Mike Pasciullo, Marvel Senior Vice President, Has Died Aged 50

The news of the death of Mike Pasciullo Senior Vice President of Marvel Television & Entertainment, Marketing & Publicity, 50. The comic book industry, in and out of Marvel, has been remembering the man. Here are a few examples;

Mike Pasciullo from Marvel
Mike Pasciullo from Marvel

Marvel Comics: It's with deep sadness that we announce our dear friend and colleague Mike Pasciullo has passed away. Since joining over 25 years ago, Mike worked tirelessly to bring the spirit of Marvel to fans worldwide. His memory will live on forever within the Marvel family and beyond.

Dan Buckley, Marvel Entertainment President: Mike was truly a lifelong Marvelite. His marketing savvy, commitment, creativity, humor and kindness were on display every day for friends and fans alike. He understood that for any fan, each convention might be their only one, and he personally laid the foundation to make sure they walked away not just happy, but elated. Mike was a close friend to us and so many others, and I will miss him every day. I count myself lucky to have called him a friend.

C.B. Cebulski, Marvel EIC: Sometimes you meet someone and immediately know you'll be friends for life, which is what happened the day Mike Pasciullo burst into mine. From our shared love of Marvel Comics, '80s metal bands and Philly cheesesteaks, we just clicked. While Mike always preferred to work more behind-the-scenes, Marvel would not be what it is today without him. His legacy will carry on forever, and for those of us who knew him best, Mike will always live on in our hearts, wearing his Penn State hat, rooting for the Eagles, and trying to convince us Poison was the greatest band of all time.

Joe Quesada, former EIC and CCO of Marvel Comics: Today has been a really tough day for all of us who knew and loved Mike Pasciullo, especially because it was impossible to know Mike and not love him. Because Mike worked tirelessly behind the scenes, some of you may think you don't know him, but trust me, if you love Marvel, if you've read any of our comics, watched any of our movies or TV shows, you know Mike. He was brilliantly creative, loved Marvel and the industry, and in one way or another, touched every single thing we produced. Mike was a mountain of a man in size and personality. Once at a Christmas party, he did the entire dance routine to NSYNC's Bye Bye Bye for my daughter and made her laugh so hard that years later, she never forgot the moment and fell in love with "Pooch" just like the rest of us. Please join me and all of us who loved Mike in sending condolences to his family and loved ones. We love ya, Pooch. Godspeed.

https://www.facebook.com/joe.quesada/videos/425576899445539

During lockdown, every now and then Pooch would send out videos to his nearest and dearest to help us keep our sanity. Little did we know what he was going through himself. Ladies and gents, I give you Mike Pasciullo, uncut! Now you know why he was beloved.

Michael D'Alessio, Owner, Promoguys Marketing Group: With great sadness, I have lost one of the most influential people in my life, Michael Pasciullo. Mike was my counterpart for over a decade at Marvel for all things Comic-Con, and from a professional relationship grew an amazing friendship filled with laughter, jokes, creativity, some house re-designing efforts, and a hell of a comic con cruise adventure! I have met many, many people on this journey through life, and Mike was at the pinnacle of the best of humans. There is not one thing negative I can say about him (except maybe his penchant for maroon button down shirts!), but there are unlimited great things I can say, and will say, when I have the time to process this loss. If you've EVER come to the Marvel booth at SDCC, NYCC, C2E2, Philly Wizard World, Chicago Wizard World, FanExpo Toronto, or any other crazy location we've done, you know Mike's work. He and I have, with the most amazing team of people at Marvel and my company, been able to bring the memories you all have loved. Mike worked tirelessly for the fans. He lived to make experiences richer and more involved. He pushed me to be better than ever. And he took risks on some absolutely kooky ideas (some made the light of day, some are better left in the sketch pile). Mike and I had fun times with fans when they'd try to ask for Marvel Mike. This is how it would go down…
"Which one?"
"The one in charge"
"Ok which one?"
"The tall one"
"Go on…"
"Dark Hair, about 6 feet tall, kinda built/beefy"
"Which one?"
"Italian last name, with a vowel"
"Which one?"
"The gay one"
"Ohhh D'Alessio! That's him!" lol
People passing out in the booth during Avengers Signjng in 2014! Mike looked at me, in panic, while we were both on stage, and said "you can fix that right?" "Uh yeah sure I'm gonna fix people passing out… on it!"
Smart Glass cube in 2010 for the reveal of Thor and Captain America props? I presented it to him and without a moment hesitation, he was like DO IT! Revealing Iron Man Mark 1 armor in a wood case in 2007! Mike came up with that with his team and was like "D'Alessio can we do this?" Hell yes we can! (Originally he wanted it lowered from the ceiling as a surprise… uhhh nooooo! Lol) Sneaking Robert Downey Jr on stage with 42 kids all dressed as Iron Man and looking at me saying … "hey make sure the kids get back to the right parent!" that was all him! (I think one or two kids did end up in different homes! lol) Mike was the best of the best. He was beyond the best of the best. He never missed my birthday. We are 3 months to the day apart, with him turning 50 on June 12 and me on September 12. This will be the first birthday I dont get a message and crazy ass card from him. Mike, buddy, I love you. I'll miss you. I can't imagine my life without you calling me or emailing me at 2:30 in the morning with an idea. You were Lucy to my Ethel in this nutty life of Comic Con and I was willing to follow you on any journey. I will make you proud. I will take care of your friends (they know who they are). I will honor your memory. And I will come up with hair brained ideas to make these shows even more unique and fun. And I will NEVER let a "good box" get tossed at Comic Con! We need to keep those because you never know! LOL Thank you for believing in me. I love you, buddy.

Frank Tieri, former editor/head writer for Marvel.com: It was the SDCC before Ant man came out. They were preparing to do a panel or some other promotional whatever the hell for the film when my friend Mike Pasciullo, wearing a Philadelphia Flyers tshirt, backwards baseball cap and shorts, introduced himself to Michael Douglas. "Hi Mr Douglas. I'm Mike Pasciullo. I'm Senior Vice President of Marketing for Marvel " Douglas looked him over. "Well", said Douglas " you certainly don't look like the Senior Vice President of Marketing for Marvel ".
He often didn't. Mike was a regular guy who drank Miller Lite, rooted for the Eagles, listened to Poison and was way too into the Rocky movies. And he loved Marvel. The average comic fan won't recognize his name… but they'd certainly know his handiwork. Been to a con during Mike's 25 plus years at Marvel where they had a presence and enjoyed yourself? You have him to thank for that. Mike was as much a part of the place as Spider-man or Stan Lee or any of it. And he was the type of guy you wouldn't forget if you met him. Dude was a big, happy go lucky sort, like a Great Dane brought into human form. And yet he was as positive as they come, as good as they come. Mike wouldn't give you the shirt off his back. He'd find out your size and go buy you another one because he'd be afraid his shirt wouldn't fit you. He was that kind of guy. I have been blessed with many friends over my lifetime. He was as good a friend to me as I've ever had. To say I'll miss him is an understatement. See ya on the other side, brother. Have a couple of miller lites at the ready. RIP Mike Pasciullo

James Vascardi, EIC of ComciBook,com and former Marvel marketing: Mike Pasciullo was one of the best. So much of the good fun marketing that has come from the House of Ideas started as an idea he had. Getting the opportunity to work with Mike is one of the highlights of my career.

Katie Kubert: I'm beyond shocked. Mike was one of the best at Marvel – one of the kindest and warmest people I met while I was there. Easiest to laugh and joke, just…a good heart. I can't believe he's gone.

Lance Fensterman, President of ReedPOP, owners of NYCC, ECCC, C2E2, MCM and more: I'm sharing Mike D'Alessio's post as his words are near perfect about the loss of a friend. I've been around a bit now and I look back on the things I've been a part of building in my career and Mike Pasciullo was in the middle of a number of them – New York Comic Con and C2E2 would not be what they are without him – in fact C2 may not exist without Mike. More so, the fun had and those events and dinners and monthly meetings at the NYC Marvel offices in the old days would not be anywhere near the same without Mike. Losing friends way too early is wrong but having those friendships to begin with is what life is about. Thanks Mike for the fun, the partnership, the laughs, the friendship and most of all the memories…………

Filip Siblik, President of Publishing & Marketing at Boom Studios: When one of the good ones departs unexpectedly, the world seems a little less fair and just.
Earlier today, I learned we lost Mike Pasciullo. Mike definitely fit that definition. He was good hearted, generous, laughed easily, loyal, and worked hard. He was incredibly easy to like and respect.
I can't claim to have been super close with him. We were "con friends" and most of the time we spent together was on the road, even after we both moved to LA. In fact, the last photo I have with Mike was at San Diego four years ago at an event our good mutual friend Michael D'Alessio, who I know if missing him deeply today, put on.
But I really valued the time we spent together and his friendship. I can't believe I won't see him in San Diego next month. I'm going to miss him and my heart goes out to his family, loved ones, his extended Marvel family, and those who were far closer to him… because I know he was one of the good ones.
RIP, my friend. The world feels a bit less fair and just today because of your absence.

John Cerilli, former Vice President, Unscripted and VP Content and Programming, Marvel Digital Media Group: I can't remember the first time I met Mike Pasciullo. I think a big part of the reason for that is since I met Mike about 25 years ago, it always seemed like I knew him forever. Here was a guy that loved comics. Loved sports. Loved collectibles. And was someone who I would talk with for hours and hours about any and all of those things. He was from Philadelphia. Me from New York. He rooted for the Eagles, Phillies, Flyers and all things Philadelphia. I despised those teams. Absolutely loathed them. But I loved Mike. He was always the first person I would consult with when I had a hare-brained scheme I was trying to get off the ground at Marvel. Always the first when I had to vent. And always, always, always he would calmly, sanely walk me gently back off the ledge. There were many nights at sporting events where we would sit side by side — often ripping each other if one guy's team was not playing up to snuff. But I would be secretly happy when one of his teams brought him success and joy like when the Eagles finally won a Super Bowl in 2018. Because joy is what Mike Pasciullo brought me. Always, always, always.
I don't want to miss him. I don't want to grieve for him. I don't want to do any of those things because he always brought SUCH joy to my life. But my heart is broken in pieces as is the heart of everyone who knew him and called him friend. So, yeah… I'm going to miss him profoundly and grieve for him just as profoundly. I last saw him Sunday, June 5. And as I said, I can't remember the first time I met Mike, but I will forever have engrained in my memory the last day I was with him. Sat side by side with him. The NBA Finals were on his TV and we watched and laughed and joked and had a great visit. I hugged him long and hard on the way out — consciously hoping it wouldn't be the last time. But it was. I can tell you this: There was never anyone like him. There will never be anyone like him. And I was blessed to know him. Michael Pasciullo: 1972-2022

Javon Austin Frazier, former Vice President Games Marketing at Marvel Entertainment, "I'll never forget the joy on your face when you saw your Philadelphia hero, Sylvester Stallone, on the red carpet. It was the same joy with which you approached all of life. You loved the Backstreet Boys and terrible music like Rebecca Black's "Friday" with an infectious passion that makes me now love those songs as well. I will always think of you when I hear them. You were always ready to break out into a spontaneous N-Sync "Bye Bye Bye" routine or do the worm. You knew all the lyrics and harmonies of "Motown Philly", were a diehard Eagles fan, loved Rocky, and represented Philly through and through. You were an incredible executive and professional that taught me so much about how to work with people and helped to shape my career in the early stages at Marvel. You taught me how important it was to not just get things done but to get them done with presentation and polish and most importantly to make sure the everyone felt great about the process. I will always be inspired by the dedication that you gave to uplift the Marvel brand for decades but more importantly, I will be inspired by the man who never took for granted the simple pleasures of life like spending time with friends drinking light beers. You will be greatly missed, my friend. Rest in peace Michael Pasciullo.

Nick Barrucci, President and Publisher of Dynamite Entertainment: "I just heard the most devastating news I could hear. Mike Michael Pasciullo passed away. I love all my friends dearly, and the group of us from Joey, Jimmy, Frank, Dan and Nelson had an incredible bond for years, but Mike was the youngest, the nicest and truly the best of us. This is the last time I saw him, surrounded by all great friends at dinner at NYCC 2019. Feels like an eternity ago. I'm sure I'll add more later, but right now, I am just stunned. Love you like a brother Mike. God blessed us all having you in our lives, and the world is now a sadder place without you in it."

And here's some words from Mike Pasciullo himself, which people have also been sharing, from a few years ago.

On the eve of Avengers: Endgame, let's call this Avengers: Pregame. San Diego Comic Con, July 2007. This is when we began the promotion for the first Iron Man movie for its release the following May. Robert Downey Jr. and Jon Favreau signed at the Marvel booth (first in over 10 years, thanks to the help of Michael D'Alessio) when our premium signing area was a table on the floor with a banner as the backdrop. Tim Dillon and I acted as "Security" for the two of them during the signing with the only thing separating Downey and Favreau from the aisle and fans walking by, was the two of us and that banner. Towards the end of the signing, RDJ flipped his sharpie in the air and said, "I'm hungry," and walked off into the crowd by himself…alone…with no security.
It's amazing how much has changed in 12 years. At the time, the general public had never heard of Marvel and Iron Man was either a Black Sabbath song or a triathlon. Now, Marvel is a household name globally and an Avengers film is not a movie, it's the worldwide cultural event. It wasn't just improbable, it was impossible, to imagine that any of this could happen. Ups and downs, highs, and lows, good and bad, it's been an insane ride and one I'll never forget. Whatever it took.

 

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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