Last month, comic book writer and artist and lawyer, Rod Underhill died of a heart attack. Clydene Nee writes,
Sept 7th, our good friend Rod Underhill died of a heart attack, caused by the spread of his mantle cell cancer. Dave and I met Rod when he was in San Diego, working out of the old Spreckels building, providing legal aid, usually pro bono or at a highly reduced fee, or accepting artwork, to artists when he wasn’t busy with his juvenile court caseload. Dave needed legal advice on what he should do about a local business that took his artwork and, without authorization, plastered it on their building, their vehicles, their stationery, and as we discovered even their checks. Thank to Rod, Dave won in court.
Rod was a modern “Renaissance Man”: he was an attorney, an artist, an author, a musician, an inventor, a law professor, a publisher, and a radio station DJ/operator. He had a brilliant and inquiring mind. But above all Rod was kind and he was just. He didn’t tolerate cruelty or suffer fools gladly.
Rod kept his cancer a secret from most of his friends and kept working, writing, and painting. Doctors had told him he had only six months because the cancer was so advanced but he looked for alternative treatments. He, his wife Leah, and his two young children Jesse and Sam had been in a horrible auto accident several years ago that shattered Rod’s pelvis and left Leah in a wheelchair. Rod and Leah were taking serious pain meds to control their pain even before he was diagnosed with cancer. He had had several complicated operations to try to put his pelvis back together. Medical bills are overwhelming the Underhills and his family is at risk of losing their home. Rod’s sister-in-law (Leah’s sister) has started a gofundme for them.
I am asking everyone to please share the link and donate if you can. Rod didn’t want a funeral so the family has chosen to have a candlelight vigil at the Manhattan Beach, California pier at dusk (around 7pm) on October 6th and are extending an invitation to all his friends to come and share their memories of Rod. Ours lives will be harder without Rod’s moral support and advice. We love you, Rod.
Rod’s work can be seen as a writer on the Airlock comic book, writer/artist on Rubber Barons, artist on Mike Baron’s Groovin High (below), covers of Robert Heinlein’s Friday novels, and Complete Idiot’s Guides with Nat Gertler.
Current donors include Nat Gertler, Bob Mcleod and Ken Meyer Jr.