June 19, 2010

When Worlds Collide: Shrapnel and Sagan

It’s not very often that i find myself in the middle of two worlds, but seeing them "collide" right before my very eyes is something worth telling. I’ll attempt to explain how my latest discovery is also a kind of "merging" of two genres, in some way.
Let me begin by saying that reading the latest “Shrapnel: Hubris” has been a great treat. It’s a follow up to “Aristeia Rising“ from Radical Comics, makers of Hotwire and a host of other fantastic graphic novels.
My problem with having a great comicbook on my hands is that I instantly devour the inner pages as soon as I get hold of it, perhaps due to my personal time constraints or sheer excitement. I seldom take note of the name of the writer behind it. Yes, it is a sin. And my confession follows.

In this case, I happened to glance upon the author Nick Sagan as I briefly admired the cover art (by Stephan Martiniere) and proceeded to hurriedly flip through the pages. In between pages, I mused to myself: Sagan is familiar but to see it on this kind of publication seemed strange. Perhaps they just have the same last name by coincidence? Could he be related to Carl?
“Nahh...can’t be.” I murmured, holding off my curiousity for a while as I read on.
Only after pausing halfway into it, and getting the chance to google “Nick Sagan +Shrapnel” did I learn that he is indeed the son of Carl Sagan!

Yes, I should be ashamed. I finished the first Shrapnel (Aristeia Rising) and never knew anything about the authors. Today, I change all that. And promise to take note of the authors from now on.
Carl Sagan wrote Science stuff. I brought one of his books, “Cosmos” halfway across the world to be the first book on my shelf in another country. Now, having recently discovered an appreciation for this medium of Graphic Novels, I honestly did not expect Carl Sagan's son to work in the comic book industry (and with Radical Publishing for that matter). I would expect Nick Sagan to work at NASA. But No. And Yes, Carl Sagan’s son writes comic books!

Surfing further, I just found out that when Nick was a young boy, his voice was recorded and included in the Voyager Golden Record. He said “Hello from the children of planet Earth.” Today, he writes SciFi novels and other cool stuff as well.

It’s definitely a great sight to see Cosmos and Shrapnel together on my bookshelf. Two fields, two cultures, two men, two generations, two worlds, two mediums, colliding, and then merging into one.