Preview of Sputnik 4, 2010

Preview of Sputnik 4, 2010

For two years, I have been drawing a comic feature for the Swedish magazine Populär Astronomi. It has been a wonderful experience, because even with my PhD in history I feel strongly attracted to astronomy and astrophysics. For sure, it is a philosophical interest – read the whole comic and you’ll find a quote by 18th century astronomer Thomas Wright:

“In this great celestial creation, the catastrophe of a world such as ours, or even the total dissolution of a system of worlds, may possibly be no more to the great Author of Nature than the most common accident of life with us. And in all probability such final and general doomsdays may be as frequent there as even Birthdays or Mortality with us upon the Earth. This idea has something so Cheerful in it that I own I can never look upon the stars without wondering that the whole world does not become astronomers; and that men, endowed with sense and reason, should neglect a science that they are naturally so much interested in, and so capable of enlarging the understanding, as next to a Demonstration must convince them of their immortality, and reconcieve them to all those little Difficulties incident to human nature without the least Anxiety.”

I love the contrast between the fragility of existence and the smallness of humanity in the universe. It doesn’t make me feel abandoned. We have only each other, on this tiny little planet; we should take care of each other. This is our immortality – it’s the only meaning we can be sure of.

To read the whole comic, buy a Populär Astronomi at the nearest Pressbyrån, if you’re in Sweden! I wish I could continue working for it, but I discovered during these two years that I spend far too much time despairing over a one-page, one-shot comic than all 28 pages of a Goldenbird chapter. What can I do, I’m a procrastinating perfectionist… And a short comic just has to be perfect all over, like a polished little jewel. In an epic, even weaker parts have their justification… and the artist can relax a bit and go with the flow, once she has captured the attention of the reader. I think I prefer to work for voracious, generous readers (because I’m one myself!).

Maybe I could continue drawing Sputnik if I found a way to focus on the 8 hours of actual work that it takes to complete the comic, instead of suffering through half a month of desperation. It’s not that I lack ideas, I just have so many other tasks on my mind. Do you know somebody who likes to draw comics and is interested in astronomy?