Tagged: Jill Thompson

Mindy Newell: Days Of Yore

Presenting two real-life stories from my days of yore, although names have been changed to protect both the innocent and the guilty.

Story The First:

I knew a girl in high school – I wouldn’t say we were friends, but she was someone who had never participated in the Piggy horrors. Sally was an A+ student, on the track to an Ivy League school. Pretty (but not gorgeous) and popular (but quiet about it), she came to me one day and said that she needed to talk to me privately. I was surprised… and a bit suspicious. What did she want? But because Sally had never been overtly mean to me, even though she was part of the clique that instigated most of the callous cruelties upon me, and because I still hoped to be “accepted,” and I wanted to believe for some reason she was about to warn me of some new devilishness about to be inflicted on me – forewarned was forearmed – I agreed. But it had nothing to do with me at all.

Sally was pregnant.

I was, frankly, shocked. Not just about what she said, but also because I was thinking, why are you telling me?

She seemed to be reading my mind about that last part. “I can’t tell Laura, or Toni, or anybody. It would be all over the school in a second. You know how they are.”

Did I ever. Still –

“But they’re your friends.”

All she said was, “I made an appointment with Planned Parenthood in the city. Will you come with me?”

I know exactly why I said “yes.” Out of kindness, certainly. But to be totally honest, I also thought that this could be a way in. Hey, whaddya want? I was a teenager.

We had to cut school the day of her appointment. I met her at the corner bus stop, about an hour after classes started. Sally was very quiet, she didn’t say anything, but I remember she was very pale. As for me, I was sure I would see my father in his car on the way to work. I wasn’t so worried about my mom – I knew she was already at the hospital, where she worked in the ER. At any rate, both of us were very nervous and impatient, waiting for that bus to the PATH train into the city.

At the time – September 1971 – there was a Planned Parenthood in Manhattan on First Avenue between 21st and 20th Streets.  I guess – and I don’t blame her – that Sally made the appointment there rather than the one in Jersey City because Jersey City is too close to Bayonne… too close for comfort. Anyway, I don’t know what either of us was expecting, but it was modern and clean and the staff was professional, kind, and, most importantly, totally non-judgmental.

Sally’s name was called. I sat in the waiting room. It seemed like a long time, but the receptionist at the desk assured me everything was fine when I asked.

Interjection – as an RN in the operating room, I can tell you that the actual procedure takes very little time, especially in the first trimester [as Sally was]. Frequently I’m not even done with my charting before it’s over and I have to assist in transferring the patient to the PACU (Post-Anesthesia Care Unit, commonly referred to as the Recovery Room). Most of the intraoperative period is taken up with other things involved in any visit to the OR – anesthesia induction, proper and safe positioning, emergence from anesthesia, transfer to PACU, and monitoring in the PACU, which lasts about an hour or so on average, until discharge.)

Afterwards, as we had planned, we used our pooled resources and took a cab home. This was well before Uber or Lyft. Sally didn’t’ say much except to complain about some cramping – totally normal, btw – but the “worry” was off her face; she was visibly relieved. The cab dropped us off about a block from her house; I walked her home, and before she went inside, she turned and said: “See you in school tomorrow.”

No, we didn’t become best friends after that; things pretty much went back to normal, actually. Hey, we were teenagers, and there were rules of engagement. But I do remember that Sally was never around when it was time to “play Piggy with Mindy.

Sally went on to graduate in the top 25 of a class numbering 750 (I finished 145) and went on to that Ivy League school. I didn’t see her much after high school, a couple of parties and a reunion or two at the Jewish Community Center. I don’t even know what she went on to become as an adult, though I’ve heard she was “successful and happy.”

Story The Second:

Jack and Jill were my high school’s dream team. Every high school has one. Jack was the champion quarterback. Jill was the head cheerleader. Jack was the president of the Student Union. Jill was the editor of the school newspaper. Both had bright futures. Early admission to the colleges of their choice, with Jack receiving a full scholarship based on his football prowess to a Big Ten school, and Jill planning on majoring in journalism at NYU.

They were great people.

And they never treated anybody like Piggy.

Anyway, sometime in the late fall of our senior year, after the Thanksgiving holiday, Jill suddenly disappeared from the school hallways. First, we heard that she was sick with mononucleosis (the “kissing disease,” as it used to be called), but as January became March, rumors began spreading, rumors having to do with pregnancy and forced marriages. Especially after Jack dropped out – two months before graduation.

The truth broke free, as truth is apt to do, sometime in the fall of 1971. During the Christmas break when everybody came home from college, it was the talk of the town, the bars, and the parties.

Jill had become pregnant, and, since back in those stupid days, girls “in the family way” were not allowed to finish high school, she had been forced to leave under the cover of the mononucleosis story, though she refused to go to one of those “homes for fallen women” or whatever they were called. (Do they still exist?)  Her parents had gotten her a tutor so she could finish her high school degree, but not only had she disappeared from the school hallways, Jill had also been confined to the house to “hide her shame.”

Worse, when Jill wanted to go to Planned Parenthood for advice – and advice only – her parents would not allow it. They were very observant Catholics and the name Planned Parenthood was as abhorrent as the name Judas Iscariot. Jill’s pregnancy was treated as if it were a monstrous sin.

She had also finally admitted that Jack was the father because her father had beaten it out of her. Her father then called his father, and they decided that Jack and Jill would get married right away.

And in 1971, not only could you not be pregnant in high school, you couldn’t be married, either; which meant that Jack had to drop out, too, meaning, of course, that he lost his football scholarship and any hope for college. And in case you’re wondering – no college for Jill, either.

Of course, there was always the future, but…

After they got married and Jill had the baby, and Jack got some kind of job, nothing much, he started drinking. Drinking hard. And doing drugs. Hard drugs.

And that’s how the story stood that Christmas break, the last week of 1971.

But it didn’t end there. About 10 years later I met one of Jill’s cousins at the mall. We got to talking about high school, and eventually – of course – Jack and Jill came up. I’ll never forget that conversation.

Jack’s downward spiral had continued. He lost one job after another. The drinking continued, and he was chippinghttp://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=chipping on some weekends, too.

Then he started abusing Jill, and it hadn’t stopped.

“But Jill was always so smart. Why doesn’t she leave?” I said.

“Jesus,” her cousin said.

“Jesus?”

“Jill’s become really religious. That’s why she won’t leave. I think she thinks she’s atoning for getting pregnant and fucking up Jack’s football scholarship. “

“Jesus.”

“Yep.”

That was the last time I ever heard about Jack and Jill. I have no idea what happened to them. Or their kids.

•     •     •     •     •

As if this writing (Sunday, September 10) there are five days to reach the $50,000 goal to produce Mine!: A Celebration of Freedom & Liberty Benefitting Planned Parenthood. We are almost but not quite there.

And, look, guys, I get it. This has been a summer and early fall of donating funds. I understand it’s a matter of priorities. I get the feeling of being “donated out,” too. And our hearts go out to the many caught up in the current round of hurricanes.

Even if it’s just $5, hell, even if’s just a $1, just think about what Bernie Sanders accomplished with an average of $27 to his campaign.

When people think of Planned Parenthood, they think “abortion.” But I’m telling you, and now I am speaking to you as a member of the professional healthcare community, the organization does so much more: Counseling and cancer screenings and preventative and maintenance health care. For women and for men.

The anthology features work by:

 And even more.

Just do it, okay? Because one day, you or yours could be just like Sally or Jack and Jill. Because, just when you or yours need it, Planned Parenthood could be gone.

Don’t let that happen.

Martha Thomases: The Next Big Thing

News flash! Time passes!

When I was a child, I was mesmerized by the very concept of time. How was it discovered? Why are units of time, like minutes and hours and days, all measured in multiples of 6? What was there before time? Could time ever end? If so, what would replace it? Eventually, these thoughts made me throw up, and I would have to make myself think about other stuff.

But here’s the thing: Time happens. Whether you think about it or not.

I am reminded of this when I look at the list of contributors to Mine! A Comics Collection to Benefit Planned Parenthood. In addition to talents like Neil Gaiman and Jill Thompson, there are a bunch of people whom I know personally on the list but there are also a whole lot I don’t know.

For example, there’s Gabby Rivera. And Tee Franklin. And Yona Harvey. And Dave Kelly and Lara Antal.

All of these people do amazing work. All of them were new to me. This is because I am old and stuck in my ways, and even when I try to keep up, time passes.

It’s not just comics. Movie actors have a tendency to age as well. To me, Keanu Reeves is a young time-traveler, not a 53-year old man. Christina Ricci is Wednesday Addams, not a grown-up with breasts. All of the people I would cast in a movie about the Teen Titans are no longer teenagers.

Don’t even start me on popular music. Rock’n’roll is barely even a thing anymore. The angry young men (and women) of my punk rock days are now old cranks if they survived. Nobody wants to be the Next Dylan.

This is all fine. The entertainment (and art!) that I loved is still available to me. It’s easier to find than ever before, even when it was new. And new generations of artists are always being born, always working to create work that is meaningful to them, and to their peers.

There are some downsides to this, and I blame capitalism. There are financial incentives to those publishers (and producers, and manufacturers) who are first to find the Next Big Thing, or at least the Flavor of the Month. They can sign new talent for less than they pay more experienced workers, and they can offer something shiny and new to the marketplace. As part of the marketplace, I enjoy more choices.

As someone of a certain age, I don’t like being passed over for someone who will work for less money.

Being of that age, I’m also really worried about having access to affordable health care. Obviously, a huge chunk of the comics community agrees with me, because so many are contributing work to Mine! They know that, without Planned Parenthood, millions of people wouldn’t be able to get tested (and treated, if necessary) for STDs. Poor women and women without insurance (which might be all of us, if the GOP has its way) wouldn’t be able to get mammograms or other kinds of cancer screenings. They wouldn’t be able to get pre-natal and post-natal care. People would not be able to plan parenthood, one of the most important decisions a person can make.

The Mine! campaign runs for one more week. There are lots of cool perks you can get, and lots of good you can do by chipping in to make this book happen. I’m looking forward to reading stories by some of my favorites and discovering good work from more people I don’t yet know.

Consider a pledge today and you could find the same kind of fun. You could get a book and have a good time.

Joe Corallo: Mine! MINE!

The past few weeks I’ve been talking a lot about other people’s Kickstarter campaigns. This week, here at ComicMix, I’m here to talk about our Kickstarter campaign that is active right now. That’s right; ComicMix LLC is working on a new project – a major comics collection to benefit Planned Parenthood.

I’m going to get into that in a minute.

This project has been in the works for nearly two years now. It started back in December of 2015. Fellow ComicMix columnist and my co-editor Molly Jackson and I were at Mia Pizza in Astoria NY. I was a mere two months into my tenure as a columnist here and we were discussing something we could do. We immediately thought of doing a comics anthology. We had a lot of ideas we were throwing around, including a throwback Crime Does Not Pay style anthology.

Eventually, Molly and I went on to bug our EIC Mike Gold about it. We thought of different things we could do, and different strategies we could take. I had a connection to Planned Parenthood and after discussing it with the ComicMix team we moved forward on that. After many, many months of moving up the chain, discussions, conference calls, and an election that shook us all deeply and put the idea on the back burner, we have finally come to a point where we can move forward with Mine!, A Comics Collection To Benefit Planned Parenthood. It was a lot of work from everyone to put this together, and I’m so excited I get to be a part of th15is.

Both Molly and I are editing this collection. We’ve been working with a wide variety of people in comics and beyond in lining up contributors for this. We’ve been provided incredible stories and gorgeous artwork for this book that has been inspiring to the whole ComicMix team. It swells our hearts to see so many people in comics coming together for such an important cause. It’s this coming together and working together that gives us all hope that things can and will get better.

Below is the press release. As I stated earlier, the Kickstarter is live. Please share this around and please consider pledging so ComicMix can put out a high-quality comics collection with incredible talent for one of the worthiest causes that I think of.

PLANNED PARENTHOOD AND COMICMIX L.L.C. TEAM-UP FOR MINE!,

A COMICS ANTHOLOGY FUNDRAISER

ComicMix Editor-in-Chief Mike Gold today announced the forthcoming publication of a graphic novel of original short stories to celebrate the important work of Planned Parenthood. The volume, to be edited by Joe Corallo and Molly Jackson, will be published this fall in celebration of over 100 years of Planned Parenthood.

Mine! will feature the work of Neil Gaiman (American Gods, Sandman), Gail Simone (Wonder Woman), Yona Harvey (Black Panther), Gerard Way (My Chemical Romance, Umbrella Academy), Gabby Rivera (America), Amber Benson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Witches of Echo Park), Mara Wilson (Where Am I Now?: True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame), Mags Visaggio (Kim & Kim), Brittney Williams (Patsy Walker A.K.A. Hellcat!), John Ostrander (Suicide Squad), and Jill Thompson (Wonder Woman), among many other top comics creators.

Project Co-Editor Molly Jackson said, “Planned Parenthood is a vital resource for women and men from all walks of life, providing needed health care and support to millions of people all over the world.  We are proud to do whatever we can to bring attention to their amazing work.”

Co-Editor Joe Corallo said, “The comics community is built on freelance labor that relies on the kind of access to healthcare that Planned Parenthood provides. We’re thrilled to see such a diverse group of people in the comics community coming together to support this essential cause.”

A Kickstarter campaign to help finance printing and distribution costs launches August 15th at 8:00 am EST. Mine! will be available in bookstores, comic book shops, and electronically all over the world.

Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.

ComicMix, LLC publishes a line of graphic novels by some of the best new and established talent in the industry.  ComicMix Pro Services works with creators to produce, publish and market their work in a highly competitive marketplace. In addition, ComicMix runs one of the Internet’s most popular comics-oriented pop culture opinion and news sites.

Press inquiries and interview requests can be sent to mine@comicmix.com

Martha Thomases: Winners

The Eisner Awards were handed out last Friday, and I have to say, I’m feeling just a little bit smug.

No, I didn’t win anything.  There is no Eisner Award for the Best Procrastinating by a Writer.  However, quite a few of the prizes went to people and projects that I championed as an Eisner judge this year, selecting the nominees.

I’m not going to tell you which ones I’m talking about because to do so implies that I met with resistance.  (You’ll have to get me drunk the next time we’re together.)  As I said before, talking about the selection process the committee used, “I can say that none of us got all of our first choices, but all of us got some of them.” In other words, we had different tastes and different criteria, and that is as it should be.  We talked, calmly and respectfully, about why we liked the things that we liked.  We worked it out.  You should send us all to Congress.

But a lot of my tastes and criteria meshed with those of the people who voted for the final awards.  And that makes me feel like I have my finger on the pulse of Pop Culture Fandom.

Yay, me!

So many different kinds of books won awards.  Some of this is a result of the categories because a superhero story isn’t going to win a best nonfiction award, nor will DC or Marvel win an award for Best U. S. Edition of International Material.  The inclusion of several different categories for younger readers means that there will be prize-winning books for children.

Although I might not know you, Constant Reader, I feel confident in saying that there is at least one book on this list that you’ll enjoy.

This expansion in the audience for graphic story-telling is a wonderful thing, decades in the making.  It should be an opportunity for all sorts of publishers.  You would think that DC and Marvel are in the best position to take advantage of this since they own characters known to the entire world.  They should be, but, according to this, at least one of them does not.  The link describes a panel at SDCC with DC’s Jim Lee and Dan DiDio, talking about how they plan to navigate the future of comics.

They say a few things with which I agree.  There should be excellent graphic novels about the characters that customers might know from the movie.  These books should contain stories that are accessible to new readers, people unfamiliar with decades of continuity.  I’ve been arguing such a position for decades, so I’m glad to see that there is at least lip service in that direction.

However, when DC actually publishes a book like that, Jill Thompson’s Eisner-winning Wonder Woman: The True Amazon, there is very little promotion when it first comes out, and it isn’t included in the ads that tied into the movie release.

Lee and DiDio also think that resurrecting the Watchmen universe and integrating it into the DCU will draw in newcomers.  Leaving aside the morality of this (given series co-creator Alan Moore’s resistance), and only talking about it in marketing terms, I still think this is a terrible idea.  The movie is nearly a decade old and does not seem to have been successful enough to earn out.  The characters require a lot of explaining, which is only a disadvantage if you’re trying to sell them to people who don’t read a lot of comics.

If I had been a new comics reader today, I’d have problems wading into the Big Two waters.  It would be much more appealing to me to check out Valiant or Lion Forge if I wanted a connected universe because I wouldn’t have so much to catch up.

I still think the way to draw in audiences who want to sample comics after seeing the movies and television shows is to create multiple imprints.  There can be a line for geeks like me, who’ve been reading comics since the Fifties, and a line for younger readers and a line of self-contained short stories.  There can be all sorts of other lines that I haven’t yet imagined.  These can be tested through digital sales, to keep development costs down, and then published in paper if there is demand.

And, yes please, a line of Super-Pets.

•     •     •     •     •

Flo Steinberg died this week.  She was part of the original Marvel Bullpen, Stan Lee’s assistant back in the days when that was the best job a woman can get in comics.

I met her soon after I moved to New York in the late 1970s, and since I wasn’t a big Marvel fan, I didn’t know enough about her to be intimidated.  To me, she was the kind of kooky New York character I’d moved to New York to meet.  She had a funky cadence to the way she spoke (at least, to this Ohio girl), and she was outgoing and enthusiastic in a manner discouraged by the prep school I attended.  Flo was one of the best people you could invite to a party.

My two favorite Flo stories don’t have much to do with comics.

1)  When I worked in the events department of a New York department store, I had to hire extra people to be entertainers during the holiday season.  One job was to dress up like a Teddy bear.  The costume was really hot and smelled after a while, but the job paid $20 an hour, a fortune back then.  I was able to hire Flo for this gig a few times, and from her, I learned how many children like to punch costumed characters in the chest.  Also, we called her “Flo Bear,” the kind of joke Ivory Tower elitist East Coasters love.

2)  A few years later, I had another job, and I was telling her about a place I would go to get lunch.  They had a salad bar, and every day, I would stare at the barbecued spare-ribs, tempted by their dripping sauce, but too worried about the fat and calories.  Really, I would dream about these ribs.  Finally, one day, I ate one.  Later, talking to Flo, I confessed my sin.  It went like this:

Me:  So I finally ate one of the spare-ribs.  It wasn’t very good.  Definitely not worth it.

Flo:  Well, at least you tried it.

Because that is who she was.  She didn’t talk about life in terms of denial and defensiveness.  She talked about life as something worth trying.

Tweeks: The Graveyard Book Shouldn’t Get Buried (Week 4 #ChallengedChallenge)

It’s Week Four, which means we are at the half-way mark of the ComicMix Challenged Challenge. This week we take on The Graveyard Book Vol. 1, the graphic novel based on Neil Gaiman’s novel of the same name. This witty and compelling story was enhanced by P. Craig Russell’s graphic adaptation which includes amazing artwork by different artists in each chapter. We couldn’t help but love this book. We also couldn’t help but be confused as to why the CBLDF had to defend this touching book about a boy being raised by ghosts from being banned at a middle school. As middle schoolers ourselves, we don’t get it. We think maybe those who were so concerned with a few panels of blood missed the point of the story altogether.  Not to mention that for the genre and for our age group, this book is not in the least bit shocking. Watch our discussion about why this book deserves to be read by everyone who choses to do so.

Mindy Newell: Weekend Hoosier?

dc-bombshells“I’ll make it.” •  Jimmy Chitwood (Maris Valainis) Hoosiers (1986)

Wow. Two weeks. That’s a long time to wait with bated breath. My apologies to everyone who turned blue while waiting to find out if I had broken my ankles.

To reprise: A little more than two weeks ago, Wednesday July 9 to be exact, I fell down the last flight of stairs of my apartment building. Immediate, serious pain in both feet and ankles – my knees weren’t doing so great either. Afraid to move, I yelled for help, but nobody came – it was 6 in the morning – and as I reached for my cell phone…duh! I had left it upstairs. But somehow, whether it was through the surge of adrenalin rushing through my veins or just pure stubborn idiocy, I got up, gritted my teeth, and shuffled/hobbled to my car.

Just using the gas and brake pedals sent sharp knives up my legs, but I told myself that if any bones were broken I wouldn’t be able to be doing this. I didn’t drive to my local hospital though; I wanted to get to work where my friends were, who happened to be nurses, plus of course there would be doctors. I wasn’t thinking clearly, I just wanted someone to tell me that nothing was broken;

I had some crazy idea that I could stick my feet under the C-arm and have Fantastic Frank, as Stan Lee would say, X-ray technician extraordinaire, also as Stan would say, take a picture and ease my fears – or not. I don’t know why I didn’t just go straight to the ER at the hospital across the street – it’s a Level One trauma center, and I had visions of sitting there all day while other, more seriously ill and wounded people were seen and attended to; and let’s face it, I didn’t want to know that I had broken anything, because I was supposed to fly out to Indianapolis on Friday – the day after tomorrow at the time – for the wedding of my cousin, Delightful Devin to his beautiful Marvelous Maria, as Stan would describe them.

See, I kept remembering a tale my brother had told me about how one autumn morning he and a bunch of his fellow residents were out having a game of touch football, and how one of the guys fell and was moaning and clutching his leg and saying that he had broken it, and how my brother and his band of merry medical men jeered him, saying “don’t be a baby, get up, walk it out,” and how they made this poor guy play out the rest of the game before taking him to the ER, where they all discovered that, yes, indeed, the guy had broken his leg.

So I was a mess, physically and emotionally.

But as I was laying on a stretcher in our Post-Anesthesia Care Unit – PACU, otherwise known as the Recovery Room – and realizing that the ice pack and cold soda cans weren’t do a thing, and that the pain was getting worse, not better, I admitted to myself that I was being really stupid, because the only way I was going to know if I had broken any part of my ankles or feet would be courtesy of an examination in the ER….

…where I discovered, that regardless of whether or not my bones were broken, I wouldn’t be going anywhere. I wouldn’t be getting on any plane in less than 48 hours…

because the second worse thing happened on that fucked-up miserable day:

My driver’s license wasn’t in my wallet!

Where the fuck was it!

Shit! Shit! Shit!

By the time I was admitted and seen (by a fabulous, young, handsome physician) and told that I wouldn’t need X-rays, that I just had majorly “soft tissue damage” to my ankles and feet, i.e, really bad sprains, and was discharged with the usual instructions about ice and heat and elevate and to “try to walk normally so nothing stiffens up,” all I could think about was oh my fucking god how the hell am I gonna get on the airplane for the wedding?

I was desperate. No, I was beyond desperate; I was a madwoman.

That afternoon I tore the house apart looking for my license. Then I called the New Jersey Division of Motor Vehicles; hell, I even went there – I swallowed three Advils before leaving the house – and, yes, I was trying to “walk normally so nothing stiffens up.” I brought everything I could think of to identify myself, including the driver’s license renewal form I had just received in the mail and my passport – which expired four years ago and of which the DMV informed me that the cut-off date for expired passports as identification is three years – and for my troubles the bitch at the DMV sneered after explaining my situation to her: “Well, I guess you’re just shit of luck.”

I should have reported her. But I was tired, my feet and ankles were really, really hurting me despite the Advils, so I just left.

Aside: Will someone please explain to me why the New Jersey DMV cannot simply look up your credentials via computer, including your picture, especially when you’re 61 and have been a licensed driver since the age of 17? Will someone please explain to my why the New Jersey DMV sends renewal forms – generated by computer – to licensed drivers but still requires six million forms of ID when you go to renew your license?

Aside continued: Especially when, after getting home and calling the Department of Homeland Security and finding out that yes, I should be able get on the plane even though I had lost my driver’s license because they could, by searching the system – looking up on their computers – identify Mindy Newell as a born and bred citizen of the United States with no stains on her record and not on any “No-Fly” list. And by the way, the person I spoke to at the DHS was really nice – she didn’t say, “Well, I guess you’re just shit of luck.”

Still, I was worried about my driver’s license. My writer’s imagination took over. What if someone had stolen it out of my wallet, and what if that someone was a terrorist/jihadist, and what if he or she used my driver’s license for some nefarious and horrible deed? Yeah, I went straight to that – never mind using my license to get into my bank accounts and screwing up my credit and finances.

I finally laid down and elevated my feet and put one of those gel ice packs on my ankles; I also lit a candle, and this nice Jewish girl said a prayer to St. Anthony, patron saint of lost things and lost causes. (I asked him to help me even though I’m Jewish, “because your boss was.”) And I threw in some Wiccan blessings, too.

Well, let me tell you, this Jewess’s prayers were answered.

Though not right away.

By Thursday my feet and ankles were black and blue and swollen, but by walking carefully (though “normally”) I could get around okay. Though more than once I stepped the wrong way and OWWWWWW! But still no license. I was very depressed and worried; called ye old editor Mike for some cheering up and a pep talk. It helped…some. (No offense to Mike.)

Thursday night. No license. I had just sent off the column you read two weeks ago. Then I noticed my checkbook, lying on the radiator cover that is next to my computer. What was it doing there? I picked it up. And something – or someone? St. Anthony? – made me open it.

There it was.

My driver’s license.

I don’t know how the hell it ended up inside my checkbook.

“Hey, St. Anthony,” I said. “It’s me again. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”

On Friday the only trouble I had at the airport was lagging way behind Alix, Jeff, and my grandson as we walked to the gate. Oh, and security did check my ace bandages for, I guess, any hidden weapons. They didn’t make me unwrap them; just ran a metal detector or something over them. So while so many of you were fulfilling your dream of attending the San Diego Comic-Con two weeks ago, I was in Indianapolis, that fair city, at the wedding of Delightful Devin and Marvelous Maria (as Stan would say), and telling everyone was a great guy good ol’ St. Anthony is.

Or maybe it was the Wiccan blessings?

 

•     •     •     •     •

And to bring this back to comics…I read Ed Catto’s column (She Made Me Do It! Fangirls Lead The Way at San Diego!) with interest and delight. It’s so gratifying to know that women are standing up and proudly proclaiming their fangirl status and being noticed and appreciated.

Back in the dark ages (the ‘80s) when I first became a professional writer at DC, I was so innocent of the “old boys club” in the comics world that I had no idea that it was considered weird for a woman to love comics and/or to write them. Besides, there was my editor, Karen Berger, our own Martha Thomases, and so many other women at DC; and over at Marvel there was Louise Simonson and Jo Duffy and Bobby Chase, just to mention three. So I walked around the halls of DC for a very, very long time before it dawned on me that I was “unusual” in any way – to me it was just about loving the medium, it had nothing to do with gender. And when I went to conventions, I met plenty of professional women creators: Kim Yale, Joyce Brabner, Colleen Doran, Jan Dursema, Trina Robbins, Jill Thompson, Wendy Pini, and so many others.

You want to know how innocent I was? When people – especially younger women–tell me that I was a “glass ceiling” breaker, or that I was an inspiration to them, I used to say “I was?” And not in any make-believe false modesty, either. I just didn’t get it.

Now I do.

But if I was, so then also were all the above and all the women who have worked in comics and newspaper strips and graphic novels and all “sequential storytelling and art” since the industry began.

Brava!