As we first reported back in September, Batman/Superman and Eternal Warrior writer Greg Pak issued a call to arms, bringing attention to the plight of a Bill Mantlo, whose creation Rocket Raccoon will not only appear in Guardians of the Galaxy, but has been the focus of much of the film’s hype and enthusiasm. The character, who will be voiced by Bradley Cooper in a film directed by James Gunn, is a spacefaring, machine gun-toting raccoon.
As with most creators in comics, Mantlo did almost all of his work for-hire during his long career, meaning that once he was no longer producing on a monthly basis, there was only a very minimal safety net for him. So when tragedy struck in 1992, it left Mantlo’s family scrambling. A closed-head injury has left the creator with a consistently deteriorating quality of life and massive medical bills for over 20 years now--and while the Hero Initiative has helped out, it's still putting an enormous financial strain on his family, something Pak set up a donation page to help offset.
With the movie trailer burning up the Internet, Mantlo's plight has come back to center stage and Pak said the months-old page had nearly 8500 views yesterday alone. If one percent of the people who view the page donate something, he noted, it would be a very good day for Mantlo and his family.
And while most of those donations will probably be small, Fowler is looking for somebody to do something a bit more ambitious. He tweeted:
AM RT, 1st person to send me proof of a $200+ donation to bill mantlo's care gets a 9x12 painted rocket raccoon. http://t.co/wwG4D5li8KWell, I've never seen him do a raccoon, but he draws the heck out of a goat...
— tom fowler (@tomfowlerbug) February 20, 2014