I’m thrilled to announce that my online store is now giving customers the chance to designate a local comic shop to receive a commission of half of the price of their purchases!
The COVID-19 crisis has hit comic shops hard. I’m hoping this will help put a few dollars into the hands of shop owners who have done so much for me and for thousands of creators and fans.
Please click here for more details and feel free to poke around the store and buy tons of stuff! I’ve restocked the store with loads of new rare variants and books — and even included a fun Garage Sale section with a few books I DIDN’T write!
Just type the name of a local shop into the “special instructions” field when you check out and we’ll send them half of your purchase price (minus shipping). If we can’t reach the shop you listed or if they can’t accept PayPal, we’ll send the commission to another shop on the list, selected at random, or donate it to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation.
Comics colorist Pete Pantazis has a hard deadline in about a week to raise enough money to save his home. Please do check out his GoFundMe and contribute if you can. As an added bonus, if you donate $25 or more, I’ll send you a signed copy of ACTION COMICS #23.2, which Pete colored and I wrote! Just send proof of your contribution and your US mailing address to helpinghands at gregpak dot com (apologies — I can’t ship overseas).
I have about 20 copies of the book to give away. This is the second printing, featuring the cool lenticular 3D cover.
I’m guessing most comics freelancers mentally whisper “there but for the grace of God” when they hear about the next emergency and see the next GoFundMe go live for another comics veteran. Because even if you have health insurance, any health crisis can escalate to bankruptcy and disaster, especially if you’re a freelancer without paid sick leave.
So if you have the inclination, please consider donating to these GoFundMes for comics artist Joyce Chin, who recently suffered a brain aneurysm, and Mike Mantlo, who has gone bankrupt while taking care of his brother, comics writer Bill Mantlo.
Bill Mantlo’s MICRONAUTS meant the world to me as a kid and I dedicated my five year HULK run to him in INCREDIBLE HULK #635. Please consider helping his brother out now to help with is care if Bill’s work ever moved you and you have the means.
Hey, friends. I recently had bookplate stickers made (thanks to everyone who chimed in with design advice!) and I figured it’s time to start giving some away. So here’s the deal…
Stan Sakai, the brilliant creator of the USAGI YOJIMBO comic book series, has had a heartbreakingly difficult winter, which you can read about here. His family is currently dealing with medical bills for his wife Sharon’s cancer treatment. The Cartoon Art Professional Society is collecting donations via Paypal here.
If you donate to Stan, I will send you a signed bookplate and a sheet of Code Monkey stickers. Here’s a direct link to the Paypal donation form:
After you make your donation, just email me at vm at pakbuzz dot com with your mailing address and I’ll send you the bookplate and stickers. Please note that you can donate ANY AMOUNT and I’ll hook you up with the bookplate and stickers.
We’re working on the honor system here, so be cool, which I know you are.
Thanks so much for considering helping out Stan Sakai, and please feel free to spread the word.
An eight year old Dallas boy named Donald Maiden, Jr. was shot in the face by a stranger Tuesday night. Family friends are raising money for his medical costs. This story broke my heart and I donated. I hope you’ll consider helping out as well.
I’m honestly a little choked up here. Mrs. Stow, the 4th grade public school teacher from Hereford, Texas, whose book fund I’ve been tweeting and posting about, has made her goal! Here’s what she just posted on her DonorsChoose.org page:
Words can not really express how much this means to me and my students. When we received an email about a donation I would share it with my students. I would hear “YYEESSS” come out of their mouths. They are so excited to have these new books in our class. Many of them have a hard time believing someone who doesn’t know them would donate money so they could have books. I ALWAYS told them..it’s because you are loved and people like to help others.
You guys came through with hundreds of dollars for Mrs. Stow’s kids, and now they’ll have books, which is just about the best gift any kid can get.
UPDATE: You’ve donated more than $600! Just over $300 left to go!
UPDATE: You guys donated over $200 to Mrs. Stow’s campaign yesterday! I love you. Keep it coming!
I was inspired and moved by the amazing Kevin Church’s recent campaign to raise money for a teacher’s DonorsChoose.org effort to buy books for a class of Navajo school kids. So I figured I’d jump on the bandwagon and give it a shot!
If you donate $10 or more, email vm at pakbuzz dot com with your mailing address and I’ll send you some “Code Monkey Save World” stickers as a thank you.
Here’s an excerpt from Mrs. Stow’s appeal:
I have a group of fourth graders. They are fun, crazy, and love to be at school. I teach in a Title I school where my kiddos are from VERY unstable and low socio-economic homes. Our classroom is the only place they see books and we are in need or more books.
I’m not sure if any of you grew up in a home where you did not have a book. NOT ONE SINGLE BOOK! Please help us get these book collections for our classroom. These kids need them and they will always remember having fun books to read.
We’re all book people here, right? Few things are more important indicators of a child’s eventual success at school than having access to books. And this looks like a tremendous way to put dollars directly into a teacher’s hands so she can give her kids the books they need.
UPDATE: Mike Mantlo, Bill’s brother, sent along his thanks and this beautiful photo of Bill and Mike’s wife Liz. Your donations absolutely help improve Bill’s quality of life — please read on and keep ’em coming!
If you love Rocket Raccoon — or Rom or the Hulk or the Micronauts or Cloak and Dagger or any of the incredible characters Bill Mantlo wrote during his prolific career — please consider clicking the button below to send your donation to Bill’s brother Mike for Bill’s ongoing care.
UPDATE: In a February Bleeding Cool article, Bill’s brother Mike said, “Bill was treated in an exceptionally fair manner by Marvel/Disney” and that Marvel “has made incredibly generous gestures,” which is fantastic. But the cost of Bill’s care remains enormous and any donations you care make will be greatly appreciated by the family.
Bill Mantlo has had a huge influence on me as a writer and reader. His “Micronauts” stories blew my mind as a kid and his “Incredible Hulk” run laid the groundwork for the themes I explored my five-and-a-half year run with the character. In the afterward to “Incredible Hulk” #635, I dedicated my run to Mantlo, and a while back devoted my Newsarama column to singing his praises and letting folks know how to donate to his ongoing care.
Thank you so much, Bill Coffin and LifeHealthPro, for shining a light on someone who brought so much joy to so many people.
And here’s a note from Bill’s brother Mike, reprinted from that Newsarama column:
First off, I send out a big THANK YOU to everyone that has helped support Bill over these past 19 years (!). Every donation, no matter how big or small, and every card or letter is greatly appreciated. Bill’s condition remains the same (he suffers severe cognitive impairments, anger, and depression), and these factors keep him very much isolated from “the outside world.” Aside from my visits, and the kindness of my beautiful wife and some of the attendants at the nursing home/rehabilitation facility he resides in, his contact with other human beings is virtually non-existent. But the support and encouragement of fans, and industry professionals like yourself, helps to bring a little ray of sunlight into his dark and dreary days. When I (or my wife) engage Bill in conversation, his spirit emerges and is as strong and pure as it ever was! So, once again, I can’t thank ALL of you enough!! I strongly believe in the power of practicing random acts of kindness, and with that belief I hope that ALL of your kindnesses will be returned to you many, many times over!
Cards, letters or donations to Bill Mantlo can be sent to:
26364 East Pintail Road
Long Neck, DE 19966
Please make out any checks to “Michael Mantlo” — Bill’s legal guardian.
Writer of over 500 comic books, including PLANET HULK, MECH CADET YU, FIREFLY, and DARTH VADER