And Now for Something Completely Serious…

From Gail Simone, via Mark Evanier’s blog:

Early this morning, the Texas home of award-winning writer/artist Lea Hernandez, my friend and co-creator of the graphic novel Killer Princesses, caught fire and burned. Half her house is now gone, and the rest is smoke-damaged. In addition, she lost at least six of her family’s beloved pets, two dogs and four cats. If you knew Lea, you’d know how devastating that is.

She’s lost a great deal of her family’s possessions, including irreplaceable art. She doesn’t yet know the full accounting of what’s been lost at this time.

Most know Lea as the brilliant creator of such works as Rumble Girls and Cathedral Child. She drew the Marvel Mangaverse Punisher book, and has drawn for Transmetropolitan, among many other accomplishments. She is also the co-founder and original editor for Girl-a-Matic, one of the most important venues for female-friendly comics created to date.

She’s also my friend, and it’s entirely possible I wouldn’t have a career in comics if she hadn’t asked me to write Killer Princesses for her to draw.

And finally, Lea is one of the last great firebrand hellraisers in comics.

Lea has two (wonderful, amazing) special needs children and right now they need a place to stay and some clothes to wear. More than that, they need some help, and fast, in the form of donations to her PayPal account. Lea’s a proud person so I’m going to ask for her. This is important, and a great chance to do a wonderful thing for a creator who has consistently enriched this industry we all love so much. Please, take a moment and send whatever you can to Lea’s PayPal account and help make this time a little bit less painful for someone who would do the same for you if the positions were reversed.

If you’re a retailer, I ask that you set up a donations jar. If you’re a creator, I ask you to think of how devastating this would be to your career and donate what you can. If you’re a reader, I’m asking you to take a moment and hit the PayPal link. You’ll be doing something heroic and you’ll feel great about it, I promise.

Read what Lea had to post on a neighbor’s computer while wearing her pajamas at

Donate (PLEASE) to her PayPal account at [email protected].

Finally, if I understand the story correctly (as told to me by Lea’s good friend and current Girl-a-matic editor), it was Lea’s daughter hearing the smoke alarm that allowed the family to get out in time, so for God’s sake, do everyone you love a favor and CHECK YOUR SMOKE ALARMS.

Thank you so much for helping. Really, any amount you can send will make a difference. That’s all I can say.

And also, if you have a blog or a myspace account, please spread this around as best you can. Every little bit will help and every eye that sees this might be someone who donates.

Sincerely and gratefully,
Gail Simone

Gerber again: Lea Hernandez is a friend of mine, one of the nicer people on Earth, and an important comics talent. Please help if you can.

3 Responses to “And Now for Something Completely Serious…”

  1. Bart Lidofsky Says:

    Gerber again: Lea Hernandez is a friend of mine, one of the nicer people on Earth, and an important comics talent.

    You are about the 6th person who I have heard say that, by the way.

  2. Steve Gerber Says:

    Probably because it’s true.

  3. Bart Lidofsky Says:

    From the Oddball Comics site:

    Here’s an update from Gail. — SS!


    Okay, I spoke to Lea at length last night on the phone, and while there’s still plenty to be heartbroken about, there’s an awful lot to be encouraged about as well, and mainly? Those things are YOU GUYS.

    Honest to god, the last time I was this heart-burstingly proud was during the selfless response of the industry to the 9/11 attacks, where people put aside everything else to try to help as best they could. Obviously, this is one of our own and a different scale thing entirely, but the pride is the same. I wish I could buy everyone a beer and tell them I love them for helping individually, because the response has been overwhelming, unbelievable.

    First, a little bit about Lea. They’re okay physically, staying in a hotel room. Lea was able to replace her computer, and she’s eager to get back to work and into the swim of things, but it’s going to be a good while before they have a place to go back to. Two of seven of her cats, the ones that lived mainly outdoors, have been found and are fine. The rest of the pets, and they had a menagerie, are sadly departed. It’s no secret that Lea has an autistic son, a wonderful little guy, and he’s adjusting, but having a hard time understanding about his beloved dogs.

    She stumbled a lot on the phone trying to express her gratitude to all of you. The whole family is overwhelmed with emotion…at a terrible time, it’s amazing to know that people she’s never even met cared enough to spread the word or make a donation. She’s trying to write thank you emails as fast as she can. I think the whole situation has humbled those of us who have witnessed it, but worry not, Lea is still her dangerous self, thank God! Lea’s best friend and Girl-a-matic editor Lisa Jonte is flying out to help with insurance photographs and moral support and will be there all weekend.

    I myself have received a constant wave of emails from people who have been moved to act. If you can read all this stuff without crying tears of joy and pride, you’re a stronger person than I am. I don’t know who to thank most…the people like Mike Oeming, who is donating several pieces of extremely valuable art, or my beloved friends at Udon Studios, who are donating, I kid you not, a thousand dollars, or Just Jeffery, who has two autistic kids of his own and is organizing the ebay auctions on TOP of a sizeable donation of his own…Eisner winning retail store ZEUS COMICS is organizing a live art show for next month, that Lea and Scott Kurtz and many others will be attending to benefit the Hernandez fund.

    I could go on and on about these people, but I think the people who are strapped for money and STILL found a way to send a few dollars are just as wonderful. I have stories of people who skipped lunch to send their lunch money, people who sold comics on ebay to raise a donation…it just goes on and on.

    Even those who simply couldn’t send a nickel at this time, spread the word like mad, so that Lea’s situation has been on a couple radio stations and newspapers, every kind of website from Lea’s indy friends to Neil Gaiman’s blog and more. Retailers are putting out tip jars, and we’re talking to a couple conventions to see if we can have some auctions raise a bit more cash.

    I wish I could list every one, and every kindness, but right now I’m busy trying to connect some dots to help organize a few more things. But a blanket “THANK YOU AND MY GOD, YOU ROCK!” goes out to everyone until the dust settles.

    One thing I’d like to add…a lot of folks have asked about sending clothes and other large items. At this time, they really don’t have a place to put such things in any real quantities, so Lea has asked that if possible, you donate those to people in need locally, as this sort of thing unfortunately is happening to a lot of folks who DON’T have an amazing support group like you people.

    A lot of folks have also asked about sending checks or money orders directly. If you email me at [email protected], I’ll send you Lea’s address for that kind of mail.

    If you’re an artist, we would LOVE to have a page of your work for the auctions. If you’re a retailer or convention-organizer, please contact me at [email protected]. If you’d just like to donate some dollars, Lea’s paypal is at [email protected].

    She’s updating her livejournal as best she can, and nothing is keeping her spirits up more than the kind words from you, so please feel free to say hello and post any words of encouragement to

    I don’t know what else to say right now. You guys have done amazing things. We may not be the biggest industry, but we sure as hell are the industry with the biggest heart.

    Thank you all. That’s all I can say.

    Gail Simone