Home MANGA NEWS Mark Merlino, Co-Founder of C/FO, Passes Away

Mark Merlino, Co-Founder of C/FO, Passes Away

On February 20, The Prancing Skiltaire revealed on its Twitter platform that Mark Merlino, co-creator of the Cartoon/Fantasy Organization, has passed away.

Earlier this month, a fundraising initiative was initiated on GoFundMe in support of Merlino’s hospice treatment costs. Initially, the GoFundMe was created to handle Merlino’s hospital bills following his hospital admission on December 23, where it was established that he had experienced three micro strokes. However, a subsequent update on the campaign stated that Merlino had been diagnosed with stage IV liver cancer, which led to preparations by friends and family towards hospice care. At the time of this report, the campaign had amassed US$59,009.

Merlino is widely recognized as one of the initiators of the first anime club in the United States, referred to as the Cartoon/Fantasy Organization (C/FO). In a blog post penned in April 2020, Merlino chronicled the journey of the organization in question.

In the year 1977, Merlino alongside renowned anime historian Fred Patten, laid the foundation of the organization in Los Angeles. The institution eventually had additional branches throughout the United States. Patten passed away in November 2018.

In addition to his work in the anime industry, Merlino is also well-known for his contributions to the Furry fandom, as he institutionalized and managed the annual ConFurence convention.

Following his death, several individuals, including The Prancing Skiltaire and others, have observed that Merlino was trending on the Twitter platform.

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