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Word is going around that POISON ELVES artist Drew Hayes has passed away. He had apparently had several health issues over the years, but we don’t know any more than that. Hayes self-published POISON ELVES in the early 90s before moving it over to Sirius, gaining a following for its quirky storyline and detailed art that mixed fantasy with dark humor.

You can see a little bit about POISON ELVES publishing history here, and a tribute page is here. More info when we get it.

UPDATE: Since there has been no other confirmation of this, we called up the source of the news, Jeannie Savell, of The Comic Boxx in Cleburne, TX for any more information. Jeannie confirms that the news is true, reported from Bryan Chapman, a close friend of Hayes.

Our condolences to Hayes’s family and friends.

FURTHER INFO: Newsarama posts obit from Sirius:

Sirius Entertainment is saddened to report that Drew Hayes, the maverick creator of POISON ELVES, has died in his hometown of Bellingham, Washington. Drew had a heart attack while suffering from pneumonia. He is survived by his daughter, Mary and his mother, Sharon.

Drew had been hospitalized more than once over the last several years, but his return to good health had been anticipated, so the suddenness of his passing was an unexpected shock to those that knew him. Drew was 37 years old.

35 COMMENTS

  1. Too young.

    This is very sad – and his contribution to the industry was noted and appreciated. A few months ago a retailer asked me if I knew how to contact Drew Hayes – not that I knew him personally, but what “indy circles” I might know where he hangs out. After searching the Internet far and wide we came up with nothing. The recent Poison Elves was not drawn by him – so there was no contact information.

    Now he’s passed away. This is so sad. My sympathy to his family.

  2. i wonder if he’s really dead. I mean this has been said for some time now. I just hope they don’t keep on messing with people about this.

  3. There’s nothing on the Poison Elves site about his passing, so hopefully this is just a rumor.

    He had sold some rights of the Poison Elves franchise to Sirius a long time ago, and they’ve been printing PE comics without his participation (albiet with his blessings, I suppose) for at least a year now. But none of the comics had any word about his condition. He had serious bouts with sleep apnea (a disease I’ve struggled with).

    I’m really hoping this rumor is wrong. Either way, thanks for spotlighting it, Heidi.

  4. Now Jola, That’s the kind of comment, (that while I don’t know Drew at all except by his Deatthreats and comic humor), that I think Drew would guffaw his drink out his nose at!!

    Drew, big guy, you will most definitely be missed…….

  5. A very nice, very funny guy.
    In 1996, he described the humidity here in the South as “like being inside a frog’s lung.”
    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought of that joke or used it myself.

    Hopefully we’ll learn more details soon..

  6. For Drew-

    I was saddened to open this comic blog and read of Mr. Hayes’ passing. He was an incredibly talented man whose work inspired and entertained me, and whose tough, ribald, and earthy point of view in his art and writing instantly made me think of him as a friend despite never having met him. Your loss is mine.

    Rest in peace Mr. Hayes! Wish I could pay a more fitting tribute, but right now, buying the rest of your books will have to do!

  7. my god…please don’t let this be true.

    it’s been rumored before and hilariously refuted by the “drew lives” t-shirt sold on the official site.

    if it is true then well…i don’t really know what to say.

    you’ll be missed drew. thanks so much for getting me through a really dark time in my life by giving me a means of escape and helping to keep me sane.

    it’s a debt i can never fully repay.

  8. Drew was one of the key folks in the mid-90s indy comics scene and tours; he was always a joy to hang with, and I loved his art. This news is heartbreaking at (being 51 myself) sobering — damn, another young soul, gone. The comics alter can be a ruthless one to work/worship at; Gene Day, Wally Wood, and so many others… now Drew. My deepest regards and prayers to his wife, family and friends; we were the richer for knowing Drew, and his sharing of his voice and vision with us all.

  9. oh my god..

    still in shock, i never met drew..
    but after collecting
    I, lusipher and poison elves..
    for , god, who knows. at least ten years or more..
    felt like i almost knew the man, as im sure many others
    will have said.

    sympathy to the family…
    Poison elves will always be my fav. comic..

  10. I read Poison Elves for a while and it was a pretty impressive undertaking. Although it ended up getting pushed out of my pull box for other things eventually, I still admired it and the work that he must have put into it. At 37, that’s a real tragedy. So sad.

  11. It was a tremendous shock, I heard of Drew and Poison Elves thru a convention and since then was a fan–I echo what everyone has been saying–He will be missed!!

  12. Such a shock to read of Drew’s sudden passing. I was a big fan of his work and had the pleasure of meeting him at San Diego a number of times. He was a big, funny dude, and it’s a real crime that such a talented and giving individual should pass away so young.

    It occurs to me that the first time I met Drew, he would’ve been maybe 26 years old – for having such a brief career, he created a huge number of books and left a giant impact on the independent community.

    I’ll miss the big guy.

  13. ho christ, I hope its not true. I had the opertunity to talk with him at the Pittsburgh comic con years ago. I even made it in the deaththreats section LOL. Man big guy Ill miss you, Hell we all will

  14. It’s been weeks now but even now to think that Drew Hayes has left us takes my breath from my lungs… I’ve lived and breathed “Poison Elves” since the first moment I laid eyes on the books and it became “the” staple of my entire comic realm. I’m left now with what could only be called unfinished dreams from a man that seemed to know all to well how to convey a unique and personal experience within each and every issue. I went to bed the night of hearing about his passing with hopes that I was in actuallity dreaming at that very moment and upon waking was crushed all over again at the realization that we had all truly lost one of the greatest people to ever share with us thier very dreams and insights. Drew was always willing to put into words his exact sentimentality on things that were on his mind without regard for social obediance or the need to be morally justified by another, he wrote what he felt was right for the world he created and when he addressed us, his fans and family, we always got to see the man behind the images. I don’t know that even writing all of this is enough to convey how greatly missed Drew will be in my life but I felt something should be said… Sleep well Drew Hayes, Amrahly’nn will forever miss you as shall we.

  15. I don’t have the right words…this is horrible. Being a big P.E. fan I’ve tried to keep up on things in recent years, it’s incredibly difficult as Drew never received the attention and coverage he deserved. I always thought he’d pop back up and P.E. would be hitting the stands again when his health cleared up. I can’t believe I didn’t find out about this until today – MONTHS after the fact.
    His letters column alone was such a source of inspiration in the worst moments of my life back in the mid/late 90s – I’ll always be great-full for his work. I wish I could have met him.

    Godspeed man…

  16. I don’t have the right words…this is horrible. Being a big P.E. fan I’ve tried to keep up on things in recent years, it’s incredibly difficult as Drew never received the attention and coverage he deserved. I always thought he’d pop back up and P.E. would be hitting the stands again when his health cleared up. I can’t believe I didn’t find out about this until today – MONTHS after the fact.
    His letters column alone was such a source of inspiration in the worst moments of my life back in the mid/late 90s – I’ll always be great-full for his work. I wish I could have met him.

    Godspeed man…

  17. Well that’s just GREAT man! NOW what are we supposed to do!!

    I heard this about Frank Zappa once, but I guess it applies to Drew just as well: DREW AIN’T DEAD, HE JUST SMELL FUNNY!

    This sucks man. I just found out. Was just checking old habits, and decided to see if Drew was still alive..
    Crow! Nope, he said hello to the Sandman three months ago man..
    This guy was a part of my life from the mid-nineties onwards. From about Sirius comic #24, I hooked onto Luse, and kept being hooked until #79! Then, the health problems started, along with the death-rumors..
    And really, I never lost faith. He would make a comeback for sure. He was a goddang comic book hero! Indestructible!
    So, last wednesday, I read this small piece about the late Drew Hayes, creator of I Lusiphur and Poison Elves. Hell no! What the hell! The story ain’t done, the Saga is not even close from finished!!! No more manic/depressive, schizoid foulmouthed psychobilly elf from Hell, no more Ubangi Stomp playing, living in the farthest recesses of a manic/depressive, schizoid, foulmouthed psychobilly elf’s skull, deathmask wearing devil imp -God, how I LOVE Par!, no more Cassie, no more Petunia, no more NYARRRR!…
    It’s too much man. I’m gonna miss that mysoginist goth psychobilly. I agree with Jon, his Deathreats alone kept me in stitches every month. Or his -very personal- Starting Notes.. I checked out -and started to appreciate- some weird, fucked-up, but oh so kick-ass music on his say-so!
    This sucks! Way too young. I’m only 2 years younger, but look at the body of work that giant left. This ain’t happening.
    May you have one foot in heaven before the devil knows you’re dead. Godspeed man.

  18. I truly loved PE. I started reading it with number 6 of the Sirius series. It was the bright spot in my month. It was one of the only books worth reading. I wrote a letter to Drew and had it printed, I don’t remember what number. He told me to “Get my head out of my ass” good advice. I had heard that he had been sick… and now I find out he is dead. Quite the lose in the comic book world. He sold off the rights to PE to an other guy who started doing his own version of the story… dosen’t hold a candle to Drew’s work.

    One of the best… his only fuck up? That he had a biological condition which made him sick.

    (drink in hand)-> to Drew! Even better then Cerebus!

  19. Poison Elves was one of the few things that made me go (along with Danzig, Wasp and few a books) when my life really sucked. These few words cannot measure the magnitude and impact of his work, in that nasty period when i saw no point in anything…

    Fuck!!! Anger and sorrow fills me at this point.

    Why… why he had to go? Why???

    Please, is there any place – person – entity capable of fullfilling his tale?

  20. I have dubbed myself Parintachin too many times to have not heard of mighty Drew’s passing until this day. I rue this day, and all days between his leaving us and now. Rest easy, Drew….and may Lusiphur live on forever…

    …I long for Amrahly’nn…

  21. I am so sad that he (Andy, as I knew him) has died so young! He was born with an amazing gift–already able to produce images and writings at 15 that blew most people away. He lived passionately, and was my first kiss in high school. He tolerated a lot of crap in high school, marching to his own drummer, albeit the guy from Black Flag. To his friends, who stuck by him, and his kind mother, my condolences. To Drew, may you Rest in Peace.

  22. I had heard of Drew’s passing way back in March, just after I had finally tracked down my “Drew Lives” tee shirt. I thought he probably would have liked the irony of it.

    I was first introduced to Poison Elves a few years ago by a friend, and it has been a staple of my pulls since then. Though Ventures, Dominion, and Lost tales are not Drew, and will never replace him, I am glad that they were done, by people who at least knew the man.

    As so many have said, Drew Hayes was a talented and special man, whose contribution to comics should never be forgotten.

    Sleep well, crazy man. You’ll be missed, but always remembered.

  23. I picked up #17 of the Mulehide books because I liked the cover. It sat on the shelf for a few months till I could actually get around to read it. I knew I was in trouble immediately. As soon as I got done with it I knew I was going to have to find 1 through 16 and any that had been put out after 17.

    Indy books are such a notorious pain to track down, especially if you live in the Midwest. I found them all, after a couple years and still have them. I have all of them really – Mulehide and Sirius. It was such an eclectic grab bag – footprint stains in the carpet, warlocks, .45s that never ran out of bullets, dwarves, doppelgangers, trolls, magic, sword fighting, genies and on and on. It was one of those books that I could not wait to see the next issue.

    I shared them with the small circle of guys I new who also read comics. My friend Todd introduced me to the Swamp Thing and the Sandman. I introduced him to Lusiphur Malach. It’s sad to think that there won’t be anymore Hayes books to pass around. I enjoyed his stuff.

    I think I’ll go dig up those Mulehide’s and open up a cheap bottle of wine. . .

  24. I went into the local comic store today after about four years. After looking around for a while and catching up with the owner, I found that the only thing I wanted to know about was Drew Hayes and Poison Elves. My heart broke when he told me the news. Drew’s books were always among my favorites, but his personal letter column met as much to me as his art. I always thought about writing to Drew to encourage him and tell him how much I appreciated his special spirit. Now, I can only hope that in some way he gets this heartfelt meassage. Thanks for keeping it real Drew. I hope we all get to enjoy your wonderful gifts again in the next world or next life.

  25. I KNEW ANDY IN HIGH SCHOOL. WE WENT TO MEAD SR. HIGH TOGETHER. I JUST FOUND OUT MY DEAR FRIEND, HAS PASSED ON. I REMEMBER HIM DRAWING THOSE ELVES IN HIS ROOM LISTENING TO BLACK FLAG. I HAVE SEVERAL DRAWINGS OF ANDY’S AND A T-SHIRT THAT HE MADE ME. I WEAR IT TO THIS DAY. MY MEMORIES OF ANDY ARE OF THE WONDERFUL FRIENDSHIP WE HAD, UNFORTUNATELY WE LOST TOUCH OF ONEANOTHER. I WILL MOUR MY LOSS OF A FRIEND THAT MADE ME LAUGH, AND WAS ALWAYS THERE FOR ME. I LOVE YOU ANDY, I WILL MISS YOU. TO ANDY’S MOM, AND DAUGHTER I’M SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS. HE WAS A VERY SPECIAL PERSON, HE WILL BE MISSED.

  26. I can’t BELIEVE I just heard of this now! Definitely cancelling my subscription to WIZARD, since I pore over that stupid magazine every month — them and their tiny little indy section, and not a mention of the greatest indy ever and the passing of its creator. I guess they just had to squeeze in more Batman and Superman and DC’s Ultra Final Ultimate Mega-Crisis…not to mention more everybody-looks-the-same-and-ain’t-this-great? artwork by Michael Turner. UGH.
    Drew was a truthful and unique talent. I originally picked up #16 and #18 of the Sirius run just because I desperately needed something DIFFERENT to read and I loved the covers and I thought the title sounded cool. I didn’t even break the tape to sneak a peek. I knew nothing of Poison Elves then.
    A $5 investment turned into a serious obsession.
    Drew’s stories and art are nothing short of awe-inspiring, and I think I’ve re-read each Starting Notes more than I have any individual issue. He had a perspective that well-suited the desperately inhuman age we live in; and brought to life a character that could rise above the worst of it, whether by gun, sword, rune, or torture. Lusiphur was the dark avenger that lives in all our souls, that made the world right again, that gave us a sense of payback, even if it was only through Mr. Hayes’ dark fantasy.
    Miss you, Drew. I only ever had back-issues, so I didn’t know – sorry about that – not very many quality comic book stores around here. I had hoped for many more Poison Elves issues for a very long time. I just didn’t know. Crow!

    I hope the angels don’t mind Black Flag…ah, well, screw em, I really don’t think Parintachin takes requests. Rock on, brother.

  27. I was very good friends with drew! His passing was sad and unexpected. He had gotten a blood disease and was hospitalized for a while. After beating that he was discharged from the hospital and went home but then died about 2 weeks later due to complications from his trake that he had in/on his throat. I have 4-5 of his drawings that were exclusively drawn for me. And I also have a poison elves comic that was signed (to clitty from your #1fan drew Hayes) as clitty is/was my nickname!! I was very close to drew and was very shocked and sad by his passing

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