You probably don’t know the name “Stephen Perry” off the top of your head, but he wrote a lot of stuff that was close to your heart (Thundercats, Silverhawks, Time Spirits). He was a prolific comic book and animation writer in the 1970s and 1980s, and spent most of that time getting screwed like you wouldn’t believe. The previous link is Steve Bissette’s pretty emotional discussion of his friend’s career, which is a really good read.
The ’90s and 2000s were pretty rough for Perry, marked by him living out of a car with his young son and suffering bladder cancer. One fortunate moment for him was the Hero Initiative stepping in to help him financially after his cancer. They got his rent paid and food on the table.
And now he’s possibly been murdered. He’s gone missing, and police found his home was ransacked. Later they found his van, with a severed arm inside. His roommates are being held in connection with a possible homicide, and it seems likely that Mr. Perry has died, one way or another. His son, Leo, is being cared for by relatives and won’t go into Florida’s foster system, about the only bright spot in this case.
Safe journey, Mr. Perry, and may you find peace and comfort.
On another note, Perry’s story isn’t unique among comics professionals. We all think the guys writing and drawing our heroes are rich beyond belief, but the reality is they’re working stiffs just like the rest of us, and sometimes they get a run of bad luck. If you want to help, consider a donation to the Hero Initiative, a charity that helps out comic creators who have suffered medical problems or otherwise hit hard times. You can volunteer here or donate here.