Saturday, November 12, 2011

Via my old editor Tom Spurgeon, a long, moving and often surprising story about Bill Mantlo, a name instantly familiar to any 80s comics reader.

"In 1985, Mantlo took advantage of a tuition reimbursement program Marvel offered and put himself through law school, writing scripts by day and taking classes by night. In 1987, he passed the New York State Bar and while he still wrote the occasional comic book, as well as starting various novels and screenplays, he considered himself a full-time lawyer. He received a number of offers to work for real estate legal firms but he opted to work for the Legal Aid Society, a private not-for-profit that provides free criminal defense representation.

Mantlo made about $40,000 a year at Legal Aid, which was  considerably less than he was making at Marvel. But that was  almost the point: he became a lawyer mainly because he felt he had done all he could with comics to send messages about social causes. In law, he could help people more directly."

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