Per Harlan Ellison:
Len Wein called this morning. More than half of his house burned down earlier today. Len and Chris Valada and Chris’s son, Michael, got out okay, but their beloved dog, Sheba, ran back inside and is gone. In addition to both bedrooms, the bathroom, and much of the office, what was burned first was the original art for the first Wolverine story, the cover of GIANT X-MEN #1 and other art pieces worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Susan and I will be over there as soon as I pick up my car today, and as soon as I’ve met the dental appointment we have scheduled. This is a major catastrophe for one of my oldest and closest friends. Like your Host, Len is a lifetime freelancer and, even though he remains a star of the comics world, even though he created Wolverine and Storm–among other characters–he goes from day to day earning a freelancer’s living, as do I…and these are frightening economic times for those of us out there, to paraphrase Arthur Miller, “on a few words and a shoeshine.”
The good news in all of this is Len’s family was not hurt. Once I learn of how we can assist them, I will post an update.
I’ve not found any news yet indicating any of the artwork was insured separate from any coverage the Wein’s would have on their house. I’ve no idea what the insurable value of their house was, but on a $200,000 home the personal property coverage would typically be $20,000, and artwork would usually have a much smaller limit.