by M.R. James / retold by Kester Limner
Lettering by Geneva Wall — 44 pages — 2017
A young orphan goes to live at his mysterious uncle's house. A sinister story unfolds...
M.R. James was a Victorian author who specialized in ghost stories and other weird fiction tales. This story is set at the turn of the 18th century, and is full of delightful gothic tropes. My goal was to adapt the story as faithfully as I could, without using any extra text boxes or prose narrative--just artwork and dialogue. I'm also trying out an experimental storytelling tool: the framing banners at the top and bottom of each page provide non-linear emotional and visual content that compliments the main panels.
Lost Hearts is essentially a story about a child in mortal danger. My own child was diagnosed with leukemia at age three, and we experienced many years of danger and fear together. During that time, I found historical fiction to be particularly relevant, because children were more often depicted as being victims of disease, accident, and death. Lost Hearts is set at the very beginning of the 19th century, when potential child mortality was an accepted part of life.
Lost Hearts is a work in progress, and if everything goes well, it should be done by this summer!