Starslayer - The Log of the Jolly RogerI’m sorta on a comics kick this week, having relived old times through the Robotech DVD’s I bought last Friday, and one sorta sticks out in my head.

Enter ‘Starslayer: The Log of the Jolly Roger’.

It’s kind of funny. I only have a few of these comics and I got them through a trade with the brother of a girl my brother was seeing at the time. I remember the comics, I remember the trade and later thinking that I’d given away too much, but I don’t remember the girl or her little brother.

I do think they lived in Clovis, though.

I had a single box of comics at the time – if you saw the stacks of boxes I have now, you’d realize the import of that statement. The box wasn’t even full and none of the comics in it were bagged or boarded or protected in any way. It was a simple cardboard box someone had given me, long and narrow – similar to a ‘normal’ comics box, but with handles cut into the sides and no lid.

I carted that thing all the way to Clovis because my brother suggested that I bring my comics to his girlfriends brother and do a little trading. I admit, I’ve never been very good at that sort of thing. It’s not that I don’t trade well or can’t see what somethings worth, it’s that I really don’t want to give my stuff away. I think that was why I had such a hard time selling at conventions – I didn’t really want to sell.

I don’t even remember what the kid wanted, but something about Starslayer caught my eye – gosh, check out the cover above and go figure. I liken it to Conan in Space. Well, Pirates in Space at any rate.

The plot:

“The main character Torin MacQuillon, a Celtic warrior from the time of the Roman Empire. Just before he is killed while fighting a group of Roman soldiers, he is pulled into the distant future by Tamara, a descendant of his wife after she remarried. Torin is asked to join the crew of the spaceship Jolly Roger in their fight against the oppressive regime that is ruling the Earth. Torin agrees, and he and his his new shipmates successfully liberate the Earth by the end of the limited series.”

Thank you Wikipedia.  It was probably the first comic I bought that dealt at all with any sort of ‘adult themes’ and I liked it better than most. I always read above my peers so I don’t think it was very surprising to anyone that I liked this.

I was also drawn to certain DC comics for the same reason. I looked at the big two comic publishers and saw mostly kid stuff in Marvel, and adult stuff in DC. Later, that changed as Marvel’s storylines caught up with its readers.

As for Starslayer, I only have a handful of issues and never did find any more. I looked, but I think the fact that it was an independent before that was cool, made it harder to find. It could also have been in the dreaded ‘over 18’ area that the shop keepers wouldn’t let you into until you were – you guessed it – over 18.

Still, the impact of the few I have is still with me all these years later. I think that’s the mark of a good artist or a good writer, conjuring up such a powerful image or message in your audience long after your work has gone out of print or has become scarce and difficult to find.

Who knows? Maybe, one day, someone will wax nostalgic over my works. Or yours.

~P