I have a one-of-a-kind print in the ROM: Space Knight exhibition up at Floating World in Portland, Oregon at present.
ROM was one of my favorite comic books as a kid, along with Micronauts, Mantlo’s other masterpiece. These series synthesized the perfect balance of late 70s comics- dense story lines, compelling characters, and enough romance to make adolescents feel the onset of puberty encroaching. Amazing, thought-provoking work.
On July 17, 1992, Mantlo was struck by a car. The driver of the car fled the scene and has never been identified. Not wearing a helmet at the time, Mantlo suffered severe head trauma. According to his biographer, David Yurkovich in 2006, “For a while Bill was comatose. Although no longer in a coma, the brain damage he suffered in the accident is irreparable. His activities of daily living are severely curtailed and he resides in a healthcare facility where he receives full-time care.”
In 2007, cartoonist David Yurkovich released the benefit book Mantlo: A Life in Comics, with all proceeds from the book donated to Mantlo’s brother and caregiver, Michael Mantlo, to help toward the costs of maintaining Mantlo’s care.
On December 6, 2007, the Portland, Oregon, comic-book shop Floating World Comics sponsored “Spacenight: A Tribute to Bill Mantlo”, an art show made up entirely of various artists’ interpretations of ROM, to help raise funds for Mantlo’s care.
This exhibition is the next installment of this exhibition series.