Married at San Diego Comic-Con '09
How Geeky is that!
Tycen (age 6)
In driveway of new house!
New Baby Boy
Coming in Feb. 2009!
Indian Jones IV
A.K.A. Alien Weirdo Mutt!
Young Ray like Chocolate!
(a.k.a. The Gremlin, a.k.a. Big
Front Yard Pine Tree w/ Swing
Camera tricks ... or is it?
Renae made me this amazing Halloween costume (Also,
note the size of old kitchen)
Did I mention Tycen is a mutant?
An inspiring place to create.
Christmas '05 Family Photo
(Had to hold that smile a looong
Christmas '05 Old House
(Note: You can see 2 bedrooms,
hallway, kitchen, and living room in one shot! Amazing!
Family & Friends @ a Convention
can see tons of photos of us and our family on Facebook
things just didn't work out with timeline,
the requirements, the sellers, and the lenders.
We had the option to extend the contract a few more
months, but didn't want to be in this situation
again with a 1 month newborn baby, so we opted to
We looked at local houses, but couldn't find anything
decent and the idea of living in the same town as
our lost home and seeing other people buy it was
heart-breaking. Plus, we figured, if we were going
to have to leave our son's school district and pay
more in rent for less in the same town, we could
start looking for possibilities in other towns.
We looked at Overland Park, KS, but then began to
wonder about something outside of Kansas altogether.
While Kansas is a nice place, there really isn't
much left here for us. We don't want to backstep,
and we don't really want to make a lateral move.
If we are forced to make a move, we want
to move UP!
we are currently looking at Portland, Maine.
That might seem like a drastic change in direction,
but it makes a lot of sense. A place that has frequent
White Christmases, an Art Scene, is near the ocean,
has forests, great schools, great stores and culture,
great dining, and just about everything we could
hope for. It's also close to NYC (publishing companies),
Boston, Baltimore, Canada, and lots of big comic
book conventions. Closer to airports. It's a place
for our children to live a richer life. It's safer.
And, surprisingly, is not that much more expensive
than we're paying now. Just an overall better quality
We found there were more reasons for us to leave
KS than to try to stay in the house, even if we
were in love with it. So, we're looking
at this as an opportunity for us to move
on to bigger and better things rather than dwell
in the sadness of losing our home.
Thank you to everyone who cared enough to
listen. If you'd like to still help, every
order or donation will now be helping us to make
our move and get settled in a new place in Maine.
Maybe it will all turn out to be for the best. Might
be a blessing in disguise.
If you're new to the site and have no idea what
I'm talking about, read on. :o)
Thank you all so much for your caring and
support. It means the world to us!
~Ray, Renae, Tycen, Baby Belly, Indiana Jones
(dog), Olivia & Aubrey (cats)
De Liz and Ray
Dillon (that's me) first met online at DigitalWebbing.com,
a Comic Creators community, then in person at San
Diego Comic-Con 5 years ago. She lived in Oregon
as a struggling single mom and I lived in Kansas
developing an art career and caring for my elderly
parents. We were on totally different spectrums
of life, so despite an immediate connection, neither
of us thought too seriously about a relationship.
But we kept talking and after a long period of "long-distance"
I finally grabbed my savings and hopped on a plane.
We got a U-Haul, packed her and her son Tycen (3
at the time), and started the loooong trek back
to Kansas. We didn't have a lot of money, KS was
much cheaper, and we got a deal on the first months
rent. But it was a very terrible house and neighborhood
(I should know, I lived there 15 years). But, it
was still wonderful just to be together.
Now, this will sound like a sob story, but I'm trying
to get the facts down, tell you what we've gone
through, and how we feel. Hope that's understandable.
The Old House
You can see a picture of the old house to the right.
It was pretty terrible, on a busy street, and with
no yard whatsoever for a 3 year old to play in.
But we thought, "Hey, it's just temporary,
right? And Tycen is too young to do much playing
outside anyway." So, we kept on keepin' on.
Our careers were doing fairly well and we were going
in the right direction. More
images of old house & old neighborhood here.
One day, after getting a pretty good paycheck for
a comic project, we went to buy ice cream, just
a few dollars, and the card didn't work. Um, weird...
Come to find out our account had been hacked (or
whatever term should be used) and our funds were
frozen. Then our account was locked. Then the bank
had to reissue a new account through the state capital
headquarters (or something...very confusing). A
month had gone by and still nothing. To make a long
story short-ish, once this cleared up, it happened
again 2 more times, totally wiping out our funds
and destroying our credit. Credit score from 700-something
to 490. YIKES!!
Suddenly, we realized that nearly 3 years had gone
by. Tycen was older and really wanting a yard to
play in and a sidewalk or cemented driveway to learn
to ride his bike. We began to notice just how bad
it all was: Dilapidated house, basement wall collapsed
resulting in floods & giant spiders. The neighborhood
was full of drug abusers and we were literally sharing
a driveway with them (which happened to be where
they stood smoking, cussing, and playing loud music
every day). Several instances cops surrounded the
It really began to wear on us and our family spirit.
We had to get out of there.
We began looking for rentals and houses to buy.
But since we had pets (pictured at the left), and
bad credit we had basically no options. Even being
self-employed played against us sometimes. Not sure
why being an artist would make someone not want
to rent to us. We decided to just dig in, fix the
credit, save up a ton of money and make a big leap
a year or two later. But, the idea of staying in
that house, especially until Tycen was 8 or 9 really
did break our hearts.
The Dream-Home -
One day, Renae came home and said she'd seen an
amazing house that she instantly fell in love with.
It had pine trees (which she desperately missed
from Oregon), a big yard for Tycen, and a wonderful
neighborhood. It was even on a pleasant sounding
The look in her eyes and hope in her voice saddened
me, because I knew it couldn't work with everything
playing against us. But, she wanted to look into
it. It didn't really get us anywhere, but to keep
our sanity, we tried going on a lot of open-houses
so we didn't get too addicted to the first house
we fell in love with.
After tons of these open-houses, we happened upon
the real-estate agent listing the house on Cloud
Street. We decided, what the heck! Let's ask about
Rent to Own, thinking it couldn't work. Actually,
she was very receptive to it and said they'd been
considering renting because it sat on the market
so long. WOW!
To top it off, the price of the house
is very affordable. The mortgage would
be less than what we've paid in rent for the last
After an extensive bout of negotiation, they decided
to let us rent for 1 year while we fixed our credit.
YAY!! We moved in and instantly our lives and attitudes
changed. The last year living in this house has
been amazing! I've personally never lived in a house
this nice (you saw the neighborhood I grew up in),
Renae is much happier, and Tycen loves it. Hearing
a kid talk about how nice their house and room is
frequently is so wonderful! We've had Christmas
here (plenty of room for a tree now!), celebrated
Thanksgiving in a real dining room, have a driveway
and garage for the first time in my life, finally
have an art studio, and the baby boy on the way
will have his own room that we're all so excited
Where are we now?
For the last year, we've paid off all of our debt
(including interest accrued for all the identity
theft nonsense). We've worked with the credit bureau
to adjust entries on our credit that shouldn't have
been there, which
is truly like "pulling teeth."
credit score is now right at the 600 mark, which
is over 100 points from where we started a year
But, we've come to find out that the housing industry
has suddenly changed their standards. The loan we
could have gotten a year ago with a 600 score and
only 3% down now requires something in the high-600's.
The loan that's available to us right now with this
credit score requires $11,000 down. WHOA!! The sellers
are getting very anxious, which keeps us worried
because our deadline is now up, and we only have
a portion of this saved up. We're afraid any day
now a For Sale sign is going to show up in our yard!
Now, we DO have some advances coming in
for projects, which are going to help, but we're
still pretty far away from the goal line. Thousands
of $ away!
We aren't really poor (though we do live check to
check), we certainly aren't rich. We
just need some help over this last hurdle
to stay afloat and give our family a nice life.
Neither of us have family who can or want to help.
How can you help?
We aren't the type to just look for handouts. We're
hard workers. If you follow my twitter you'll see
I work on a ton of projects and barely ever sleep.
I grew up very poor and had to fight and work hard
for everything I've attained. We're at a crossroads
right now and I can give my wife and kids a better
So, while Donations are GREATLY
appreciated and really the best way to
help, that's not all we're after. We're willing
to work for it, too. So, you can hire us
for projects if you're willing and able
to pay an advance on it. Same goes
for commission pieces. You can
also order some of our products
such as sketchbooks, prints, original art, etc.
In terms of donations, every little bit helps. Seriously,
we'd appreciate $1. And for some of the larger donations,
I'll keep a list and as soon as things settle, I
will be happy to go down that list and draw something
for each and every one of you. Even if it takes
a few years to get down the list I will not forget
any of you.
Ideally, since I am a full-production artist (pencils,
inks, colors, letters, design, web design, painting,
etc.) if just a couple of projects would come through
with an advance of a few issues ($2500-5000), this
would solve the problem and you would have one incredibly
motivated and appreciative artist on your hands.
Renae is also taking projects, but since she is
pregnant right now she doesn't want to get too overloaded.
So it would be into next year before she could work
on it. But if that's okay with you, let us know.
Best way to help, especially if you're struggling
yourself and can't afford to help, is to spread
the word. Tell everyone on your Facebook, MySpace,
Twitter, message boards, email lists. It would be
so greatly appreciated! Connect to us on the social
networks, too! See bottom left.
If you have any questions about this or the legitimacy
of it (we know there are scams out there), please
email or call and I'd be happy to explain more.
Ray & Renae Dillon
404 E. Cloud
Salina, KS 67401
willing to work for it! You can hire
us for long-term or short projects if
you're willing to pay an advance
now for work to begin in about a month
for Ray and a little while after the
baby is born (March) for Renae.
Please visit our websites, check out
our work, and
is available for Comic Book illustration,
gaming and film concept, magazine,
trading card, and book illustration
& painting. And Commissions.
is available for Comic Book pencilling.
She currently has books through
IDW and Image on the shelves.
16"x 20" Acryllic Painting
Get YOUR favorite character.
$300 + $20 shipping
ACRYLIC SPEED PAINTING!
9"x 12" Acryllic Painting
This is Hulk, but you can request
$10 + $2 shipping
My wife, comic artist Renae
De Liz and I have finally gotten
around to doing a Baby Registry. Our
baby boy is due in February. We don't
have family to help, and being a freelance
artist is a struggle! So, any help you're
willing to give is GREATLY appreciated.
Please go to this link: Our
SO MUCH FOR ALL THE SUPPORT!