Monday, March 10, 2014

What If?

The thing I love the most about our shared hobby is not the comic books, or the TV shows, or the movies. It isn’t the games or novels or related APPS.

It’s the people.

I may be biased but I really believe that the people who gravitate towards comic books and all the things that go with them are pretty special. For the most part our fellow collectors are kind, compassionate and intelligent.

There is a strong element of humanism that runs through our community.

There is one other quality that the community shares. Almost everyone of you is a “What if?” and a “maybe someday” personality. You see the world in much broader strokes than the average person. Life is more that just those things that directly impact your immediate existence. You are question askers!

What IF a man could fly?

What IF we travel from the inner mind to the Outer Limits?

What might happen a long time ago, in a Galaxy far away?

Can we REALLY make a small side trip to the Twilight Zone?

And so on…you are all so full of wonder. It is why so many of us try our hand at creating things. It may be a comic, or a blog, or a pod cast. We write, draw, sculpt, build, create…

And wonder.

The best thing we create are all the wonderful friendships.

We look over the next hill and wonder every day about our place in the Cosmos.

(You KNEW I was going here didn’t you?)

Last night on FOX in PRIME TIME the sequel to the classic Carl Sagan hosted series COSMOS made it’s debut. Hosted by Neil DeGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist, author, and Director of the Hayden Planetarium, Cosmos, A Space Time Odyssey asks a LOT of questions. More importantly it prompts US to ask a lot of questions.

Like the original series, Cosmos is set to air thirteen episodes. And like the original, this new Cosmos will not only explore deep space. It will explore the heart , soul and endlessly questioning nature of humanity.

The first words of the first episode come from Car Sagan, in his own voice. He reminds us that “The Cosmos is all there ever was and all there ever will be”

At one point in the early part of the premiere episode Tyson points out that while we will need our imaginations to take this journey of the mind, we will also need science, because the reality of the Cosmos is so much more than anything we could ever imagine.

The opening episode takes us from the Big Bang, to 16th Century Europe to beyond the Universe and into the Multiverse. We revisit the Cosmic Calendar which compresses the existence of the Cosmos to a single calendar year. We, you and I….everyone we have ever heard about…all the wars…all the science…all the literature…EVERYTHING in the human condition took place in the last few seconds of the last day on the Cosmic Calendar .

Pretty humbling. But, as Carl once said, WE are the way for the Cosmos to know itself.

The Cosmos would be a pretty poor place if there were no one to bear witness…to wonder at it all.

The thing that stuck most powerfully for me from this first episode is a story that Tyson tells about how, as a young teenager Carl Sagan reached out to him, as he did with many young people. Sagan invited him to his laboratory and spent the day with him. Sagan, who was the face of science at the time and very famous felt that it was important to connect with young people. To give of his time and pass along his own sense of wonder.

It almost makes me think Sagan collected comic books. As Tyson observed, he learned more than what sort of scientist he wanted to be. He learned about the sort of person he wanted to be.

Watch Cosmos. Wonder at it and keep asking questions.

That’s 30!