Lona Rietschel spent most of her life in the DDR (German Democratic Republic), the communist part of Germany. She was born in the town of Reppen, which is now Rzepin in Poland. She studied fashion graphics and animation. She lived in Berlin, where she worked at the Hochschüle für Bildende Künste before becoming a comic artist for magazine Mosaik, working in the studio of Hannes Hegen. After Hegen's departure in 1975, she created the popular series 'Abrafaxe' with writer Lothar Dräger. 'Afrafaxe' became the most famous comic of the German Democratic Republic, and was also distributed to countries like Hungary and India. Rietschel continued working for the Mosaik monthly until 1999.