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July 30 2011

Rest In Peace 11th Hour. Susan Renee Tomb was one of those fans from the early days who helped make the Browncoat community what it is today. A very talented artist, she made guerrilla artwork to help promote the Firefly DVDs and Serenity too. It was the latter that would eventually bring her into conflict with Universal but the fandom rallied to her defense and the studio backed down. By 2009, her designs were being sold by QMx. She will be sorely missed by her fellow fans.

An interview with her from 2005 can be found at

An update was posted to earlier today (7/31).

I can't say I ever really talked to or interacted with her that much, but 11th Hour has been one those big names in the online fandom ever since I joined Whedonesque six years ago, and I always loved and appreciated her artwork. R.I.P.
She was great, and helped shape the Browncoat community. R.I.P.
I don't even know what to say except that her voice and vision will be sorely missed. May she rest in peace.
11th Hour's artwork helped define the Browncoat 'verse for me, and probably countless others. Her guerrilla artwork was everywhere and I think many people used it with no idea of where it came from and I think that probably pleased her.
Her DVD cover with the llama is on my copy of Serenity and it makes me laugh everytime I see it.
R.I.P. talented lady.
Her art represented the 'Verse for me. Sad to know she's left us.
From that interview:
When you finish a Firefly piece, how does that make you feel?

Like Iíve cheated death one more time.
It seems strange, but this exchange makes me smile; it tells you exactly how passionately the show, and making art about it, mattered to her. We would not be quite what we are without her.
This is so sad. And I'm going to say it: unfair.

My condolences to her family, friends, & anyone lucky enough to have met her.
I had the good fortune to meet 11th Hour at the "Flanvention," which was held while she was still in the midst of the Universal mess. She was warm, dignified, and enthusiastic, even though the Universal thing was serious and had the potential to be financially devastating. Her designs were terrific and, more importantly, she was fantastic! I mourn her passing, even if it's to a better place.
It breaks my heart that she was struggling with cancer and I never knew... of course I had never even met her, but I loved her work. Her artwork has been part of the Firefly fandom since the beginning, and I will treasure the beauty she created until I die.

My condolences to all her family and friends, we have all lost someone of great creativity (which is really a terrible loss).
Such a shame. I, too, loved her art, and I've enjoyed her postings here. She seemed like someone I would have liked to have met and known in person. My thoughts are with her loved ones.
NYPinTA said:
This is so sad. And I'm going to say it: unfair.

My condolences to her family, friends, & anyone lucky enough to have met her.

Amen to that. Cancer sucks. Creativity rules. May she rest in peace, and her work live on for other future Firefly fans to enjoy.
I am so sad to hear this news. I am such a big fan of her artwork. I had even considered getting a tattoo of her interpretation of the Serenity symbol because it was that beautiful. To learn she was suffering from this insidious disease breaks my heart. God speed dear 11th Hour, and thank you for what you gave us.

In her honor I am buying something from her designs today. Anyone else wanting to see her art that has not seen it before can look here:

[ edited by madmolly on 2011-07-30 15:27 ]
How very very sad. RIP.
So sad to hear this. Goodbye 11th Hour may you find your peace.
Never met or interacted with her online, but she was probably one of the first names I recognized online when I first got into the fandom. Even for those that didn't know her, she was a big part of why we love this fandom so much.

My condolences to her family and friends.
It's a sad day in the 'verse.
I have several of her images in rotation on my desktop, and a couple of them I didn't realize were hers until now.

This is so very sad. Condolences to all of her loved ones.

Is somebody still running her store? I would love to buy something, and wish I had earlier.
I only met 11th twice, once at comic-con and once at B3, but she was an inspiration to me when I was getting my start as a browncoat artist. She was so kind, and I will miss her greatly. Rest in peace, Susan :(
I had the pleasure of meeting Susan a few times over the years. Her passion for Firefly/Serenity knew no bounds. Her talent, caring, giving and kindness matched her passion. She will be missed. RIP 11th.
I didn't know her, but I knew her work, and it made me smile. Thank you for sharing your heart and art with us, 11th Hour, now rest in peace.
Apart from everything else, 11th Hour was such a calm fandom voice, and I will miss her always thoughtful-and-even tones.

I found this photo of Susan taken by Firefly Gail at the Backup Bash/Flanvention and she looks so happy, it's kindof a nice image of her to keep in mind.

I remember that I was pretty much a noob when the whole Universal C & D debacle erupted in 2006, and when I decided to make a spreadsheet of potential WHEDONesque supporters/donors for her (culled from remarks on here, and intended as a fundraising base in the event of any legal fees she'd incur) and sent it to her, she took the time to send me a long response, and went out of her way to be welcoming & complimentary to a new fan despite the pressure and stress of her situation. I met her several times after that, the first at Mutant Enemy Day in 2007, and she was always kind & equally responsive. She was both a fandom & artistic inspiration.

I love her art, and while she is perhaps best known for some of her Art Nouveau-style and/or black & white depictions of our BDH, or her lovely "Firefly Life Lessons" poster, I think this portrait of River is one of my favorites. But who doesn't Love the Llama?

She had a number of websites going, but one that is possibly less well-known than her 11th Hour stuff is her site at

I don't know if someone is going to continue her store, or if funds are needed to keep her various websites going, but those who knew her better should let us know, if they can, so we can help. And I'm sure she made arrangements for her cat Rocko, but being a cat person, my mind goes there with concern.

This is her last post at WHEDONesque - do read it if you have a moment - I think if you have to have a last post, that would be the one to go out on. Anyway, in her own words:

"Live fast. Die young. Leave a good looking DVD set."
11th Hour was extremely devoted to the fandom; she will be greatly missed by everyone. I'm so sorry to hear about her passing.
Sad news indeed. Got a chance to meet her back at one of the Flans, and I remember having one or two of her guerrilla posters in my cubicle at work around the time Serenity was coming out. She was quite a talent and she'll be missed.
Oh no. Sad to see this news. :(
As the son of someone who was a survivor of cancer, I want to give my heartfelt condolences to 11th Hour's family and friends over the their loss. The knowledge that the special someone in your life is fighting such an insidious weighs on you and the idea that the end result of the fight could be a technical defeat? It preys on your mind.

Still, we should remember all the good that 11th Hour (feel kinda odd if I were to call her by her real name since we never really communicated directly with one another) did for the 'Verse. Her light and talent will be sorely missed :(
So very sorry to hear this. 11th was such a big part of this fandom, and such a great person. The string of llama posts over at the OB was hysterical, and her DVD cover is legendary. RIP 11th. Say hi to Lux, Odile and the rest of the Browncoats out in the black.
Very sorry to hear of this. My deepest sympathies to her family and friends.
What a loss for the Browncoats. I was really sorry to hear this news.
Cancer takes the best of us. The world is a little bit less shiny for her passing, and my thoughts are with her friends and family.
RIP to a bright star.
I am so sad to hear of 11th hour's passing. My deepest condolences to her close friends and family.

11th hour's guerilla art campaign pieces are iconic to me, and I enjoy her whole range of work. My brief interactions with her left a big impression on me of a generous person with an inner light that shone bright. She has clearly left a lasting impression on the Browncoat community. Rest in piece 11th hour.
While reading some of the links provided here I ran across a really moving post by 11th Hour, written here about the final resolution of the C&D:
Actually though, despite all the torment and stuff, the part of this story that is truly mythic, wonderful, and will, always, always be the heart of what makes this 'verse so gorram amazing is all of you... the Browncoats... who stepped up, had my back, stood at my side, and, most assuredly, were taking strategic tactical positions from high ground too. Folk came from all around, even revealing themselves from the cover of lurkdom, to let me know I wasn't alone in this... and when I heard, "Browncoats got your back", I knew that no matter how scary or crazy it got, somehow, things would work out. It's been a rough time, it's taken it's toll on me... but I discovered something rather wonderful, or perhaps re-discovered something wonderful... the people that have come into my life because of a work of art disguised as a TV show, are the best folk it's ever been my privilege to know.

We all got on this boat for the same reason, a passionate love for something truly marvelous, and the willingness to do what it took to keep it alive. This ride has taken us all on adventures we never could have predicted. I swear, we aren't just fans of the 'verse... we LIVE the 'verse. I didn't want to go on this latest adventure, but maybe I needed to. Certain recent, upsetting events, involving my fan work, had left me discouraged and drifting away... but whenever that has happened, something always pulls me back. This time, I needed a big pull I guess. Now understand, I do have a life (in case anyone was wondering) and do creative projects quite different than my FF/S work... but for some reason, I'm bound to this 'verse. I was hot welded to it back on a Friday night in September 2002, I can't put it into words well enough, but it's a part of me. It's made me a better artist, it's made me a better person.

Once you've been in Serenity, you never leave...

... and you got your crew to travel with you...

Love and gratitude forever,

11th Hour

Even though you have left this world, you are in our hearts 11th Hour/Susan, we will keep your memory alive in this 'verse!
In addition to creating art, 11th worked tirelessly on guerrilla marketing for the Firefly DVDs and Serenity movie/DVDs. She also had a delightful silliness and was a lot of fun to interact with on the Firefly Official Board back in the day.

Xiexie ni, Susan.

Edited to add:

I'm never done . . . I just run out of energy and time.

- 11thHour

[Prospero forums profile]

[ edited by Ying on 2011-07-30 22:14 ]
Can't stop the llama, 11th!
Thank you for your kind personal attention to a request of mine a couple-three years back.
We'll miss you.
A lot.
So sad, my condolences to her family and friends.
When I saw this thread title, I was desperately hoping it wasn't this. That she is now gone makes this world that much less shiny. Only last week, I was rifling through a box of Firefly mementos, and I came across her Inara art card. Such a loss to the world.

Susan has been an inspiration since I was fortunate to be befriended by her on the OB. She not only welcomed a newbie, but she also went out of her way to include me into the family. I have very fond memories of text-based antics - from shinanigans in the Loon and the Bordello, to her kindness and generosity to other newcomers. 11th was always the first to kindly and expansively welcome enthusiastic new fans with fresh enthusiasm for someimes not-so-well-thought-out "bring back Firefly" plans into the fold, gently outlining the history of the fandom and encouraging them to direct their energy to current places of focus.

Her Firefly/Serenity artwork has inspired countless fans (I remember making up stickers and bookmarks in 2005 and plastering them around Melbourne) and her designs never fail to bring looks of wonder and appreciation on the faces of those who come across them.

I consider myself extremely fortunate to have met Susan on a number of occasions. After sharing so much on the OB, I was over the moon to finally meet her at Dragon*Con in 2005 and spend some time in the Bordello. I have very fond memories of meeting again at the Serenity Premiere, and laughing together at the after-party. Her well earned fame was recognised at Universal Studios' Serenity Fan Day, and I remember her blushing with delight and pride each time a fan lined up to ask her to sign the Serenity RPG at the celebrity meet & greet. We met all-to-briefly again at Comic-Con in 2006, and at Mutant Enemy Day in 2007. Each of those meetings was a treat - Susan could light up a room with just her smile.

Some of my fondest memories of 11th Hour (photos)

It saddens me that we didn't meet IRL more, but I treasure her emails and forum postings.

I didn't know about her battle with cancer, and I wish that... well, if wishes were horses we'd all be eating steak.

Susan, you are truly missed. You will always be a part of all of us, and our world is poorer without you. Rest in peace, 11th.
I never met her, but I was moved by her artwork. I remember thinking how wonderful it was to be a part of a fandom that had such a talented artist bringing the 'verse to life.

There are and will continue to be many more artists contributing their gifts for our enjoyment. Hers will always be foremost in my mind. She has left behind images that will be treasured for years to come.

Does anyone know if there will be a memorial and or service? If so, I'd want to attend.
Such a sad news. May she Rest in Peace.
It would be very nice to know where to send flowers and/or contribute to a charity in her name. Maybe someone could add that to the original link post?

I never met 11th (never even knew her real name, just her online handle), and only interacted with her right here on the black a couple of times, but this news still comes as quite a shock. Funny how people you've never actually met, can still influence and inspire to such a degree. This fandom was truly blessed to have known her.

Rest in peace, 11th Hour.

[ edited by GVH on 2011-07-31 01:58 ]
I never knew 11th hour, but I've seen her art before and always thought it was excellent work that really captured something special about the verse.

It's a shame that the world has lost such a creative spirit.
So far the only info I've seen is this from the post by "HerFriend" (whose only post there seems to be the original link above):

"Memorial services are being arranged and will be posted when finalized."

Since the post doesn't suggest any surviving family, and only a "few close friends," it's possible those friends might have their hands full with planning/contacting/arranging stuff at the moment. (Of course, I don't know, but that's just reading between the lines & based on my own experience at such hard times.)
so sad to hear this
I know I emailed (read gushed) about her artwork to her many timea -she (humbly) replied her thanks

She will be missed
I'm very sorry to hear about her struggle and, now, her passing. She did some great work that I adored; I thank her for that and wish her and her loved ones peace.
Oh, that's sad. I have her Inara card and the alternate DVD cover.
My heart is broken. 11th Hour always had a certain "take" on a subject that usually made me take a step back and reconsider another view. And, never fail, the point she was holding in view was correct. Gosh, I'm so going to miss her!

Wish her family my condolence. There'll never be another like her.
This is terrible news, I am so sad to hear this. I really liked her and her artwork. She was such a kind person and a wonderful example of the positive spirit of fandom. We will all miss her.
11th was a real class act & a joy to know. We shared a few good laughs at the OB & the official Drive forum. My husband and I still wear her T-Shirts & show off her coffee mugs. :-)

I will miss her. She was one of the first Browncoats who welcomed me to the family.
I don't know what to say. I am so saddened that this lovely, warm and generous lady has been taken. She is missed. RIP
HERFRIEND posted an update over at
Added it to the post, thanks.
That was certainly tear-making, too, but I was glad to read that there weren't, apparently, months of silent suffering (other than the fact that she lived with this over her head in a general sense for decades.)

It certainly does throw the quote that b!X pulled out of the interview into high relief. I was glad to hear the confirmation that Rocko has a welcoming home, and that they're also trying to work through the issues to keep her sites alive, too. It's kind of her friends and family to take the time to communicate with her online friends and fans.

I hadn't shared this before, except on Goners, but for Browncoats who like to hear that they in turn mattered to 11th, here's a snippet from an email she sent me back in 2006 (re: the whole Uni C & D kerfuffle):

"I think my situation has sparked such a response because it so negatively affects a fan who has been so supportive of the 'Verse, but also because if Universal is going after me... then no fan is safe. This is something that concerns us all, and materially affects the way each of us conduct ourselves when doing 'fan powered' promotion of Firefly and Serenity. What has, up until now, been a campaign of shared goals and mutual respect, has suddenly, and sadly, become a field for attack and repression.... But the subject matter is a lightning rod because it not only involves fans' use of images (and text) from the shows and movies they love, but also the particular relationship the Browncoats have (had?) with Universal...

...It really does mean so much to me... more than I can say actually. And this whole situation would be truly unbearable without the Browncoats backing me up."

I am just at a complete loss. My heart dropped out of me hearing this news. My deepest sympathies for her family and friends.
She was an amazing person. Not just a gifted artist, but a thoughtful and intelligent human.

She will be missed.

Her work brought in more fans than any ad agency. I don't know if I would have come back to Firefly after it's abbreviated season if not for people like Lux and 11thHour.
Although I don't post often, I always read the Whedonesque threads and have read many postd by 11thHour. I have nothing to say that hasn't been said better by others. I am posting to say that I am another person in the world who is very sad about this news.
Fundraiser being planned in 11th's memory/honor. No details yet, but keep an eye out.

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