So the Guardians of the Galaxy trailer was sweet. We all love Rocket Raccoon. He’s a raccoon that shoots a gun, after all! Who could say no to that?
But he didn’t spring, fully formed, from the ether, despite what people may think happens with artwork on Tumblr. He was created by a legendarily prolific Marvel Comics creator, and the story of Bill Mantlo does not have a happy ending.
Until his regression in Georgia, there was hope that with enough rehabilitation, Bill might one day return to his home, living with assistance but actually having something approaching a normal life. Now, that seems impossible.
“At this stage, there really isn’t much that he gets out of life,” Mike says. “He doesn’t like to eat. He doesn’t like to listen to music. He doesn’t like to watch TV. He doesn’t like to read. He doesn’t want to do anything. It’s very difficult.”
If a way could be found to get Bill in front of a computer, perhaps with dictation software, Mike feels that Bill could probably write a story. But that depends entirely on whether Bill could maintain his concentration long enough to form a creative thought. These days, it does not happen often.
Mike does not have a large collection of Bill’s writing. But he does have a printout of the computer journal Bill kept while he was at Meadowbrook. Many of the entries contain loose details that appear to be connected to his Martian invasion story. But there are personal notes interspersed that reflect Bill’s own anguish, and his resistance to the very treatments that were slowly returning him to normal.
“My name is Bill Mantlo,” he writes in his last personal entry. “I want to go home.”
At they say, read the whole thing.
Bill Mantlo is in hospice care and his family approaches destitution due in part to the flamboyant failures of the American health care system, but frankly, the fact that he doesn’t see much in the way of royalties for his work cannot possibly be helping. Marvel is about to release a movie that will probably pull in half a billion dollars at the minimum, and Mantlo’s family won’t see anything from it.
If comics taught me anything, it taught me that that isn’t right.
So I urge people who are looking forward to that movie to donate what you can, when you can, to the Hero Initiative - a charity dedicated to being the safety net that too many comics creators lack - and specifically to Bill Mantlo’s care. When Guardians of the Galaxy comes out, I’ll see it, but to do so in good conscience I’ll donate an amount equal to the cost of my ticket to the Hero Initiative. I did this last year with Man of Steel and the year before with Avengers.
It’s only right.
SUPERMAN: LOIS LANE #1
Written by MARGUERITE BENNETT
Art by Emanuela Lupacchino
Cover by KENNETH ROCAFORT
One-shot • On sale • FEBRUARY 26 • 48 pg, FC, $4.99 US • RATED T
Lois Lane is known for chasing down stories — but what happens when the story is her family? As her father gains more power in the government, Lois’s sister Lucy has become involved with a deadly drug scene! Meanwhile, Lois thought she was rid of the influence of Brainiac, but now she finds that the the computer tyrant of Colu is calling out to her again!
CV: What is your favorite thing about Lois?
MB: Oh, Lord, just one? May I say her general magnificence? May I say her audacity in the face of danger? May I say her willpower, when all the world is going to hell? May I say that she is neither a believer nor a cynic, but one who will face the world on the principle of truth and truth alone? […]
CV: With so much still fuzzy in the New 52, how are you approaching fleshing out Lois’ backstory and relationship with her father and sister?
MB: I absolutely want to uncoil these roots for Lois, show the deep and vibrant relationships she maintains beyond Superman. I want her friends and her family. The story I hope to tell is one prominently about two women and their relationship—the love, bitterness, loyalty, ambition, and regret that comes from living in two worlds. I mayn’t say such else right now, but I really and truly hope you’ll enjoy her story.
CV: Will Superman play any part in the story or will you get to focus just on Lois?
MB: Superman is an aspect of Lois’s story, but in the New 52, so much of what Lois is capable of can be seen in who she is beyond Superman. Not without, which I think implies a noticeable absence, a fault, a lack—but beyond him, head high, hair streaming, heroic in her own right, braving a superhuman world on beautifully human terms.
It’s very hard for me to be silly about Superman, because I’ve seen firsthand how he actually transforms people’s lives. I have seen children dying of brain tumors who wanted as their last request to talk to me, and have gone to their graves with a peace brought on by knowing that their belief in this kind of character really matters. It’s not Superman the tongue-in-cheek cartoon character they’re connecting with; they’re connecting with something very basic: the ability to overcome obstacles, the ability to persevere, the ability to understand difficulty and to turn your back on it. [Christopher Reeve] – Time, (March 14, 1988)
Superman spent his childhood baling hay on a farm, he’s a working class hero and people don’t like that. Whereas Batman is a billionaire who sleeps until three in the afternoon, puts on a rubber suit and beats the shit out if poor people. Now that’s a wish fulfilment fantasy.
Grant Morrison during a panel at the Edinburgh Book Festival (via operationfailure)
#i mean superman is wish fulfillment too but for two jewish guys wanting to help people they couldnt as opposed to like#taking out the privilege of the rich thru violence against the poor#it depends on how you want to define wish fulfillment#but it is true: superman is a working class hero and batman is not
My comic; “Introversion” is finished! Please go to the main page of my blog to read it in full size (the text is kinda small)
I really hope you’ll like it!
This is so very, very perfect.
If only I could buy this to hand out to friends/family/everyone when they ask why I don’t like to go anywhere.
yes yes yes exactly this yes yes.