If you read comics back in the late 70’s and through the 80’s, then you might very well have read a comic or two by Bill Mantlo.
For me, the standout is his work on the Micronauts title. In lesser hands, that book would have never been much more than a crass and cynical marriage between Comics and Marketing/Merchandising.
In Bill’s hands, however, an entire world took shape.
Thirty-five years later, I still have that world inside me. Thanks to Bill.
My old Micronauts toys are posed on shelves in my office. And those comics Bill wrote are there along with them.
Bill did the same for ROM: Spaceknight — a flop of a toy but a longstanding fan favorite that made a significant contribution to the Marvel Comics Universe.
And I’m told that I am missing out by not having read Bill’s run on The Incredible Hulk.
Bill was important. He is important.
I’ve been nerding out nonstop since I saw the recent trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy. I know nothing about the characters, I’ve never read the comics. But I’m mildly obsessed with Rocket Raccoon and I can’t wait to see the movie.
Come to find out, Bill Mantlo also created Rocket Raccoon.
In 1992, Bill was struck by a hit-and-run driver. He was comatose for a period of time and suffered irreparable brain damage. Since then he has lived in a healthcare facility in reduced circumstances, struggling with his disabilities and depression. He is no longer able to write.
Bill created heroes for the rest of us. We need to return the favor.
You can make a donation that will provide direct and immediate assistance to his care. Bill’s brother and legal guardian Mike Mantlo has a Paypal account set up to take donations for Bill’s care.
I’ve made my donation. I plan on giving more, as I am able. I’m asking you to do the same.
Even if you’ve never heard of him, even if you’ve never read a comic in your life or have no interest in a doublestuff kickass laser-blaster toting spce raccoon, please consider helping out with the cost of Bill’s ongoing care.
What happened to Bill could happen to anyone. It could happen to any one of us. It could happen to me.
If you like my work, then please consider helping one of the people who had an influence on it.
Thanks for listening…
As he gradually lost his ability to write, Bill managed to capture some of his final words. You can read them here. They are heartbreaking.
If you want to know more about Bill, his legacy, and the accident that took it all from him (and took him from us), read this article by Bill Coffin. It too, is heartbreaking.