Debra Jane Shelly (1974-2014)

DebbieLovesHerBalthesarMany thanks to everyone for their support during these tough weeks. As many of you know, on Saturday, January 25th,  some time in the afternoon my partner of five years – Debra Jane Shelly, passed away suddenly in her sleep, with no visible cause of death.

She was 39 years old, and since she had epilepsy since a teen and there was some evidence of a seizure, it has been determined as probable SUDEP (Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy).

SUDEP is actually a lot more frequent than anyone in our family knew, and the stats are deceiving. Some say it’s rare, others say it affects as many as 1 out of 5 young epileptics (i.e. under the age of 40).

Full of laughter, love and life it is inconceivable to those of us that knew and loved her that she is no longer with us.

The Toronto Star

More information on SUDEP can be found here.


There were many online tributes to our amazing Debbie.

Ty Templeton did an incredible tribute to Debbie in his Bun Toon for February 2nd.. We also wish he never had to have drawn it.

Richard Evans

Sequential Spiltink (Rachel Richey)

Ad Astra Comix (NM Guiniling)

The Joe Shuster Awards (Jenn Haines, Tyrone Biljan, Allison Covey, Andrew Walsh)

The Comics Cube

Hasslein Books


The National Post (Steve Murray)

Andrew Walsh (Facebook Note)

My Eulogy for Deb (Facebook Note)

Comic Book Daily (Leigh Hart)

The Comics Reporter (Tom Spurgeon)

Salgood Sam

Art by Chris Yao

7 thoughts on “Debra Jane Shelly (1974-2014)

  1. Dear Kevin,

    Sorry to hear the news. Wasn’t that Debra I met at the 2011 Montreal ComicCon, she was accrediting the autographs from Stan Lee? Please accept my condolences to you and the Shelly family.


  2. OMG I am so sorry. Debra and I were good friends for a brief time, before she met you. I had no idea. I last heard her epilepsy was rather controlled.
    Damn. Life’s not fair.

    She was a very lovely woman and I just happened to stumble upon this by accident. Last I heard, she was very happy with you and from what i could see, you were the person she had long been looking for.

    My condolences.
    Damn she overcame a lot and I am just horrified to discover this now.


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