Robot 6

Steve Niles’ house floods — find out how you can help

Steve Niles

Steve Niles

Heavy rains hit Central Texas last night , causing flooding in Austin and the surrounding area. 30 Days of Night writer Steve Niles lives in the area and awoke this morning to find his house flooded. He posted on Tumblr this morning that getting to his turtle, Gil, was the hardest part:

Woke up at 6am to water rushing into the house. Already ankle deep by the time we saw it. We got as much as we could off the ground and tried to block but there wasn’t much we could do. The worst was trying to get to Gil. It was waist deep almost and strong enough to throw around logs. I reached him and he was submerged and freaking out. Don’t remember much more then lifting him and carrying him all the way back to the house. Looking back I can see how scary it was.”

We are securing the house as much as we can and going through the damage. A scrapbook full of original art I’ve kept for 30 years is gone. A lot more.

Our friends Belinda and Steve are setting up a fund to help. I feel terrible about this but once things settle I’ll have to face up that we need help. I just wish I could catch my breath for 5 minutes and I can make my own money. Austin has had other ideas I guess.

We’ll keep you posted. We’re sort of trapped here for right now. Going to pack and move as much as we can before the next storm hits.

Thank you guys so much.

To help Niles and his family, you can send funds via PayPal to According to Mike Mignola, Niles and his family lost “just about everything” and have no flood insurance. “Steve has gone above and beyond raising $ for Hurricane Sandy relief and other tragedies and can really use some help right now,” wrote Mignola on his Facebook page. “Let’s pay it forward to a guy who’s always been there for others.”



Even though I didn’t know Steve’s work directly, I found out about him through Mike Mignola. I wasn’t in a position to give during Sandy, so giving to Steve and his wife is my way of making up for it. We all need to help each other out when we can. I know artists and writers are often independent contractors and unable to get health insurance/life insurance through work, and many have trouble making ends meet to do what they love and what fans love, so it’s wonderful to see the community of writers, artists and fans coming together to help out.

Wait…why is he a charity case? I mean, I feel bad for the guy, that truly does suck. But he’s a successful comic book creator and screenwriter. Why does he need donations? Surely there are some folks less well off who could use the help more?

Jerzy, even if “successful comic book creator and screenwriter” paid as much as you seem to think, flood damage to a home without flood insurance is crazy destructive. And there’s always /someone/ worse off if you look hard enough, but it’s not a competition. If you can’t/won’t help, that’s your decision, but there’s no need for comments like yours.

There’s definitely a need for comments like Jerzy’s. Of all the creators, even the more independent ones, I would not think Steve Niles would have money problems. This isn’t medieval times, he should have received lucrative deals for all the movie rights that he sold.

Plus, it’s just irresponsible to not have full disaster coverage when you are a homeowner. If we are really supposed to feel sorry for him, there needs to be more to this story than, “Steve Niles forgot to buy insurance and wants more of your money because you didn’t pay enough for his awesome comics in the first place.”

@ Michael K

I said I feel bad for the guy. I never intimated that he’s rolling in money, either. That said, he’s clearly been successful in his field and continues to be so. It’s not a matter of looking “hard enough” to find someone worse off. You could probably find someone more in need of charity with hardly any effort at all. But yet, people are donating to Niles because he’s well-known/successful. It seems rather ironic to me.


If he lives in a known flood plain, you might have the beginnings of a point. And I suppose there is a call for comments like Jerzy’s, if you want to be judgmental jerks making assumptions with no actual knowledge.


Or maybe they’re helping him based on all the help he’s given/organized in the past. That’s not irony, it’s good karma.

I swear, every time a creator experiences some personal tragedy — a fire, a hurricane, a flood — there are people waiting in the wings to cluck their tongues, make judgments about their financial need and deem them somehow unworthy for help. It’s maddening.

The number of comics creators who’ve become wealthy from their work can probably be counted on two hands, with a few fingers left over; however, if you tried to tally the writers and artists who’ve been left financially crippled by an act of nature, an accident or health issues, you’d likely need all your fingers and toes, and those of your friends as well.

I don’t know Steve Niles, but I feel comfortable saying he’s not lighting cigars with his 30 Days of Night money. And I doubt any of us know whether he lives in a high-risk area for flooding (not that that should have any bearing on your empathy for him); I live in a low-risk area, yet two years ago, a freak storm dumped so much rain in such a short period of time, that water rushed off the hillside, filling the basement up to my chest. Nature can be unpredictable, destructive and terrifying.

So, no, I don’t know Steve, but I feel for him and others like him. And I know when there are other creators in need, he’s one of the first to step up to rally support. If basic human decency isn’t enough to lead people to hold back on their tsk-tsking, then I’d hope that would be.

@Jerzy and @Michael K –

Obviously neither of you have any idea what it’s like to be a self-employed creator. I hope you never find yourselves in need and have to face idiotic comments like yours. Then again, most people aren’t judgemental jerks like yourselves and would probably help you out.

Sorry to be mean, but ill-informed, mean-spirited comments like yours really piss me off….

Sorry. Forgot to include Red in my tirade. You’re a moron, too.

Judgemental – asking why a well known, successful author with plenty of job opportunities is a charity case

Not judgemental – deeming anyone who asks such questions a “judgemental jerk” or suggesting that they lack “basic human decency”

Poor speller – spells “judgmental” wrong

And that’s enough for this thread.

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