Tonight’s Jeopardy Winner: The Story Behind the Story

You probably don’t know who Christine Valada is, but she was the returning champion and winner of tonight’s Jeopardy show. She’s won over $36,000 so far and comes back tomorrow night as returning champion for the 2nd time.

I’ve only met her twice, and I can attest that she’s every bit as sweet and smart as she appears on the television screen.

But that’s not the story.

Her husband, Len Wein, is a famous comics writer and editor, the co-creator of some of your favorite characters including Swamp Thing and Wolverine. I met him back in 2003 at LosCon when we were both guests.

But that’s not the story, either.

The story behind the story is this:

Almost 7 months ago, Christine and Len lost their home and one of their beloved dogs to a fire that also savaged many of their priceless belongings, including irreplaceable comics and comic art worth untold hundreds of thousands. It was a catastrophic loss. My heart and I’m sure the hearts of many, many other people went out to them.

Christine’s wins are an awesome righting of the universe’s normal injustices, even if her winnings so far don’t come close to what they lost. I’m just happy to see goodness happen to two wonderful people. I hope the goodness continues to run riot.

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