17 April 2013

"From the Jaws of Death" by Stuart Logsdon

"From the Jaws of Death" is the title of the first brief issue of a comic book conceived by my Uncle Stuart in his teens. He completed ten pages, or at least nine of them (page eight is in black and white and it's unclear whether that was an artistic, stylish decision or if he just put off coloring it). He illustrated on both sides of each sheet of paper (which can be seen in most of the scans, unfortunately). Everything was done by hand, form layouts to lettering. It was only ever seen by his closest friends and those of us in the family -- until now. It is my pleasure and honor to present this first issue to the world, nearly forty years after it was written and illustrated.

You can also view each page individually here.

At some point, Stuart made the decision to retitle the story. Because the project was done entirely by hand, there was no Photoshop to simply change the title for him, and because he illustrated both sides of each sheet, this required him to remake both pages one and two.

The last day of school in those days was pretty informal. Many of my uncle's classmates elected to blow off school and instead go to Taylorsville Lake. Without telling even my mom, my uncle uncharacteristically made the choice to go with his classmates. He drowned there that day. That context makes this story - and particularly its revised title - eerie as could be. Like I said, he had to remake the other side of this page, too, which he never finished:

Perhaps one day I'll continue the fantastic story of Roger Harris. I've thought for years about wanting to try to add to this story, but it's awfully intimidating to muster the kind of hubris required to add on to something like this. All the same, I'm happy that at the very least, "On Borrow'd Time" can now be seen by the entire world.

My Uncle Stuart