Michael Mantlo is in major need of help after supporting his permanently disabled brother, Rocket Racoon creator Bill Mantlo, for almost 30 years – care that has crippled him financially.
Bill Mantlo – writer of hit Marvel series like Micronauts and co-creator of both Cloak and Dagger and Rocket Racoon, was the victim of a hit-and-run accident back in 1992, and he’s been in care ever since. Michael willingly accepted the responsibility of being appointed his caregiver, but health care in the United States does not come cheap – and the financial pressures on him are hitting him badly, reluctantly leading him to ask for help via GoFundMe.
“I have been attempting to bring my brother home from the nursing home he has been placed in for the last 10 years,” he says on the GoFundMe page. “It has been a difficult struggle, filled with numerous pitfalls and obstacles, but I gave my word to him that I would do everything in my power to make it happen so that he could live out the rest of his life with dignity, and peace.
“It has become painfully obvious to me in the last few months that the powers that be will not let that happen.”
This is sad news for the Mantlo family, who had hoped, back in 2017, that a generous compensation package agreed with Marvel for the use of Rocket Racoon in projects such as The Guardians of the Galaxy films would enable Bill to move out of the care home he has been in since 1995. Hopes Bill could move into a house close to his brother have now been dashed… and the costs of care continue to mount.
“As for me, being retired and living on a fixed income, this ordeal has become a financial nightmare,” Michael reveals. “I have nearly bankrupted myself in my attempts to build a home for my brother, and arranging for his necessary care.
“The reimbursements from [Bill’s] money sources don’t come anywhere near covering all that I have sacrificed for him from my own funds. I have been playing credit card roulette in order to finance everything I’ve done for him, and now it has overwhelmed me.
“I am nearly $100,000 in debt, and the piper is demanding payment.”
Which is why Michael, clearly a very proud man forced into a corner by circumstance, is now urgently seeking support, even if it is just to spread the word about this appeal.
“I have never been one to beg, and I’m having to swallow hard on my pride here, but if any of you can find it in your hearts to help me, I would be eternally grateful,” he says.
“I love my brother, and no matter what happens, I will always do whatever I can to help him. At this point in time, I need you to help me.
“Thank you all for any, and everything, you do.”
Michael has stressed in his fundraiser that this appeal is to support him in a difficult situation, but there’s no harm in reminding downthetubes readers of Bill’s comics legacy…