Artist Reilly Brown had a hell of a week last week.
On Monday, he and wife Shawna became parents for the first time, with the arrival of the adorable William, above.
Brown spent the rest of the week being a new father and also enjoying some of the excitement over Deadpool, as he’s been an artist who helped shape the last 10 years of the character.
And on Saturday his apartment almost burned down.
The fire was in an adjoining building and stopped just short of the Brown apartment, but they suffered extensive smoke damage. Thank goodness Reilly, Shawna and William are okay. But they are going to have to move while their apartment is repaired, and most of their belongs will have to be replaced, as the toxic smoke smell would be harmful to a newborn. Reilly explains:
As luck would have it, the flames themselves had little direct effect on our building, thanks to the hard work of the Hoboken Fire Department on the coldest night of the year, as well as my landlord’s foresight in installing a firewall between the buildings. However, yesterday we learned that because of the firefighters doing their thing, and the amount of smoke that got into our apartment, there will be months of renovation to fix everything and repair the smoke and water damage in the building, particularly our apartment, which was on the top floor where the fire was the strongest. Almost all of our belongings were saturated in smoke, and although some things can be cleaned, a lot of things can’t be, like most of our clothes, books, and anything that belongs to the baby. It’s not healthy to have a newborn in contact with that kind of third-hand smoke.
Honestly, when I saw the fire burning only feet away from our own apartment, I’d written the whole place off, so anything that we can recover I count as a blessing. Shawna and Will are safe, and that’s the most important thing.
Insurance will help us out a bit, but not enough to cover everything that needs to be cleaned, everything that needs to be replaced, as well as the moving expenses. I’m confident that we’ll figure something out one way or the other, but for the people who have asked how they can help, I’ll humbly direct you toward my art dealer’s site, www.AnthonysComicBookArt.com/artistgalleryroom.asp?artistid=1172 – a few extra sales there could go a long way. Also, I have a number of comic conventions and appearances coming up this year, and if you have a mind to get a commission from me, contact me through my website, www.ReillyBrownArt.com , with the name of the convention and the word “commission” in the subject line and I’ll put you on a reserved commission list. The money from those commissions will mean more to me now than they will at the time of the show.
Also, I started an online Gumroad store, where I’ll be selling my convention sketchbooks, SKETCHES: THE ART OF REILLY BROWN vol 1 and 2, as downloadable PDFs for whatever price you wish to pay. Even if it’s just a dollar, every little bit will help.
Thanks everyone, I appreciate your support now, as I have over the years. One way or another, I’m sure everything will work out for the best.
I often write that this or that person is “one of the nice guys” but Reilly Brown is TRULY TRULY TRULY one of the nice guys in the comics business, as is Shawna, and I’m just so thankful they are okay after this. And if you are so inclined, you can help them get over the hump by getting some great art at a reaonable price, or spend a few bucks for a downloadable convention sketchbook.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.