I am trying to identify a book that I read in the mid 1980's. Some details:

  • It was a graphic novel, or comic. All black and white, if I remember correctly.
  • The main character was a human, though I believe all of the other characters were anthropomorphized animals. There was a cat-woman who acts as a kind of mentor/mother to the main character, along with some varied animal "children".
  • I believe the main character's name was Phaedrus, or a variation of this.
  • The main character flies a spaceship shaped like a falcon, and arrives on the animal planet as a stranger, looking for something specific that I can't remember.
  • There is a metal sphere that, when opened, has a simple pattern inside: a single concentric circle with a cross extending through it to the edges of the sphere.
  • There is a human-sized earthworm that appears in the background of panels early in the story, but becomes a vital part of the story later on, eventually merging with the main character.

It's incredible that despite all of these details, I can't seem to find anything via Google. I've even gone so far to return to the library that I remember checking it out from as a child, but they no longer have the book.

Thank you for your help, this has been bugging me for years now.

  • Was the main character female? Because the female version of Phaedrus (i.e, Phaedra) is a significantly more common name. – Tacroy Nov 13 '12 at 17:56
  • No - that makes a lot of sense, but the main character was a male. It is possible that I am misremembering the name somehow. The other details - the falcon spaceship, the metal sphere, the worm - are pretty concrete. – fjordfiesta Nov 14 '12 at 2:49
  • When you mention the space craft and the giant worm the first thing that comes to my mind is a series called "Dune". I know there were books and movies though I am not sure if they ever did a comic. – Parry Dec 29 '12 at 9:13
  • Did you ever identify this book? I read it, too, and, like you, I've been looking for it for some time now with no success. I would love to know the title. I remember the same details that you do, plus I remember that the boy had to travel underground, the sphere that opened up was actually a key, and towards the end the boy had to walk through fire. – user17546 Sep 23 '13 at 22:31
  • It couldn't possibly be Treasure Planet? cornel1801.com/disney/Treasure-Planet-2002/characters/… – Valorum Jul 27 '14 at 22:00

I have found it! It's titled "The Midnight Son" and was written by Steve Miller. Still available on Amazon.

  • 2
    Well done. Now can you add the summary as to how does this match the description? – Aegon Aug 26 '16 at 12:27
  • This is amazing. I got chills when I saw the cover. I actually kind of gave up on ever finding it, and on a whim just decided to check this site again. YES. – fjordfiesta May 18 '17 at 16:19

I also have very vivid memories of this story, and have been trying to discover the name of the graphic novel for some time. I remember the spacecraft shaped like a bird (I think maybe it was broken, or crash landed on the planet?), I remember the human sized earthworm that the man was following, and the young man's journey under the ground in search of something. I also remember that as his journey continued his initially pristine uniform/space suit became more and more damaged until he was wearing torn rags near the end it the story. There was definitely some kind of fire he had to cross near the end of the story, and while I don't remember the exact ending, it had something to do with his connection with the giant earthworm and the sphere/key (maybe he and the earthworm merged, or became the same entity?).

I realize that this question was asked several years ago, but I hope that by adding a few additional details it might spur someone with a better memory than mine to provide an answer. It obviously was interesting/strange enough to make something of a lasting impression.

One more thing: I may be totally off on this, but part of me remembers there being very little (or possibly no) text in the story. Hope someone can help us out with identifying this strange tale!

Edit: I should have posted this as a comment, not an answer. I am still new to the site. Apologies.

  • jessewf, welcome to scifi stack exchange. You might wish to read the help center section of How to Answer a question. As it stands what you have written is not a question, but a comment. – Lexible Sep 13 '15 at 6:38
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    Partial answers need love too. You have my +1 for advancing the question – Valorum Sep 13 '15 at 6:55
  • Thanks for the welcome Lexible, and yes as I said in the edit, I accidentally posted as an answer when I intended to click on "comment". Won't happen again, I swear :-) – jessewf Sep 13 '15 at 20:24
  • Thanks also to Richard for the upvote. In the comments above (it appears that I don't have enough reputation points to comment there, but can comment here), you mentioned "treasure planet". I followed the link you provided, and looked at some other images from the movie as well. While the sphere does look similar to what I remember from the mystery story in question, that is the only similarity. Alas, treasure planet is not the story in question. – jessewf Sep 13 '15 at 20:43
  • Jessewf - this is exactly the book! I remember the details you mention as well, the fire, the rags. I forgot about this question, but decided to check back in to see if it's gotten any extra hits. Treasure Planet is definitely not the one... Man, I hope that someone can help with this. – fjordfiesta Dec 17 '15 at 16:38

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