“Urb no like Pelasgus.”

§ September 27th, 2012 § Filed under indies § 6 Comments

So I was asked in the comments to my post on Tuesday to say a little something more about Jupiter:

This was a series by Jason Sandberg that ran for nine issues in the late 1990s. It was an anthology series, where half the book was usually devoted to short strips and one longer story, with occasional appearances by this fella:

…and the other half (more or less) of the comic was devoted to “Pelasgus,” who is the gentleman with the nose on the cover of #1 up there at the top of this post. Pelasgus came into being on the planet Arcadia, and as other humans begin to appear, Pelasgus offers his advice and guidance to help direct these primitive humans towards a more civilized culture:

Over the course of the nine issues, barter systems are created, laws are codified, government is formed, currency is minted, religion begins to take hold, disputes are resolved…and murders happen and drug abuse increases, and Pelasgus and the people of this society try to deal with their changing world. It was fascinating reading, a literal experiment in world-building as problems arise and Pelasgus makes straightforward and cogent arguments on how to deal with them.

Interestingly, in his downtime Pelasgus would make paintings in a style that, perhaps, may look familiar to some of you comic book fans out there:

“Somehow all these creations have become separated from their creator,” continues Pelasgus. “Their hearts are filled with grief as they roam through space and time for eternity.” …Obviously a comment on Jack Kirby’s situation, but I read it as foreshadowing for what was to come for Pelasgus: the world he’s helping to create perhaps will someday separate from him as his influence over it reduces to nothing.

An author’s note in issue #9 promised longer “Pelasgus” chapters in future issues, but alas, that was the last issue, and I’ll never know if my speculation in regards to that Kirby connection would ever come true. Well, I suppose I could just email Mr. Sandberg if I wanted to bug the poor guy, as a previous lamenting of Jupiter‘s loss on this site put me in contact with him, and we’d had some friendly interactions over the years. He even provided a good pile of his mini-comics for me to give away on Free Comic Book Day, which I thought was very kind.

He is still active artistically, creating fine art and children’s books (including the eBook Candy and the Cankersaur) and you can learn more about what he’s gettin’ up to over at jasonsandberg.com.

I don’t know how easy to find issues of Jupiter are…I’m not even sure we still have a full run at the shop, and I know I kept reordering copies from some of the indie distributors to have them around. But they’re definitely worth the search.

By the way, I reread all my issues of Jupiter just prior to writing this, and wouldn’t you know it, I’m hooked again…with no more to come! AAAAAUGH

6 Responses to ““Urb no like Pelasgus.””

  • Looks cool, never heard of it. That’s a rather odd exchange rate for the Canadians isn’t it?

  • d says:

    Mike Sterling. Sending people running to search on Ebay since 1969.

  • Casie says:

    Fascinating stuff. Thanks to you I’ve become a fan of Jason Sandberg. Really love his kids books. Didn’t know about Jupiter though. Must find.

  • philip says:

    The late ’90s was the brief period during which I had stopped buying comics (what with being broke and getting hitched and moving cross-country). My loss, it seems, as Jupiter would have been right in my wheelhouse. I will have to join the hunt for whatever issues are out there.

    Thanks for the links to Mr. Sandberg’s other stuff. I will certainly give him a look.

  • JRC says:

    thanks mike!

  • Fort says:

    I just reread all 9 issues of Jupiter. I want more Pelasgus! It was a promising read and I wish he did more of the story. Ah, well, it’s an old story: comics are hard to sustain in making.