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 Mike Mantlo, Guardian to Bill Mantlo ex- writer

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Allen Posted - 07/10/2014 : 2:56:46 PM

I want to bring this interview to view due to new Guardians of the Galaxy Movie.

Interview with: Mike Mantlo
Guardian and brother to : Bill Mantlo
Interviewed by : Allen Klingelhoets
Field Marshal

Allen: This is special interview. I learned that Mike's brother Bill has character Rocket Raccoon appearing in new "Guardians of the Galaxy Movie. Bill can not do interviews due to awful accident which will be talked about in interview. Bill was former prolific writer at Marvel Comics. Mike was gracious enough to grant me interview.

Allen: It is an honor to again interview you Mike Mantlo. It has been several years since we talked here at Jazma Online. How has married life been with your wife Liz?

Mike: Married life with Liz has been WONDERFUL. This month (July) marks the 5-year anniversary of when we first met, and every day our life together gets better and better.

Allen: How have you been doing since retiring from US Postal Service?

Mike: Actually, I retired from FedEx after 30 years, and I've been doing pretty dang good since!

Allen: Thanks for clearing up your former job. How have you been doing personally?

Mike: I would have to say OK (thank God). I have no health issues, my retirement planning seems to have worked out pretty well financially, and most importantly, marrying Liz has brought me more happiness than I ever thought possible.

Allen: I used to read many of your Brother Bill's comic books. It seems like such long time ago since reading stories like Rom and The Human Fly. Bill's name was attached as writer to so many Marvel projects. Than he had awful bicycle accident. When did this happen? How is Bill doing at present time? How does he communicate?

Mike: Bill was struck by a car in a hit-and-run accident while rollerblading on July 17,1992. He suffered a closed-head (no fractured skull, no skull penetration by a foreign object) Traumatic Brain Injury which has resulted in severe cognitive deficits. He struggles to put thoughts and/or memories into any kind of order, suffers from short-term memory loss (processing NEW information is virtually impossible), is physically impaired in that he cannot control the movements in his extremities precisely enought to perform normal daily functions (thus requiring 24-hr a day assistance), is agitated and depressed most of the time, and due to the inactivity (physically) is losing strentgh and motor skills more and more as each year passes. He has the ability to speak,, but his speech is slurred and with the inability to control his thought processes, conversational coherence becomes an issue.

Allen: Tell me about some of the ways people can still help out Bill.

Mike: Well, with the contractual agreements with Marvel that I have negotiated in place, he receives royalties for the usage of the characters he created, and still receives compensation for any written works that Marvel reprints, so I would urge everyone to continue buying the comics & compilations that Marvel puts out. I have also established the Bill Mantlo Support Fund (accessible through Greg Pak's "PAKBUZZ" web/blog site) wherein donations can be made via Paypal. All monies raised are used directly to help improve Bill's quality of life, and permit me to hold out hope for a future where Bill might be able to recover some of his abilities (through new treatments or programs).

Allen: Does Bill still benefit from his older characters? Tell me about his character Rocket Raccoon in new "Guardians of the Galaxy" movie.

Mike: As I just stated in the previous answer, yes, Bill still benefits from his older characters. The Rocket Raccoon character in "Guardians of the Galaxy" has turned out to be THE MOST SUCCESSFUL of Bill's creations, thanks to the very satisfactory agreement I negotiated with Marvel for the characters usage in "GOTG", and any future endeavors (and judging by the early buzz, there WILL be a BIG BRIGHT FUTURE for the wily raccoon)!

Allen: Would you be able to tell me about Rocket Raccoon? Also, do you have any idea how Bill came up with idea for Rocket Raccoon?

Mike: Rocket Raccon was a direct homage (by Bill) to Paul McCartney's BEATLES song (found on the "WHITE" album) "The Ballad of Rocky Raccoon". Bill was a HUGE Beatles fan, and that song was the perfect inspiration for Bill's wondrous imagination!

Allen: Will there be way that Bill will be able to see "Guardians of the Galaxy" movie.

Mike: Yes. Marvel VP David Bogart has given Bill a most wonderful gift......we will have a PRIVATE SCREENING of the movie in Bill's room on a laptop the day after the movie opens in theaters (August 2nd). Mr. Bogart has literally had to jump through hoops to get permission to do this, and absolutely deserves to be lauded for his efforts to bring Bill some enjoyment!

Allen: Are there any more charity fund raisers planned for your brother Bill?

Mike: As it stands now, it looks like I will be auctioning off some ORIGINAL ART that was donated through Multiversity Comics in the beginning of August to help Bill. The good folks at Multiversity have managed to acquire some OUTSTANDING ORIGINAL ART, from about 30 different comic artists (the original cover art from the upcoming "ROCKET RACCOON # 1" by David Petersen looks to be the HIGHLIGHT PIECE at this point). I will be auctioning these pieces through my eBay site (search Seller ID: mickeysccc), and all monies raised will go directly to the Bill Mantlo Support Fund.

Allen: What are some of best online ways to read about Bill?

Mike: Far and away, the BEST is the Bill Mantlo FACEBOOK group page. I monitor & update that just about every day, and the folks in that group are the staunchest of Bill Mantlo fans and supporters! There are quite a few other Facebook pages (Admiradores de Bill Mantlo from Spain, PAKBUZZ, Bleeding Cool from the UK--I think).

Allen: What do you feel were some of Bill's favorite characters to write?

Mike: I know for a fact that his FAVORITES were CLOAK & DAGGER. With the urban setting he put them in, they were very personal stories for Bill. Also, the WHITE TIGER was near the top of the list, as it cemented Bill's relationship with the very young Hispanic artist GEORGE PEREZ. Bill's run on the HULK broght him great pride, and many accolades. In truth, Bill was proud of, and poured his heart and soul into, every story that he wrote.

Allen: Did Bill ever participate in many comic book conventions?

Mike: Yes, he did, in the late 1970's-early 1980's, particularly when they were held in New York.

Allen: Did you ever attempt to write or draw comic books?

Mike: No, I was always more interested in sports and physical activities when I was younger. Like Bill, our Mom instilled in me the "gift" of being able to write, but I never pursued that as a means of making a living, and I don't think I have a vivid enough imagination to go to the places Bill was able to take readers to.

Allen: What do you feel that Bill would like to say to his former readers?

Mike: THANK YOU for continuing to keep him in your thoughts, and for giving him the praise that's been long overdue.

Allen: Any other news from Bill Mantlo universe?

Mike: Well, I have many plans for the future for Bill, but being that they are still (slowly) winding their way through the courts & the legal system, I'll have to keep them semi-confidential for now. But I will say the future is looking brighter and brighter, and my optimism grows stonger by the day.

Allen: What is the best way to contact you at present time?

Mike: I can be reached via snail-mail at: MIKE MANTLO, 26364 E. PINTAIL RD., LONG NECK, DE 19966. On-line, I'd prefer contact throgh my Facebook page (michael mantlo) so that I don't overwhelm my e-mails.

Allen: Many of Bill's MARVEL works are still being sold in reprint forms. I find stories of his constantly at library. I hope some readers that have not tried his work buy graphic novels or just get them from library. It was and still is enjoyable reading from very prolific writer. Thank you Mike for working with me on a new interview.

Mike : You've hit the nail on the head, my friend! Bill's works are readily available (most of them, anyway) and I don't think ANYTHING he wrote ever gets "stale"! Thank you,'re a good man, and a great friend to BILL MANTLO!

Allen: Here is link to Mike Mantlo and my first interview in 2009.

Jazma Field Marshal

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