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MANTLO: A LIFE IN COMICS Enters Production
Bill Mantlo is a name known to most any contemporary fan of comics. His career as a writer for Marvel spanned over 15 years, during which time he authored more than 500 stories. Known for lengthy runs on INCREDIBLE HULK and Spectacular Spider-Man, Bill also produced equally impressive runs on MICRONAUTS and 79 issues of ROM: SPACEKNIGHT. It is more than somewhat ironic that Bill, who devoted much of his life scripting tales of persons with super-human powers would be involved in an accident and suffer permanent cognitive damage. Thankfully, Bill’s legacy remains; many of his works continue to find new readers through the trade paperback market and through back-issue comic sales.
MANTLO: A LIFE IN COMICS will provide an in-depth look at Bill’s career, from his early collaborations with artist George Perez on the SONS OF THE TIGER series in DEADLY HANDS OF KUNG FU; to mainstream series like MARVEL TEAM-UP, CHAMPIONS, IRON MAN, HUMAN FLY, HULK, SPIDER-MAN, and CLOAK AND DAGGER; and to unique works like PARADOX and SWORDS OF THE SWASHBUCKLERS.
Featuring commentary and interviews from many of Bill’s collaborators and contemporaries (such as Keith Giffen, Ed Hannigan, Tony Isabella, Al Milgrom, George Perez, Roger Stern, Herb Trimpe, and Marv Wolfman) MANTLO: A LIFE IN COMICS will also feature a rare gem—a previously unpublished prose story, SOMETHING LIKE COURAGE, written by Bill in 1990.
MANTLO: A LIFE IN COMICS is planned as a 64-page, 8.5 x 11 release with color and black & white throughout. It is being produced and edited by David Yurkovich (LESS THAN HEROES) in cooperation with Bill’s family. All proceeds will go to Bill's guardian, who can then direct any, or all, funds to specific needs that will benefit Bill. Artists and editors who’ve worked with Bill are encouraged to contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. Release date and other specifics will be forthcoming.
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BILL MANTLO BENEFIT PROJECT: An Appeal to Fan, Pros, and Retailers
With 54 of its 64 pages finished, MANTLO: A LIFE IN COMICS (aka, The Bill Mantlo Benefit Project) nears completion. The project, initiated by David Yurkovich (LESS THAN HEROES, DEATH BY CHOCOALTE: REDUX) in May 2006 is planned for a spring 2007 release through his Sleeping Giant imprint. It features a retrospective of Bill’s extensive career at Marvel, which included lengthy runs on INCREDIBLE HULK, ROM, MICRONAUTS, and PETER PARKER, THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER- MAN. Also covered are Mantlo’s co-creations, such as CLOAK AND DAGGER, JACK OF HEARTS, ROCKET RACCOON, and SWORDS OF THE SWASHBUCKLERS. The benefit project includes rare photos as well as interviews with many of Bill’ s fellow industry professionals like George Pérez, Mike Mignola, Marv Wolfman, Tony Isabella, Al Milgrom, Herb Trimpe, Ed Hannigan, Roger Stern, and Jackson Guice, as well as insights from Mike Mantlo and from Bill’s daughter, Corinna. Additionally, the project features previously unpublished fiction by Mantlo, including Bill’s bittersweet character study, AFTERMATH, which Yurkovich has adapted into a six-page sequential format color story.
All proceeds from MANTLO: A LIFE IN COMICS are being donated to Bill’s caregiver and brother, Mike Mantlo. Yurkovich has created a special web site portal and is appealing to fans, pros, and retails for their assistance. “I commenced this project because I had to,” Yurkovich noted. “Bill is one of the main reasons I got hooked on comics in my youth. As a life- long fan of his work, I think a tribute of this nature is long overdue. As more and more fans are exposed to Bill’s work for the first time (through back issues and Marvel’s reprint collections), I think Bill’s story should be told. Because Bill’s tragic accident has left him cognitively incapacitated, I’m working to tell that story from interviews with his writer/artist/ editor colleagues at Marvel, archival footage, and interviews with Bill’s family. Unfortunately, I’m producing this book at the same time that my wife and I undergo a costly international adoption, leaving me with literally no funding. Thus, I’m appealing to fans, pros, and retailers to help.”
The Bill Mantlo portal (http://www.sleepinggiantcreations.com/comics-ogns/mantlo/sgc-mantlo-portal.html) offers fans, pros, and retailers the opportunity to help make this project a success and a lasting tribute. Yurkovich is appealing to Bill’s friends and enthusiasts to contribute directly to the project. A donation will help to offset the printing and advertising costs of the book. Additionally, donors who contribute $20 or more will receive a copy of the completed book, and will be listed in a special thank-you section. “This is going to be a good project, and with the support of the comics community it’ll be a great project. I’ve been working on this for nearly seven months. I’m pleased to have contributed my time assembling, designing, and coordinating this project. I really wish I could also fund it as well. Since I can’t, I’m hoping that Bill’s legions of fans and friends will lend a hand.”
Donations can be made via Paypal or via check. To date, nearly four-dozen donations have been received from fans in the US and abroad, and from pros including Tony Isabella, Sean McKeever, and Phil Hester. “I’m hopeful that more fans, pros, and retailers will offer their financial support to this benefit book. Mike and I are extremely grateful to those who have already donated to the project. I’m posting all comments from contributors on the web site, and I’ve added contact information for anyone wishing to send a note to Mike. Incidentally, Bill celebrates his 55th birthday this week (on November 9), and I know that Mike would love to hear from anyone wishing to send along a note of good cheer to Bill.”
MANTLO: A LIFE IN COMICS is a non-profit benefit book scheduled for a spring 2007 release. The 64-page, magazine- sized (8.5 x 11”) project is being produced in black-and-white, and features a special color section with previously unpublished material by Bill Mantlo. The book is written, edited, and designed by David Yurkovich, and is being published by Sleeping Giant. Retail price is undetermined, but will likely be in the $5 to $6 range.
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Mantlo Benefit Project Yields > $2K (or 2112 no longer just a terrific Rush album...)
Thanks to the generous support of Bill Mantlo's fans, a check in the amount of $2,112 has been sent to Bill's brother and caregiver Mike Mantlo from Sleeping Giant Comics. Mike has also received additional donations of $320, for a grand total of $2,432 in donations to be allocated toward improving Bill's quality of life. On August 4, 2007, Mike Mantlo issued the following statement to Sleeping Giant Comics: "It's nice to know that comics fans worldwide remember my brother, Bill Mantlo, and hold him in as high regard as they do. I always felt Bill was an amazing talent, and judging from the hundreds of fans who have contributed to this project, or have written to relate how Bill touched their lives in some magical way, I can only say thank you from the bottom of my heart! It's difficult to accept the fact that Bill may never be able to create again, but I am thrilled that Mantlo: A Life in Comics will enable his legacy to survive, and carry on for future generations of comics fans. David Yurkovich has done a wonderful thing for Bill, and the support we've gotten from all of you just proves that comic readers are the greatest people in the world! Thank you all!" A new review of MANTLO: A LIFE IN COMICS was posted July 31, 2007, on Comic Book Resources, describing the project as "an astonishing and stirring tribute to the endlessly imaginative Bill Mantlo." Click HERE to read the entire review.
On behalf of Bill's fans across the globe, thank you one and all for making this project a success.