This article I found recently online from an old issue of COMICS FEATURE magazine won't tell any fans of Bill Mantlo much of anything they didn't know already. But you never know, because I certainly learned a new thing or two about the man and his career. I was surprised to find out that Mantlo was a struggling photographer before he started working for Marvel. Also unknown to me was that his first job at Marvel was doing paste up and mechanicals which he got through an old college friend named Annette Kawecki (thanks Annette!). He hated that job but obviously he found something better later on at Marvel that was more suited for his talents. He described paste up and mechanicals as being very boring and had much to do with precise measuring. It sounds to me like the difference between that and being a writer in the publishing industry is similar to graphic design verses pre-press. I've done both in publishing and where as graphic design is creative and fun pre-press can drive you to an early grave from stress. Anyways, Mantlo would eventually be teamed up with "The Fast & Furious" Sal Buscema for ROM greatest of the spaceknights. Which of course is this blog's reason for existing but the work Mantlo did with Michael Golden on The Micronauts is most certainly also note worthy.
I can't help but wonder sometimes if Marvel had known back then about ROM's enduring comic book fan base if they would have tried to secure the rights for the character from Parker Brothers sometime after the series ended. But I suppose back then how could they have known. They probably thought that they were wrapping up a space saga that had a pretty good run considering it was based on a toy that was basically a commercial failure. Although ironically it too enjoys a certain amount of popularity seeing as it's become a fairly sought after vintage toy collectible for the last two and a half decades or so.
This new version of the ROM doll commercial is different then the one that's been on Youtube since 2006 so check out it you may not have seen it yet. But even if you have I bet it hasn't been for years now so click on the link below and take a trip down memory lane: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILIaPluH4pc
Sunday, March 18, 2012
Rare Bill Mantlo interview from 1981 uncovered. Also, a new version of the ROM toy commercial now on Youtube.
Posted by Shlomo Ben Hungstien at 10:00 AM
Labels: Bill Mantlo Sal Buscema Rom Spaceknight Parker Brothers dollThe Micronauts Marvel Comics 1980s