Saturday, March 07, 2009

John Carbonaro is dead (miss, him, miss him)

It is with a heavy heart and with much regret that I relate that a good friend of mine, John (“Yes, I still own The THUNDER Agents, you can call my lawyer and ask him”) Carbonaro died on February 25. I met John back at the beginning of my comicbook career and we remained friendly throughout the intervening three decades.

When I met John, he had just purchased the Agents, and shortly thereafter got involved in a protracted legal battle as someone he had hired to work for him attempted to leverage his position of trust into stealing the Agents from John. Leave it say that the individual in question did not succeed, but the legal battle put a great strain on both John and his financial resources.

For a time, John was living in Texas with a friend of his, and I flew out to spend a week with them (one day have me tell you the story of Captain One-Eye). It was through John that I met and befriended Walt Stone, who manages the THUNDER Web page.

To say that I am distraught over the death of my friend is something of an understatement. Even though John spent more time apart then together (He lived in TX and CA while I lived in CT), we really were good friends (He came over my place once and bought my son a Ninja Turtle ride-in Jeep — to be sure, John offered to buy the kid a Batmobile, but Dylan knew more about the Turtles than Batman, and well, I was dealing with a 5 year-old, so he won out).

Anyway, John is gone, but (hopefully) the THUNDER Agents will live on to fight another day.


Tommy said...

Sorry to hear this, Bob. I remember you mentioning John not that long ago. :(

May the Thunder Agents live on!

ZenPupDog said...

RIP - I'm so upset at this. I remember trying to shop the Agents here in L.A. to people here; And, keep their dignity.

Robert J. Sodaro said...

Yep, John will be missed by all of us.

Michelle Mauceri said...

Hi I'm Michelle John's niece. He was really an avid fan of Comics. I glad he was liked. He did suffer for a long time. He was a Diabetic. complications soon led to congestive heart failure, which is what resulted in his death. I am glad he will be missed from others as well as from his family. He is survived by his mother Katherine Carbonaro 85, and his sister Constance Mauceri 60.

P.S Hi Bob my Uncle has mentioned you to me
many times.


ZenPupDog said...

You met me with your uncle when you came out to Los Angeles. Can you email me as someone is asking me to help contact John's heirs for permission to do a tribute book for John and THUNDER Agents. - Alan

Robert J. Sodaro said...

Alan, Michelle, and anyone else who is friends with or related to John, there are those who want to do a tribute book for John (myself and his Friend Walt from Texas are leading the list); we first want to learn who controls the rights to the characters.

What I want to prevent is a free-for-all mad-dash scramble for someone to claim the right to speak for John without first establishing that that person has the legal right to do so.

For myself, I am not claiming to speak for his estate, nor do I make any claims in regards to the THUNDER agents. What I am saying is this, over the past 30 years of my association with John I have — on a number of occasions — acted as spokesperson and/or Press Rep for him (working under his specific instructions and direction) to disseminate information for him.

Currently a number of people in the industry who know me, and of my friendship with John are looking to me to do so again, a role that I will happily continue to do for his family, heirs, and/or for whomever controls his estate (especially the Agents and related properties) assuming that is okay with those involved with his estate and family.

I have nothing but love and respect for John and want nothing more than to see his singular vision for the THUNDER Agents to come to fruition, and will do whatever I can to make sure that happens in accordance with his wishes to the best of my ability.

Bob Sodaro

David said...

We've just received word that John Carbonaro passed away on February 25th at the age of 58. John was a hard-core comic fan who acquired the rights to the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents comic in 1981, which had been published in the sixties by Tower Comics.


Jasen said...

RIP Cousin Johnny... You will be missed.


Robert J. Sodaro said...

Jasen, your cousin John was a good friend of mine. I still miss him. Thanks for posting.

JR said...

I am so sorry that John passed away, John worked with me at my comic store in Houston (Camelot Comics) and we published the Justice Machine/Thunder Agents Annual together. I lost track of him when I closed my store and moved to KC. I had a lot of good times and I wished I could have told him that I am sorry for not looking him up before he passed.
rest in peace friend

Robert J. Sodaro said...

I remember coming to visit John at your store, and you putting me up for the week, JR. I’m sorry that I never got back out there to visit again.

Perhaps the most memorable part of that visit was playing that superhero role-playing game in your store, and when my character caught Hawkeye's arrow in his I gasped out "And Captain One-Eye says 'ARRRRGGGG!'"

John told me that for years afterward the players from that game remembered me for that.

Yeah, JR, I really still miss him too.

Shawn Prewitt said...

I know he's been gone a while but I'm just hearing about this. I worked with John in JR's comicbook store over the summer of 85. We got to be good friends. We'd go out to eat, I'd talk him into playing basketball, I think I helped him move a time or two also.... We drifted apart but he did make it to my wedding in 1990. I was great to see him. I still have the card he gave me and my wife. We lost touch again but I did track him down in Cali and started e-mailing him for a while. As happens in life we drifted apart from that. I had thought about him from time to time and finally got online to search for him. This was not the news I was wanting to hear. John was one of the good guys. Friendly, caring....the type of man you are proud to have called a friend. Rest in Peace my friend.

Robert Sodaro said...

Shawn, I want to thank you for posting on this page. John was always a friend of mine, and I tried to keep in contact with him (not so easy to do half a country away, and in the pre-Internet/pre-Facebook days), but we did OK, and I still miss him to this day.

ZenPupDog said...

Not being able to talk to our friend does cause aches, but John's love of comics reached many. Had a nice conversation with Sam Park about good times shared in Texas at the store. Thank you.

ZenPupDog said...


John's love of comics was appreciated by many.

WhoDatWhovian said...

I was thinking of the old days today and googled John sadly to find this.

I remember meeting John when I worked for Nan's Games and Comics. He once told me I was the biggest Doctor Who fan he'd ever met. I was thrilled!

He always made me smile. - Nancy Harty

ZenPupDog said...