Don Hillsman on Hero Initiative and saving lives

This is possibly the hardest thing I’ve ever had to express, as I am a very proud person who never thought I would be in this position in life, but here we are.

My name is Don Hillsman II and I’m a comic book veteran having landed in the business since 1984, right out of high school in 1984. I’ve worked for Marvel, DC, Crossgen, Image, Dark Horse and others as a penciler and inker. Over the course of 2010-12, I lost everything in a divorce after 26 years of marriage, and work slowed to non-existence. Suddenly, I was ANOTHER comic artist who got thrown out the cold, like so many others. No matter how hard I struggled, my mental and physical state both rapidly deteriorated. I had “untreatable” depression, anxiety, hospital stays, and suicide attempts that failed.

I completely lost hope and stopped taking ANY care of myself. I was at the end of my rope, mentally and physically. Then a fellow comic professional suggested I call Hero Initiative.

Without hesitation, they helped. They immediately got me a vision test and new glasses so I could function as an artist again, and helped with several other ongoing health problems.

Hero Initiative pulled me out of a very, very bad spot. I would ask all comic professionals to lend them a hand as well, because someday, you may need them too. In an Industry with almost no support system, no insurance, no retirement, The Hero Initiative is the light in the darkness.

I am ecstatic about not being in pain anymore. Hero Initiative has literally helped take away my physical pain so I can function like regular human being again.

It saved my life, mentally and physically.

Don Hillsman

Don Hillsman