For fans of “Guardians of the Galaxy” and its breakout star Rocket Raccoon, this is an incredible time. The “Guardians” film launches on August 1st from Marvel, and by any estimation it’s both looking to be a huge hit and a fan favorite. The “Rocket Raccoon” title from Skottie Young is lined up to sell over 300,000 copies of its debut. The main title is a fixture near the top of the sales charts. It’s truly mind blowing to be a fan of the cosmic side of Marvel’s universe right now, and those are just some of the reasons why.
But one story often forgotten amidst all of that is the one about writer Bill Mantlo, the man who created Rocket Raccoon in 1976 with artist Keith Giffen. Tragically, in 1992, Mantlo suffered injuries when he was struck in a hit-and-run car accident while rollerblading, and it was an accident that left him in need of constant care due to a brain injury related to the accident. It’s a heartbreaking story, and one that Bill Coffin did a far better job of relating the details of, so I highly recommend reading the full story to get perspective on where Bill is at.
The ultimate point is this man who co-created other characters like Cloak & Dagger could use support from the comic book community, and in the month of July we’re going to do everything we can to help Bill and the Mantlo family out thanks to the generosity of some most excellent friends of ours.
Multiversity is proud to present “Guardians Month”, an art month in which we’ll run original pieces from artists such as James Harren, Christian Ward, Mike Norton, Tim Seeley, Declan Shalvey, Rafael Albuquerque and many more, and in August those pieces will be auctioned off with all proceeds going to support Bill Mantlo. Having seen many of the pieces already, we can promise you there is some spectacular art coming your way, and it’s all in honor of this fantastic man who wrote so many great comics.
Michael Mantlo, Bill’s brother and legal guardian, wanted to pass along this message to all of Bill’s fans and supporters, along with other ways you can contribute:
“BOISTEROUS” BILL MANTLO gave 17 years of creative genius to the Marvel Universe in the 1970’s-80’s, and by all accounts, was the SECOND MOST PROLIFIC contributor (to only STAN “The MAN” LEE) of written works in Marvel’s storied history. Before the tragedy struck in 1992, Bill was actively pursuing a future as a Screenwriter for, and dreaming of one day becoming a Director of, motion pictures. When we look at what is happening in filmdom now, these 22 years later, we can only imagine where Bill would have gone with his dreams! It looks like 2014 is going to be Bill’s year, and I can happily report that he is ABSOLUTELY THRILLED, and EXTREMELY PROUD of what I believe are long-overdue accolades for all of his accomplishments. I would like to thank each and every one of the multitude of fans & well-wishers that have helped support Bill’s on-going care throughout this ordeal in the past, and continue to do so to this day. You are ALL amazing, and are real life examples of the kind of HEROES that Bill created! For BILL MANTLO…..THANK YOU ALL! — Michael Mantlo
If you are interested in donating but also want to send cards, letters or fan mail of any type, you can send that to Mike himself and he will make sure it gets to Bill. You can send mail to him at:
26364 E. Pintail Rd.
Long Neck, DE 19966
Even if you don’t contribute via the auction or write into Bill, we’re hoping that you’ll be inspired to either donate to Bill yourself through the donate form Greg Pak graciously created or, if you’re a professional artist, we’d still love to have you contribute a piece! We’ll be accepting pieces all month if you’d like to contribute something for the auction. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and we can help get everything arranged.Continued below
Beyond the art month, we’ll also be talking with people like Skottie Young, Andy Lanning, Dan Abnett, Bill Rosemann (editor of Abnett and Lanning’s work on “Guardians”), Mike Marts (the current editor of Cosmic Marvel), and more about the Guardians themselves, and we’ll be writing features about the impact of these characters. It’s going to be a huge celebration, but it’s all for a greater good, and that is to support Bill Mantlo.
Stay tuned for all kinds of exciting art and content, and if you love any of the pieces, keep them in mind because they could be yours when the auction comes. We’re hoping that Bill loves them too, and that seeing such talented artists bring Rocket and the Guardians to life brings joy to him.
Lastly, a big thanks to all of the artists who’ve contributed. The Mantlo family and the Multiversity one could not appreciate it more.
For a quick guide to all of the pieces and information in Guardians Month, take a look below:
- How You Can Help Bill Mantlo
- Day One: James Harren
- Day Two: Christian Ward
- Day Three: David Petersen
- Day Four: PJ Holden
- Day Seven: Rafael Albuquerque
- Day Eight: Moritat
- Day Nine: Gabo
- Day Ten: Andrew MacLean
- Day Eleven: Michael Walsh and Matt Wilson
- Day Twelve: João Vieira
- Day Thirteen: Andre Symanowicz
- Day Fourteen: Franco
- Day Fifteen: Michael Dialynas
- Day Sixteen: Greg Smallwood
- Day Seventeen: JoJo Seames
- Day Eighteen: Giannis Milonogiannis
- Day Nineteen: Scott “Scoot” McMahon
- Day Twenty: Neil Slorance
- Day Twenty One (Part One): J. Bone
- Day Twenty One (Part Two): Mike Henderson
- Day Twenty Two (Part One): Joe Querio
- Day Twenty Two (Part Two): Greg Hinkle
- Day Twenty Three (Part One): Charles Paul Wilson III
- Day Twenty Three (Part Two): Declan Shalvey and Ruth Redmond
- Day Twenty Four (Part One): Joe Hunter
- Day Twenty Four (Part Two): Dennis Culver
- Day Twenty Five (Part One): Ryan Dunlavey (ROM Day)
- Day Twenty Five (Part Two): Josh Bayer (ROM Day)
- Day Twenty Six (Part One): Ricardo Tercio
- Day Twenty Six (Part Two): Mehdi Cheggour
- Day Twenty Seven (Part One): Max Fuchs
- Day Twenty Seven (Part Two): Joe Mulvey
- Day Twenty Eight (Part One): Kris Anka
- Day Twenty Eight (Part Two): Valentine de Landro
- Day Twenty Eight (Part Three): Aaron Conley and Megan Wilson
- Day Twenty Nine (Part One): Vic Malhotra
- Day Twenty Nine (Part Two): Jenny Frison
- Day Twenty Nine (Part Three): Chris Visions
- Day Thirty (Part One): Justin Greenwood and Dan Jackson
- Day Thirty (Part Two): Brian Thies
- Day Thirty (Part Three): Rebekah Isaacs
- Day Thirty One (Part One): Tim Seeley
- Day Thirty One (Part Two): Mike Norton
- Day Thirty One (Part Three): Sina Grace
- Day Thirty Two (Part One): Jason Copland and Pete Toms
- Day Thirty Two (Part Two): Tradd Moore
- Day Thirty Two (Part Three): Stephen Mooney
- Day Thirty Two (Part Three): Owen Michael Johnson and Mark Chadwick
- Day Thirty Two (Part Three): Alessandro Micelli
- Day Thirty Two (Part Three): Logan Faerber
- Day Thirty Two (Part Three): Andy Suriano