Thirty…

Kirk: Gentlemen, I suggest you beam me aboard.

An absolutely brilliant episode written by award-winning science fiction author Norman Spinrad. Of course Kirk is rescued at the very last second before the man-made Doomsday Machine is “killed.”

Trump is also “man-made,” by a Republican party that put power and control over everything else – including love of country. He is their Frankenstein monster, “The Doomsday Machine” that is now running amok and destroying the very thing that created him. And the Republicans have no script, no award-winning author to write the page on which the brilliant engineer jimmies the Jefferies tube and fixes the transporter to save the heroic captain at the very last second

I can’t even.

Michael Davis: If This Be Doom’s Day

President Lex Luthor

Remember when Obama was elected?

For me as a black man, this was one of if not the ultimate “where were you at when such and such occurred” moment.

When O.J. was acquitted, I was in the conference room at Motown. The Rodney King verdict in my office and (this is not a joke) I let all the white people on my staff go home early.

Alex Ross obamaI was in bed with a five-alarm migraine praying for death or sleep, whichever came first. It was sleep and when it came it seemed to last about a second before my phone woke me. I ignored the call but soon it became apparent that was the first of many. My phone played my “wrong nigga to fuck with” ringtone so often I dreamt LAPD had arrested me again.

I picked up determined to destroy whoever it was.

“Prince is dead.”

My heart joined my head in unbearable pain. The same kind of pain I felt while at Xenon a New York club that rivaled the famed Studio 54 for a time where I was when John Lennon was shot.

I’m sure most people can remember where they were when something earth-shattering happened. However; can you remember where you were the day after the earth shook?

I can, for one day.

The day after John Lennon died I was in Barron Storey’s illustration class at Pratt Institute. Baron brought in a small organ then instructed the class to “create something moving” in remembrance of the slain Beatle while he played Beatles tunes.

Yeah, that happened.

On 911 I was in my Los Angeles home. Denys Cowan and I, both transported die hard New Yorkers, watched the news reports all day from separate houses, neither of us capable of hanging up the phone and driving the 10 minutes to the others home.

An Atlanta Hilton was my location when the news came about the first World Trade Center attack in 1993. My wife at the time had taken her class there on a field trip that very day. Somehow I knew when I couldn’t reach her she was there when the bomb exploded.

She was.

I was unable to book a flight home and spent one of the longest days of my life terrified. At 2 a.m. she called and explained how everyone had to shelter in place until they were escorted out.

All those events remain etched in my memory. Except the first WTC bombing, none nearly etched as deep as when Barak Obama won the Presidency.

Once again I was with Denys Cowan, but this time at his home. We were overjoyed, to say the least. As it turned out, so was the comic book industry.

To say the industry was supportive would be a massive understatement. There were special editions from Marvel, Image, Devil’s Due and Fantagraphics to name a few among the many. Hell, Alex Ross did a tee-shirt many of Hollywood’s A-list wore and damn for a time that shirt was as big as the ‘Hope’ image.

The comics industry embraced Obama with a passion.

Almost eight years, two terms and 96 months of crazy shit later it’s possible the polar opposite of Obama may be elected.

One of the traits shared by politics and comics are evil opposites.

There is always an evil counterpart to great heroes. It’s not hard to spot them they tell you who they are.

“It all fits somehow, his coming here to Metropolis. And at this particular time. There’s a kind of cruel justice about it. I mean, to commit the crime of the century, a man naturally wants to face the challenge of the century. – Lex Luthor

Now that we know who you are, I know who I am. I’m not a mistake! It all makes sense! In a comic, you know how you can tell who the arch villain’s going to be? He’s the exact opposite of the hero. And most times they’re friends, like you and me! I should’ve known way back when… You know why, David? Because of the kids. They called me Mr. Glass. – Elijah Price a.k.a. Mr. Glass

Two other great comic book foils, the Reverse Flash and Bizarro, were thorns in the side to their counterparts Flash and Superman. The Reverse flash is straight up evil I have no idea if he’s still around in whatever universe DC is entering or was around in the last universe or the universe before that. I know back in the day when Barry Allen was the Flash, the Reverse Flash was a great character and genuine evil bastard.

Bizarro isn’t evil, but he certainly plays a hazardous role.

Superman JFKDonald Trump is a bigger than life character. He’s great television I’ll say that. He may not be evil but he certainly is dangerous, and that’s not just my opinion it’s a lot of the globe’s as well.

The world, for the most part, was happy Obama became President of the United States. If the Donald becomes the next President?

Not so much.

From the New York Times, May 22. 2016:“Kenichiro Sasae, Japan’s ambassador to the United States, said about a possible Trump victory; “I don’t want to see that kind of United States.”

Itsunori Onodera, a former defense minister and a member of the Japanese House of Representatives, gave a lengthy list of what he characterized as Mr. Trump’s misstatements. “I don’t think there are any Trump supporters present here.”

The industry was so pro-Obama eight years ago, so I’m wondering if his opposite enters the White House race what if anything will the industry do?

It just seems if the comic book industry and frankly a lot of the entertainment world went SO buck wild over Barack Obama we should go “oh hell no!” at the thought of a Donald Trump Presidency.

Will we?

Will unique issues be published showing Trump as evil?

Will Trump be featured with a wicked giant smiling grinning face on the cover of Spider-Man?

Will the Savage Dragon pimp slap the Donald?

Will he be depicted as more dangerous than Galactus? Will the Silver Surfer become his Herald sent to Mexico and the Middle East to make way for the Donald and his Ultimate Nullifier?

In Mexico, will he use the Ultimate Nullifier to make them build a wall to imprison themselves and pay for it with their pesos? Have to admit if Trump can make a country build a wall to keep their citizens in place that would be some awesome shit.

And if Mexico pays for what would be a standing insult and demeaning barrier?

If that happens, Donald Trump would be the ultimate pimp alas Trump fans. It will never happen. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. “it will never happen” is what most (including me) said about Trump’s road to the Republican nomination. Well, I was wrong, and it did happen.

The only real way one country can make another do its bidding is at the point of a gun. You think Trump is crazy enough to go to war so he can get that wall built? I do, but the American people won’t stand for it.

Then again, if he’s elected President talking the crazy shit, he’s talking now maybe they will.

But I digress. Peter David! Howthehellareyou?

What will the comic book industry do? Barack Obama may not be universally loved but people he’s a comic fan. That makes him one of us.

Will we do nothing?

There’s a saying: The Only Thing Necessary for the Triumph of Evil is that Good Men Do Nothing.

I am not naïve. I’m fully aware some see Donald Trump as a savior. Some see him as a confident business person and the future of America. I don’t see him that way. I see him as a very shrewd thoroughly convincing to some, egomaniac. Although I respect, everybody’s right to do what they want. As a person of color, I can’t under any circumstances support a homophobic, women hating, race baiting, KKK denying, violence inciting man who goes before the entire world and talks about his dick.



The nightmare we thought would never occur has come to pass. America has dropped a nuclear bomb on Mexico. International reaction has been quick. The world has condemned our action. The United States of America has been kicked out of Nato as well as the United Nations. Forces are building against us, and all US citizens have been…wait a moment…we now take you to The Trump House where President Trump will address the nation.

“My fellow Americans, you know who you are. I love real Americans. Look no reason to be scared, there’s no way anyone will mess with us. Those reports of missiles heading towards us is as real as Obama’s birth certificate. The President of Spic Land, ya like that? I called it Spic land.

The President left me no choice in the matter when he insulted the United States of America. He told Anderson Cooper “Anyone who talks about how big his home is how much money he has and how big his penis is must be compensating for something.”

I hear from many many people he said his cock was bigger than mine. I told him to prove it, “Whip that tamale on out signor wetback and let’s see. If you don’t, you’ll regret it.”

He didn’t so I had to drop the big one on him. I only meant to get him but, well these things happen.


Donald Trump has used some of the very same tactics as Hitler. There are many, but I’ll just cite one, he blames a particular group of immigrants for our problems.

Most stood by and watched as Hitler proceeded to try to destroy several particular groups. Will it happen here? Can it? That, I admit is far-fetched.

On the other hand, is saying the first black President, vetted by the FBI, CIA, NSA is a Muslim born in Africa, but some guy found out on the internet that’s a lie.

Millions of people believed that bullshit.

Millions still do.

Marc Alan Fishman: Secret Conversations About Steve Rogers

captain-americaDeep inside a bunker, equidistant from MSNBC, CNN, Fox News, and Univision, the remaining candidates vying for President of the United States secretly meet. Please note they do this every couple of days.

Lowly PA: Sirs, Madam, I wanted to bring this item to you, as you may be handed some softball opinion questions in the next news cycle. That is if Donald hasn’t spouted off something racist that needs to be covered.

The Donald: Not this week, you loser.

PA: Thank you, sir. May I have another sir? Anyways… So, Nick Spencer – a comic book writer – has penned a recent issue of Captain America wherein Steve Rogers has turned out have been brainwashed by Hydra for decades. This rewrites whole swatches of his origin, potentially. But I should note the story has only just –

trump-sketch1-drdoomThe Donald: Weak! Pathetic! What a loser. I mean, look, are there some great yuge stories about Steve Rogers? Yes. But none by this guy. Who, not that I’m saying anything wrong here… but Spencer is a Mexican. I personally gave over 12 million dollars to Marvel to stop this. But I think they are being run  by… well… the guy is named “Alonso.”

Hil-Dawg: *Cackling Laugh* Oh, Donald, you slay me! But I think we should all take a minute or two to come to a consensus about how we’ll react to this.

Comrade Sanders: Hilary, Donald… I think this is indicative of the fat-cat Wall Street Mickey Mouse Militia out to push an agenda to usurp more powah’ for the one percent! Furthermore –

Hil-Dingo: Just so you know, it actually doesn’t matter what you answer. I’ve already won. This opinion question. The nomination. And the Presidency. But I recognize your right to continue…

Bernie waves an angered hand from his rumpled Men’s Warehouse Special towards the Secretary of State.

Don Juan DiRacist: Look. I love Marvel Comics. Marvel Comics loves me. That they could let this baddy bad badness to occur is just another reason we can’t have Crooked Hilary or Crazy Bernie in charge. Steve Rogers should be a Trump University graduate who fights ISIS and beats them. You’ll see that when I’m President.

Hil-Django: It’s a nice thought. But just like tickets on Trump Airlines, I’m not buying it. I think the smart money says we stay conservative about this Captain America issue. When my husband and I were President in the 90’s, Captain America was an unwavering success. It’s clear that this is just another attempt by the GOP to get in the way of the rights for characters to have retconned background stories for the sake of new fiction.

Burning Man Sanders: Mista’ Trump? Steve Rogers is from Brooklyn. Like me. He fights for the 99%. Miss Clinton? In the 90’s, you’ll denote I wrote many a’ bill to try to stop things like Captain America’s laser shield, Heroes Reborn, and several other complete mishaps during the time President Clinton should have been reconsidering Glass-Steag –

Hilary pulls out an air horn from her purse and honks it angrily at Senator Sanders.

Lowly PA: Gentlemen, Mrs. Clinton… We really need to come to a consensus here. Meet the Press is going to ask each of your communication directors about your stance on this topic in just an hour or two! And the people of America are screaming bloody murder! Some people are livid that there would be such a retcon to a seminal staple of the American spirit. Others are just casually awaiting the arc to end before jumping to conclusions.

Drumpy-Dumpty: Nate Spicer is a Mexican. When I’m President, we’re going to destroy these copies of the book, rewrite the backstory, and make Captain America great again.

Feel The Burn: I think Mr. Spencer is a good writer. Would I have taken such a drastic step in the first issue of a long arc? Potentially. But I think it’s key that we hear the complete story, and work togetha’ to ensure that Captain America doesn’t allow Wall Street to be too big to fail!

Hilarious Clinton: It’s clear to me now, that I feel the same way as any woman would at a time like this. When the country needs to still be this divided over a male-centric issue? It’s a shame. And one that I’ve been fighting against for years. And I’ll fight it more… over the next four years. When I finally take my throne as promised.

The three candidates get up from their seats. They exchange pleasantries and perform the ceremonial secret handshake. Donald Trump then puts on his traditional Latverian tunic, finger-extending gauntlets, and sorcery-empowered armor. He seals his craggy orange facade behind the mask of Doom, and flies out of the cave, to an awaiting mass of white supremacists. I mean… Latverians. Hilary Clinton gets into her Goldman-Sachs’ LexCorp Power Armor™, hugs an awaiting Loki, and promptly teleports back to her secret Harlem think tank. Bernie Sanders tears away his Robert Hall Special revealing a more frumpy Mervyn’s, and plinks away at his 2005 Blackberry. He calls to ensure his greyhound tickets are in order, and takes the stairs towards the street-level shelter to await his bus back to California.

Nick Spencer remains secluded in his own private bunker while the baby boomers all get their death threats in order. He reminds himself that it’s just fiction, he does have an editor who approves his scripts, and, thanks to Doctor Doom, the compelling feeling that there really is no bad publicity anymore.

Mindy Newell: Baa, Baa, Black Sheep


“If I were to run, I’d run as a Republican. They’re the dumbest group of voters in the

country. They love anything on Fox News. I could lie and they’d still eat it up. I bet my

my numbers would be terrific.” – Donald Trump, People Magazine, 1998

“It is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep.” – Benito Mussolini

Perhaps this is “bad business,” but before you do anything else, I want all of you to go over to Michael Davis World – yes, that Michael Davis, who happens to be my loooong time friend and fellow ComicMix columnist – and read Martha Thomases’s latest piece, entitled “Trump Card.” Then sit and think. Then read it again.

Then be afraid. Be very afraid.

I know I don’t often get political – oh, c’mon, who the hell do I think I’m kidding? – but this time I have to tell you that I am more consumed with fear for this country than even when the Bush administration sold the American public a bill of goods, the Brooklyn Bridge, a mule they swore was a horse, and lied us into the Iraq War. Which, if you understand history and current events, you’ll be able to follow the timeline that has brought us to the cliff on the edge of the abyss that is Donald Trump.

Ronald Reagan was called the “Teflon President,” but never in all my life have I seen a truer description of the “Baby Man,” as Jon Stewart calls the presumptive Republican Presidential candidate – no matter what he says, no matter what he does, no matter what is revealed, nothing touches Trump; criticism and truth slides off of him the way a well-cooked omelet slides out of a sauté pan, be it insults, lies, racial slurs, gender insults, religious attacks, or back-tracking.

No matter what they have previously stated on the record about never endorsing Trump, just about every Republican still in office or up for re-election in the fall is falling into line behind him, forgetting their oath to this country to protect it “against all enemies, “foreign and domestic.”

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan hems and haws and hems and haws, and I am actually disappointed in the man. Although I am unlikely to ever agree with his policies, there is no denying that Mr. Ryan is not stupid. But instead of having the balls to stand up and say “there is no way I am ever going to endorse this guy, there is no way this phony in an expensive suit is suitable for the office of the President of the United States, there is no place for a loose cannon like Donald Trump in the White House,” Mr. Ryan, like too many of his fellows, looks only to his own future. He could have simply laughed at the suggestion that Trump will fire him from the position of Speaker of the House if Ryan doesn’t go along with him – that alone shows how ignorant Donald Trump is about the workings of our government, as the Speaker of the House is not a contestant on “The Apprentice,” and cannot be fired by the President. He can only be fired by his fellow Republicans in the House… if they maintain the majority in the November election.

There are Republicans currently in office who are refusing to support Trump:

John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsay Graham (R-SC) being the two biggest names, though both claim it is because he does not have “conservative bona fides.” Of course McCain is obviously worried about the Hispanic and Latino vote in Arizona, as he’s running for re-election in his Latino-heavy state. Hey, while I’d rather hear them both say it’s because he’s a loon, I’ll take it. However, there are more conscientious Representatives and Senators out there:

Rep. Scott Rigell (R-VA) loses points because he is planning to retire at the end of his current term, but he did send a letter out to his supporters which urged them to vote for anybody but Trump: “My love for our country eclipses my loyalty to our party, and to live with a clear conscience I will not support a nominee so lacking in the judgment, temperament and character needed to be our nation’s commander in chief. Accordingly, if left with no alternative, I will not support Trump in the general election should he become our Republican nominee.”

Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) said, early in the campaign “This man does things and says things that I teach my six- and three-year-olds not to say. I could never look them in the eye and tell them that I support someone so crass and insulting and offensive to lead the greatest nation in the world.” You go, sir! That’s what I want to hear! Representative Curbelo has also said that he will back either a third-party candidate or a write-in.

And yes, there are many Republicans whose names are not familiar to the national public, but are on the inside of Washington politics who are open about their opposition, such as Elliot Cohen, counselor to the State Department during George W. Bush’s administration, who tweeted “…I will oppose Trump as nominee. Won’t support & won’t work for him for more reasons than a Tweet can bear.” He also wrote an open letter to Trump, signed by 60 members of the GOP National Security committee which said: “Mr. Trump’s own statements lead us to conclude that as president, he would use the authority of his office to act in ways that make America less safe, and which would diminish our standing in the world. Furthermore, his expansive view of how presidential power should be wielded against his detractors poses a distinct threat to civil liberty in the United States.”

Max Boot, foreign policy adviser to Sen. Marco Rubio, and a fellow on the Council on Foreign Relations told the New York Times that I would sooner vote for Josef Stalin than I would vote for Donald Trump. There is no way in hell I would vote for him. I would far more readily support Hillary Clinton, or Bloomberg if he ran.”

I don’t know if the “Republicans for Hillary” movement will gain any ground, at least in public, but I do think – and many people have derided me for thinking this – that a lot of them will quietly take advantage of our “secret ballot” system to indeed pull the lever or push the button or pencil in the box for the Democrat who would be our first woman President…or will “feel the Bern.” Maybe this isn’t brave of them, as they will be protecting their own Republican asses, but at the least they will be doing the right thing for the country. In fact, I will go so far as to say that I wouldn’t be afraid to bet that the Bushes (all of them, including the wives, kids, and assorted family members old enough) will be voting the Democratic Presidential ticket, whether it’s Hillary or Bernie, though I wouldn’t bet that on that outcome when it comes to their Senate, Representative or local races.

Last February the website Gawker punked Trump by sending him quote by Benito Mussolini, the fascist Italian dictator, which Trump retweeted. The quote was: “It is better to live one day as a lion than one hundred years as a sheep.” When confronted about it by Chuck Todd on NBC’s Meet The Press, and if the candidate wanted to be associated with a dictator, Trump said:

“Chuck, it’s OK to know it’s Mussolini. Look, Mussolini was Mussolini. It’s OK to – it’s a very good quote, it’s a very interesting quote, and I know it. I saw it. I saw what – and I know who said it. But what difference does it make whether it’s Mussolini or somebody else? It’s certainly a very interesting quote… I want to be associated with interesting quotes. And people, you know, I have almost 14 million people between Instagram and Facebook and Twitter and all of that. And we do interesting things. And I sent it out. And certainly, hey, it got your attention, didn’t it?”

That answer is pure Trump.

As for those 14 million followers on “Instagram and Facebook and Twiiter and all that?” As I told our editor Mike Gold today after seeing Captain America: Civil War, “Those yahoos think Trump is talking about a pizza parlor in New York called ‘Mussolini’s’.”

Open all night.

Oh, yeah. And Civil War rocked!!!!!!


Mindy Newell: The Whole World Is Watching

It Can’t Happen Here Sinclair LewisThis is one of those times when I’ve got nothing. Maybe it’s because I spent the last week sick as a dog, as the saying goes. I wonder what the origin of that axiom is – why not “sick as a cat?” Or a horse, or an elephant? Anyway, I’m still feeling kind of tired and worn out, and I’ve had a headache all day, and I’ve sat down to write the column and gotten up and walked away about a million times, or I’ve started and deleted about a hundred paragraphs.

I keep dwelling on Donald Trump’s campaign. It reads like a political satire, doesn’t it? Or worse, a political dystopian warning, something on the order of It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis, or The Plot Against America by Philip Roth. I know just what the book jacket copy would say:

A businessman who has stamped his name on many diverse monuments to American capitalism, from gleaming monolithic skyscrapers to verdantly lush golf courses to resorts for the very rich and powerful. He has written books that have topped the best-seller lists, and has hosted a successful reality show. Now he has decided that it is up to him to save his nation from the pathetic fools who sit in his beloved country’s seats of power, and for years have refused to take him seriously, though they have gladly reached out their hands and opened their pockets for his money. In a staged rally complete with hired actors, he announces his candidacy for the President of the United States.

Media pundits shake their collective heads and laugh at him on-and-off-camera, but their bosses tell them to give him plenty of airtime, because it makes for a good story. And the public is responding. Every time they feature the guy the ratings zoom through the roof.

But pretty soon nobody is laughing.

No doubt it would be optioned for a movie before the final manuscript went off to the printing press.

But this ain’t a movie, folks.

Even though we may all just end up paying for the price of admission.

Mike Gold: The Future Is Behind Us

Rebirth A Pig in a Poke

A well-timed survey indicates two out of every three people do not trust self-driving cars. Amusingly, this survey was released just as a Google self-driving car in California became the first of its ilk to cause an accident in traffic. It hit a bus; thankfully, nobody was injured.

Well, gee. When we started our space program, a whole lotta rockets went blooie either on or shortly after leaving the launch pad. We’ve mostly worked that out, although statistically space travel remains just about the least safe way for humans to travel.

One of the top-selling gifts of the recently concluded holiday season (screw you, Donny Trump, it is the “holiday season”) was the hoverboard. This was a locomotive device that did not actually hover. However, it did have a tendency to burst into flames. Retailers pulled the product, and some refunds were offered.

Americans who are all to willing to buy a pig in a poke (screw you, Donny Trump; quoting Mussolini and not rejected the support of white separatists were the most honest things you’ve done since Hector was a pup) rapidly created a nice black market for hoverboards. They still do not hover. They still burst into flames. And they’re still selling like hotcakes – particularly now that they are sold tax-free.

Then again, so are Donny Trump piñatas.

Last Sunday’s Academy Awards broadcast was the lowest-rated in eight years. According the the early demographics, this is because of a significant drop in white viewers. Hello? Is that because all of a sudden a lotta white people decided they no longer like Chris Rock? Maybe. Is that because they’re tired of hearing about dealing with racism?

Gee, I don’t know. Ask Donny Trump.

Our popular culture has grown somewhat reckless. It’s as if, as a nation, we’ve grown fed up with giving a shit. Overload, perhaps, and maybe that’s understandable. Not supportable, but understandable.

As ComicMix columnist Joe Corallo has pointed out many times, Marvel Comics has retreated somewhat from its commitment to diversity in characterization. What makes this all the more regretful is that Marvel has pretty much led the way in opening opportunities up to a much more diverse range of creators. Go know. DC’s response to our changing times is to hit the reboot button once again, like a monkey in a crack experiment.

Here’s a fact of life that people who try to sell you shit don’t want to know, and this includes manufacturers, politicians, and comic book publishers alike: we “consumers” (I loathe that term; I shall not be defined by what and how much I buy) control the markets. All of them. If we do not like a product, if we think it’s not safe, if we decline to vote for imbecilic megalomaniacs, if we shift our attention from the umpteenth painting of lipstick on a pig towards honest efforts from dedicated storytellers… then all that crap will go away. Ford couldn’t sell Edsels so they stopped making them.

That’s how capitalism works. Let’s use it to our advantage. Let’s not support crap.


Mindy Newell: Annoyed, Angry, Aggravated, Apathetic


DC Comics Trump Cruz Chrome

“This computer will soon stop receiving Google Chrome updates because Mac OS X 10.6, 10.7, and 10.8 will not longer be supported.” – Message on My Computer when I Open Google Chrome

Justice Scalia was a hero. We owe to him, & the Nation, to ensure that the next President names his replacement.” – Tweet from Ted Cruz, 2016 Presidential Campaign

“The other candidates – they went in, they didn’t know the air conditioning didn’t work. They sweated like dogs… How are they gonna beat ISIS? I don’t think it’s gonna happen… You know, it really doesn’t matter what the media write as long as you’ve got a young, and beautiful, piece of ass… My IQ is one of the highest – and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure; it’s not your fault… You’re disgusting.”Donald Trump, 2016 Presidential Campaign

“At DC we believe in superheroes and what makes them great. And we also believe in the direct market and the core comics fan. Rebirth is designed to bring back the best of DC’s past, embrace the stories we currently love and move the entire epic universe into the future. We are returning to the essence of the DCU. With Rebirth we are putting the highest priority on the direct market and we will continue to create and cultivate new opportunities for retailers to thrive and prosper, grow readers, fans and customers.” – Dan DiDio, Co-Publisher, DC Entertainment

Annoyed: The Tyranny of the (Geek) Mob.

Every time I open Chrome I get the above message from Google; if I click on the “learn more” link I’m at the “Chrome Blog,” which says that those unsupported platforms will not receive updates or security fixes. In other words, Google is giving a big fuck you to consumers who are happy with their systems – including those using Windows XP and Windows Vista – and have need to go out and spend money on new computers and/or software. Norton is doing this with its security platforms as well. I’m being told on an almost daily basis that the company is soon going to stop supporting my Mac OS X 10.8 with anti-viral software; meantime every time I go on Facebook they want more and more information – which I don’t give them – and the page looks different. Apple releases a new iPhone almost every six months and is and now encouraging people to update to Mac OS X El Capitan, which is something like OS X 10.11.3.

Look, I get it – updating systems and platforms is like the car manufacturers introducing new models every year. But I have a 2004 Toyota Matrix (and I see even older cars out on the road – I know someone with a 1999 Ford Ram truck with over 250,000 miles on its odometer), and when I bring it in for an oil change (or, just recently, some major work – the steering wheel was shaking and twisting like a hula dancer whenever I went over 30 miles an hour, turned out my brake calipers kept getting locked), my mechanic doesn’t say to me, “Sorry, Min, the Matrix is no longer supported, so you have to go out and buy a new car.” What Google and Apple and Facebook and all the technology companies are doing is pure bullshit.

Angry: The Repugnantican Party.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said upon hearing of the death Justice Antonin Scalia said that the “vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president,” and has promised to block anyone that Obama nominates.  Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) said, “that it’s been standard practice over the last nearly 80 years that Supreme Court nominees are not nominated and confirmed during a presidential election year,” which is total bullshit, because Saint Ronnie nominated Arthur Kennedy to SCOTUS, and the Senate confirmed him, in 1988, when that Presidential campaign was in full swing.

And then of course there is Ted Cruz, whose vitriol about the Supreme Court now includes Chief Justice John Roberts, whom Cruz supported. He actually said that it was “unconstitutional” for the President to nominate a justice while in his last year of office. I have a copy of the Constitution; Article III, Section 1 simply states: The judicial Power of the United States shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office. That’s all it says. There is nothing in there about the nominating process that I could find. (Hello, Bob Ingersoll! How did the nominating process come about?)

So, yeah, yeah, tell it to the Marines, Repugnanticans. If Obama were a Republican you’d be falling all over yourselves in your eagerness to get another justice his or her seat. And why does your bullcrap about “activist judges” only extend to those judges who were placed by Democrats?

And by the way, Repugnanticans, it’s your obstinacy against working with Obama, and your barely disguised bigotry towards our first black president, that’s created the specter of Donald Trump swearing on the Bible on the Capitol steps in January 2017.

Aggravated: Donald Trump

Y’know, I’d feel sorry for the people who support Trump if they weren’t such tremendous patsies. Trump is the ultimate con man of our times, and like any good con man, he knows how to sell it by sticking to the script. I’ve watched and listened to Trump in interviews and at televised “town halls.” No matter what anyone asks him, he never really answers the question. He repeats slogans. He avoids specifics. At one town hall that was hosted and televised by MSNBC, a woman asked him what he was going to do to help small business entrepreneurs. He said, “Did you read my book, ‘The Art of The Deal’? I hope you read it. The answers are all in there. Did you read it? If you read it you should be successful. Oh, you read it? Then you must be successful.” He said versions of “Make America Great Again” a million times in one hour. Again and again he tells us, “I’m rich, I’m funding my own campaign, I’m beholden to nobody.”

He feeds on people’s fears and bigotries, he listens to what people say, and responds by giving them what they want. Immigrants are taking our jobs and lowering our wages. “I’m going to build a wall on the border and make Mexico pay for it.” Hello, people, we have a longer and more porous 3,000 mile border with Canada, how come no one is asking him if he’s going to build a wall at that border, too, and make Canada pay for it?

And btw, Donald, how many illegal immigrants are working for you, keeping your golf courses green and smooth and playable? I lost my job when my company moved overseas. “I know how to negotiate, and I’ll make China live up to its obligations” Hey, people, you’re the ones shopping at Walmart and other cheap shit stores, you’re the ones supporting the global market. Why don’t you try a nationwide boycott for one day or one weekend instead of hauling your fat asses to buy stuff made by men and women and kids chained to their desks for 12 hours at a time without even a bathroom break? And besides, even The Donald admits to doing “business” with China.

The point is, it’s a lot more complicated than you might think, people – our cars are a hodgepodge of parts from all over the world, same with our computers; and by the way, it ain’t just Walmart and The Donald. Hell, you want to talk upscale? Our Calvin Kleins and Donna Karans and Ralph Laurens – don’t you remember the tumult that occurred when it was discovered that our team uniforms for the last Olympics were made in China? – are all made outside our borders. Go to Macy’s, go to Nordstrom or Bloomingdales or Saks Fifth Avenue or Neiman Marcus or any boutique store. Few and far between are the clothes and lingerie and handbags and shoes and belts and scarves and sunglasses with a “Made in the USA” label. And soon our Nabisco cookies – Oreos! – are going to be made in Mexico.

The globalized economy is here to stay, folks. Its ramifications aren’t going away. This isn’t your WWII veteran grandfather’s America. Hell, it’s not even your father’s America. Hell, it’s not even the America in which I grew up.  Those Americas are gone for good. Those Americas ain’t coming back. Yeah, in some ways it does make me sad. But I also realize that those Americas weren’t Utopias, either. Looking backwards is always dangerous. Rose-colored glasses and all that…

My TV is on right now. The Donald is campaigning in Atlanta. He just told the crowd that “We’re gonna be winning so much, we’re gonna get tired of winning. Make America Great Again!”

Yeah, choosing a guy who picks fights with the Pope – the Pope, for Christ’s sake! – is just the way to do it.

Apathetic: Reboots, Sequels, and still more Reboots

Who cares?

John Ostrander’s Election Follies

Donald Trump The Joker

ComicMix comments upon pop culture and entertainment and, in this silly season of primaries, politics qualifies as entertainment. Sometimes perverse entertainment, I grant you. I’m from Chicago and I was raised during the reign of King Daley the First so I know from political entertainment. As Studs Terkel said many long years ago, “Chicago is not the most corrupt American city. It’s the most theatrically corrupt.” So that’s my standard.

I was raised Republican but, on reaching voting age, I became a Democrat because that was the only way to vote in a mayoral election that counted in that city – the Democratic mayoral primary. The last Republican mayor of Chicago was “Big Bill’ Thompson was booted out of office in 1931. There is no Republican Party to speak of in Chicago.

So I know from political entertainment, although currently it’s hard to decide to laugh, cry, or go screaming into the night.

Let’s start with the Democrats, the apparent adults in the room. In the New Hampshire primary this last week, Bernie Sanders got 60% of the vote and fifteen delegates to the Democratic National Convention. Hilary Clinton’s share got her nine. However, as Larry Wilmore pointed out on The Nightly Show, the Democrats also have something called superdelegates and all six of those went to Hilary. So, despite Sanders clearly winning the popular votes, they both left New Hampshire with fifteen delegates each. Now there’s Common Core math for ya!

The real entertainment, though, was over with the Republicans where an actual reality show star topped the field in the GOP version of the New Hampshire primary. Donald Trump’s numbers, as he himself might say, were huuuuge. He got 35% of the votes and that was more than twice the numbers posted by his nearest competitor, Gov. John Kasich of Ohio. (All together now – “Who?”) Even the GOP leaders don’t want Trump. His nearest competitor is Senator Ted Cruz and the GOP higher-ups don’t much care for him, either. I understand most of Cruz’s fellow senators are not fond of him.

In addition to Trump, there are two other Republican candidates seeking the Presidential nomination who have never served in public office – Dr. Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina, although Fiorina dropped out of the race after New Hampshire. Their main appeal to the voters seems to be that they have never been politicians. The distaste for Washington seems so deep that some voters will take someone who has zero experience in politics and give them the most difficult, most challenging job in politics.

Before this whole brouhaha started, the presumed nominee was going to be Jeb! Bush, brother of former President George W. and son of former president George H. W. Bush. That flamed out pretty fast. He now has his mother stumping for him as well as his brother, not known in most circles as the best Prez of the U.S.A., will also be on the election trail. One of the saddest things I’ve seen was Bush pleading with a sluggish audience to applaud. And then there was the moment in the Republican debate when Bush interrupted Trump only to be shushed by the real estate tycoon.

You have to say that Trump is the real star of the show. He gets the attention, the audience, and the best (or worst) lines, He reminds me of Captain Boomerang when I wrote him in Suicide Squad. Every time you thought he had gone as low as he could, he’d find a new level to which to sink.

Here’s a sample of Trump:

“What can be simpler or more accurately stated? The Mexican government is forcing their most unwanted people into the United States. They are, in many cases, criminals, drug dealers, rapists, etc”

I will build a great wall – and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me – and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.”

“If Obama resigns from office now, thereby doing a great service to the country, I will give him free lifetime golf at any one of my courses!”

“All of the women on The Apprentice flirted with me – consciously or unconsciously. That’s to be expected.”

“Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.

On unemployment numbers: “5.3 percent unemployment – that is the biggest joke there is in this country… The unemployment rate is probably 20 percent, but I will tell you, you have some great economists that will tell you it’s a 30, 32. And the highest I’ve heard so far is 42 percent.” (Note: during the Great Depression, unemployment peaked at 25%.)

About his daughter, Ivanka: “Yeah, she’s really something, and what a beauty, that one. If I weren’t happily married and, ya know, her father…”


Trump has been generous in providing fodder for Noah Trevor, Larry Wilmore, Bill Mahar, John Oliver, and now Samantha Bee (whose new show is great) as well as all the late night broadcast folks and comedians and satirists across this great country of ours. That’s added to the entertainment value. Still…

Can you seriously see Trump with the nuclear codes? Can you see Trump at an international conference and talking to our allies who might not be our allies afterwards? Can you see Trump nominating a Supreme Court Justice and maybe more than one? Can you see Trump “negotiating” with Congress and maybe telling them all that they’re fired? Some people can and that cheers them. Me? I don’t know if it’s a comedy or a horror story.

Hmmm. Sounds to me like a Wasteland story.

Joe Corallo: Allegiance

ms marvel

This past weekend, fellow ComicMix columnist Molly Jackson and I went to see Allegiance on Broadway starring Lea Salonga, Telly Leung and George Takei. Outside of both of us being Star Trek fans (Molly a much bigger Trekkie than I), history and political science is what I studied in college some years ago and the mistreatment of our own citizens during World War II was something I was interested in knowing more about. And something I hoped never to see discussed seriously in our political process during my lifetime.

George TakeiHaving spent his early years in an American internment camp himself, George Takei has been very vocal and passionate about this performance. He has a will and drive to get this story out there, particularly during this political season where echoes of our past sins are arguably louder than ever. The loudest of which is four time bankrupt real estate mogul turned reality star turned politician Donald Trump.

Mr. Takei is so insistent on getting the story about Japanese internment camps out there to people who would once again call for this solution to our troubles overseas that he offers up a seat to Donald Trump every show. Yes, this is a political point. Yes, Donald Trump wouldn’t take George Takei up on this for a multitude of reasons. Yes, it’s free advertising for the show. If you can parse through all the partisan muck here, you do find a point. The point being that we need to evaluate the decisions of the past, the cost of the decisions we made as a country, and see if it’s worth it to do the same thing all over again

Empty ChairOne would hope that if someone did fully understand the gross injustices, human rights violations, and disgusting subhuman treatment that we exposed tens of thousand of our own citizens to for no fault of their own that any reasonable person would not want to push for that decision to be made again.

However, we are seeing people on the right running for president echoing these ideas and people responding to them. We’re also hearing people on the left call for a return to a Democratic party like FDR envisioned while conveniently leaving out not only the internment camps but his efforts to pack to the Supreme Court, the creation of the atomic bomb… just to name a few examples. It’s a bit distressing.

Not to Marvel CEO Ike Perlmutter, who gave a million dollars to Donald Trump’s Veterans’ fundraiser. Yes, it wasn’t exactly money to Trump’s campaign, but the billionaire presidential candidate isn’t exactly strapped for cash, and if Perlmutter wanted to donate money to Veterans he could have done so much more easily and in a nonpartisan type fashion. He deliberately chose not to do so, and to give money to Trump in a way that made Marvel’s CEO a very public supporter of Trump’s candidacy.

Ike Perlmutter is not a stranger to controversy. He’s infamously made racist and sexist comments in the past that have been well-reported. And backing Trump adds xenophobia to the list. Publicly supporting a man who wants to bar all Muslims from entering the country while Marvel is trying to push and support the first high profile Muslim superhero, Kamala Khan as Ms. Marvel, is certainly at odds with each other.

Last week I talked about how I try to avoid boycotting. Right now, I’m somewhat conflicted. Writer G. Willow Wilson, who was instrumental in the creation of the Kamala Khan, is a bit conflicted herself on this. It’s a tough thing to think about. On the one hand, your money (though indirectly) is going to a person like Ike Perlmutter who may help elect someone like Donald Trump. On the other hand, we might see books getting cancelled and the comics division get consolidated before it even gets to a point of affecting someone like Perlmutter. Marvel has gone through serious consolidation in the past though, at the hands of Perlmutter, without even the threat of a boycott.

I said “might see books getting cancelled” before because a boycott isn’t necessarily a long term campaign. Look at what happened with Chik-fil-a over funding anti-LGBT campaigns. That was bad PR from them. The whole situation ended up with Chik-fil-a seeing its sales actually go up from the controversy, but did eventually end with them deciding to move away from anti-LGBT causes. It didn’t take too long and the business still thrives.

The same could be true of Marvel. If we don’t stay quiet on this and we yell as loud as the likes of Donald Trump, maybe Marvel will want to make a change or feel compelled to do so. A change like pushing Ike Perlmutter out of the company. Or maybe it’ll even push Marvel to focus more on diversity and new ideas to compensate for people like Ike Perlmutter and the bad press surrounding him.

We need to take a long hard look at ourselves and our world. Is supporting anti-Muslim rhetoric something we are okay with being a part of, no matter how direct? Even if only a penny of my money or our money went towards that, is it okay? Does creating a positive Muslim superhero role model, Kamala Khan, make it better? Will that positive Muslim superhero role model make it better if government officials come and take tens of thousands of Muslims from our communities? What if they only take hundreds? What if they only take dozens? What if only one innocent life was ruined by the support of xenophobic politicians bolstered by the money and public support of one of the biggest and most successful franchises in the history of the world? Will we wave our Ms. Marvel comics at those being lined up and taken away and tell them we tried? What about the fate of the millions of undocumented immigrants that have been threatened to be rounded up and shipped out? Will we wave our Captain America comics and tell them that our nostalgia and fuzzy feelings were more important to us than basic human rights and dignity for all?

And beyond Marvel, what about the other items we purchase, food we eat, energy sources we consume, where does all of that come from? How does it come about? Where does it go? Do we care? Should we care? Could we handle it even if we wanted to?

Either way and no matter what, if enough people speak out Marvel will have to take more responsibility and speak up. If we don’t give them a pass they’ll have to evaluate the decisions of the past, the cost of the decisions they’ve made, and see if it’s worth it to do the same thing all over again. I hope we’ll see that the people involved will have learned from these missteps, but if seeing Allegiance with Donald Trump’s consistently empty seat prevalent this past weekend has taught me anything, it’s that I shouldn’t count on that.