If you were around the anime con scene in the 90s and 00s, you probably met Kevin Lillard. He probably took your picture, if you were a cosplayer. If you had a website back then, you probably watched A Fan’s View like a hawk for days after a convention. Kevin was a fixture in the community for years. He is a genuinely wonderful person and a joy to be around. Nothing buoyed my spirit at a con more than seeing Kevin walking toward me in full photographers regalia.
Kevin was a newspaper writer and photographer as well, in his daily life. As newspapers have begun to fail, he was one of the many journalists who were laid off. And it’s taken its toll.
“When you live in your car in an abandoned parking lot along a major interstate highway, you see interesting traffic from time to time. Around 8 a.m., eastbound sirens announced the approach of police traffic,led by a plain white box van with a large door on the left side, followed closely by an armed personnel carrier. It took a moment before I recognized the two vehicles, which I had seen on the streets during my now-ended career a s a reporter for the Indianapolis Star. I saw those same two vehicles downtown a couple of years ago when covering a so-called bomb threat involving a man who had left a backpack next to what was then the police department’s downtown district headquarters. The white box van carries the police department’s tactical robot so the small convoy must have been headed to a SWAT call out.
I’m in he same position of life as the street person whose backpack led to that fuss of years ago. Out of work and out of money, I’ve been living in my car for the last month, spending days at a nearby library, sending out mostly ignored online job applications. Already there’s no money to buy food and the last things to eat were some peanuts from a vending machine at the Anderson newspaper where I had my last job interview. I spent my last change to make a 50-cent call at a pay phone hoping to speak to a recruiter and reached only voice mail. The car where I’ve been living started running out of fuel on the way to the library and I barely got there. With no money there will be no fuel and no way to go from place to place. Even if there is another job offer there will be no way to get there,with no money and no fuel. Unless there’s some sort of miracle,this is the end of any hopes I had. All of the prayers have been answered with messages of failure. This is where we have learned what God really wants.”
This heart wrenching post came from Kevin’s Facebook today and sparked a movement to help save one of our dearest friends in the cosplay community. If you have anything to spare, please give Kevin a hand by donating via PayPal, courtesy of ACP or sharing any resources for support you may have in the Indiana area by filling out this GoogleDocs form, courtesy of Soni.
Our community is amazing!