If you loved that Guardians of the Galaxy trailer, then you should help one of its creators

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Feb 19, 2014, 4:35 PM EST

In the summer of 1976, Bill Mantlo gifted the comic world one small, gun-toting, angry raccoon. In space. Now it's time for the fans to give back.

You've already seen that new Guardians of the Galaxy trailer, right? Of course you have! So, by now, you've no doubt reveled in the absolute gold that is Rocket Raccoon. Sure, he hasn't spoken with Bradley Cooper's voice yet, but chances are you're already in love. And quite right, so you should be. But that character had to come from the mind of someone before he could live in all his CGI glory while blowing people away and scrambling on top of a giant tree man.

The distinction of creating Rocket Raccoon goes to prolific comic writer Bill Mantlo, who was also responsible for ROM and the Micronauts, as well as countless comics that people have enjoyed for decades. But that gift was silenced in 1992 when Bill was the victim of a hit and run.

The driver got away, was never identified, and left a nightmare in his or her wake.

Bill may have survived, but he never recovered. After being comatose, he awoke with severe brain damage. He struggles to speak, has little control over his hands, and has been living in hospice for some time. There's an absolutely gut-wrenching piece that outlines the whole affair that can be read here.

There's something I think people often forget, which is this: Writers and artists don't make comics for the money, because there isn't a lot to be made by the individuals, just the big, corporate machine. But money is still a thing they need, especially when tragedy strikes. So, between Bill and his family's lack of funds and America's health care system, which is, frankly, wretched, he needs our help.

And that's exactly what fellow comic writer Greg Pak has wisely proposed. He and Bill's brother (and legal guardian), Mike Mantlo, have reached out to the comic's community and asked people to send donations and love to Bill.

Now we're spreading that word. So think about the amount of money you spend on comics, or the price of a movie ticket, or whatever it is you think you can afford, and, please, make a donation using the button below.


And, when you're done, maybe consider writing to Bill, who can be reached at the following address:

Mike Mantlo

26364 East Pintail Road

Long Neck, DE 19966

And, if, after that, you're still feeling generous, remind Marvel Comics of the greatness that is Bill Mantlo and his creations. Who knows? Maybe they'll make a donation, too.

(via Bleeding Cool)