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Starchild was a densely illustrated fantasy comic book self-published in the 1990s by James A. Owen, that grew out of a comic idea entitled Pryderi Terra, a Superman Elseworlds story for DC Comics (also titled Starchild), and a Classics Illustrated adaptation of Silas Marner that never saw print. There were 24 issues total, and the series has been collected in a boxed set of reprints titled The Essential Starchild from Owen's Coppervale Press.

The story was influenced by fairy tales and old English legends, and involved an old family secret linked to a dark and mysterious forest. The art was influenced — in the minds of some critics, too much so — by Dave Sim and Gerhard's Cerebus the Aardvark, a link from which Owen made no attempt to distance himself. Several issues even mimic Cerebus’ comics-industry satire, with cartoon versions of Neil Gaiman and even Cerebus himself ("Serbius") appearing in minor roles. The latter spoof went some way toward defusing criticisms Owen was merely a Sim/Gerhard copycat.

Owen initially associated with Sim as well as self-publishers Jeff Smith, Martin Wagner, and Colleen Doran when he first entered the comics field. Yet his personality quickly gained more attention than his book, and he developed a reputation for aggressive self-promotion.

Seemingly obsessed with matching Sim's achievements in every particular, in 1993 Owen publically challenged Sim to a "bet" in which he swore to produce Starchild monthly for a year, or buy Sim a week's vacation to anywhere Sim chose. If Owen won, Sim would foot the bill for a massive pizza party to be hosted by Owen. Sim was caught off guard, and when Owen fell short of his self-imposed goal, Sim treated the bet as though it had never happened.

Starchild’s sales never matched those of Cerebus or Bone, and Sim eventually dissolved ties with Owen — but not before responding to Owen's "Serbius" spoof by giving Starchild’s boggle-eyed barkeeper character Martin Humble a surprisingly substantial role in the graphic novel Guys.

Five issues of Starchild were published by Image Comics, and Owen continued to appear at the San Diego Comic Con with a massive Starchild display featuring life-sized animatronic characters. In recent years Owen has reinvented himself as a novelist, with a fantasy trilogy titled Mythworld meeting with success in Germany.