Dynamite Entertainment, Butch Guice, and the family of Bill Mantlo launched a Kickstarter campaign to created a remastered collection of the Swords of the Swashbucklers comic series, a creator-owned pirate adventure published by Marvel from 1984 to 1987. Mantlo was the co-creator of Rocket Raccoon, one of the breakout stars of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies. The colletion will be a full-color, fully remastered volume over 400 pages in length, containing the complete story from the original graphic novel, plus the 12-issue maxi-series which also contained art by Geof Isherwood and Colleen Doran.
Swords of the Swashbucklers, blending elements of Guardians of the Galaxy with Pirates of the Caribbean, follows spirited teenager Domino Drake, a normal girl who stumbles upon an alien artifact, acquires uncanny power, and becomes a beacon for intergalactic trouble. With her tabby cat in tow, Domino joins the motley crew of the Starshadow, a spacefaring pirate ship captained by the charismatic and fearless Raader.
Nick Barrucci of Dynamite shared his thoughts on this project:
We've launched a Kickstarter for Bill Mantlo's and Jackson Guice's Swords of the Swashbucklers. I know that most remember Bill for Rocket Raccoon, Micronauts and Rom, but the Swords of the Swashbucklers series struck a chord as a young fan and is a personal favorite of mine from childhood.
Personally, having the chance to reintroduce it for everyone to enjoy is a dream come true. It's up there with having published Howard Chaykin's American Flagg!, Jim Starlin's Dreadstar, Scout by Tim Truman, Six From Sirius from Doug Moench and Paul Gulacy, Borderline by Eduardo RissoThe Shadow by Howard Chaykin and more.
It's hard to believe that it's been 30 years and this incredible body of work has not been in print before now, and I couldn't be prouder to be publishing this seminal series. This program is essential on many levels. In addition to being a story that needs to be available to readers new and old, royalties from the book's earnings will provide additional funds for Bill's medical care. Any support is appreciated as we want this to be a great success together and get Swords of the Swashbucklers back out there for everyone to enjoy.
Bill Mantlo rose through the Marvel ranks in the 70s and 80s to become one of their Bullpen's most dependable writers. He scripted over 500 Marvel comic books including Spectacular Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, Micronauts, and Rom: SpaceKnight. At the height of his career, Mantlo was the victim of a hit-and-run accident in New York City. He suffered a closed-head brain injury that severely impaired his memory, mobility, and fine motor skills. For twenty years, he has resided in a rehabilitation center, where staff assist with nearly all of his physical activities.
Artist Butch Guice, who launched his comics career in the 1990s with Rom and Micronauts, talked about working with Mantlo on the series:
I had the enormous pleasure of working with Bill Mantlo at the beginning of my own career, and I know from personal experience the vibrant infectious enthusiasm and joy Bill had for Swords of the Swashbucklers, and the stories we told together. This project is a wonderful way to honor Bill Mantlo's creative legacy. I hope fans, both old and new, support this effort, and I for one very much look forward to seeing the swashbuckling crew of the Starshadow fly once more.
Backers who support the Swords of the Swashbucklers Kickstarter have the opportunity to receive rewards, including t-shirts, digital editions, collectible prints, hardcover upgrades, and hand-drawn illustrations by Butch Guice.