Friday, January 18, 2008

BILL MANTLO TRIBUTE podcast now available on the PCBR website!

Tuesday's interviews are now archived here on the Planet Comic Book Radio website.

A TRIBUTE TO BILL MANTLO features two interviews. One with Bill's brother Michael Mantlo who has been a caretaker to Bill since 1992. Bill was severely injured by a hit and run driver and has been in a nursing home ever since. While at Marvel Comics in the 70s-80s, Bill was probably the most prolific writer the company has had since the days of Stan Lee. Michael shared with us stories about growing up with Bill and how Bill's upbringing as a voracious reader led to such an amazing career in comics.

In the second half hour I talked to David Yurkovich, a Xeric Award-winning cartoonist who wrote a wonderful tribute book for Bill called MANTLO:A LIFE IN COMICS. The book has raised over $20000 which David has donated to Bill Mantlo's care. The book features a career retrospective of Bill as well as three previously unpublished Mantlo stories. David talked about the creation of the book, and he and I also talked of our love for Bill's many works.

As usual with the interviews, I felt really bad about the length of time for each guest. The show runs for an hour, so at the half hour mark I had to wrap up with Michael Mantlo. Same with David, after his half hour was up. But of course, you can never get everything you want in one interview. I always write myself some notes for each guest and use them as a guideline to direct the conversation. But in the end, each podcast should be a pretty informative hour of talk. And of course one of the purposes of the interviews is to drum up interest in the guests. So if anyone is upset with me that we didn't get to talk about your favorite Mantlo character (Jack of Hearts, the White Tiger, the Micronauts, Woodgod, Razorback, et al) I apologize!

Like I've said, I was so proud to be able to even have the opportunity to create a Bill Mantlo tribute on my radio show. I am a very strong believer in giving back to the creators that were so much part of my growing up. And in Bill's case, with the terrible tragedy he underwent 16 years ago, even more so. With David's book, and the recent ROM, SPACEKNIGHT tribute art show in Portland, there is this wonderful sense of MantloMania being created by fans of Bill. So 'doing my part' was not only a chance for me to give back, but also a duty.

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