In more pressing news, Lea Hernandez, the cofounder and former editor of Girlamatic as well as a groundbreaking cartoonist and a major presence in the comics world, has just been through a terrible house fire. She’s been posting updates on her LiveJournal here. Eric Burns of Websnark has details as well as a PayPal button you can use to send money to Lea and her family. Lea is a friend of mine who’s valiantly supported my unsteady progression through the world of comics; when I won the Friends of Lulu award last year, I think she was more excited than I was. I’m stunned and saddened by this news.
I am now selling original Narbonic strips for $25 each to raise money for the Hernandezes. For any strip you buy during the month of September, the proceeds will go to Lea and her family. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know which strip you want. Please keep in mind that some strips have been sold over the years, so you may want to choose a few possibilities.
Gail Simone sent us the following to post. We’d like to reiterate what Gail says about smoke alarms — my family suffered a bad fire when the batteries for the smoke alarm went dead and they delayed replacing them.
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: Livejournal.com/users/divalea
Donate (PLEASE) to her paypal account at: email@example.com
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.
Sincerely and gratefully,