We could probably go on forever with various interesting snippets from Comic-Con 2009—until next year’s con, at least—but we have to wrap this up soon so we can get on with covering the rest of the universe. So here are the last little important sci-fi news bitties from this year’s Comic-Con:
▪ Jeff Smith, whose epic graphic novel Bone is on track to be released as a Warner Brothers movie, spent a year boning up on quantum physics fundamentals for his current comic serial RASL. “I love the new wave of theoretical physics,” he told SciNoFi. “I’m a devotee of Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking, Brian Greene, and Michio Kaku. It wasn’t a hardship to do the studying.”
The story mixes string theory, M theory and parallel universes with science conspiracy theories. “The glue between them is RASL, an inter-dimensional art thief,” he adds. “You have a guy with thermo-magnetic pads on his shoulders so he can step through parallel dimensions—add a shot of rye whiskey in his gut and he’s ready to go.”
SciNoFi guest-blogger Susan Karlin got a quick photo of this tattoo on the arm of Comic-Con treasurer (and creator of the Comic-Con iPhone app [link redirects to iTunes store]) Mark Yturralde. Yturralde is such a NASA fan that he has created a permanent shrine on his right arm to all the astronauts who gave their lives for the space program. (The astronauts are grouped into the three fatal American space missions: Apollo 1, Challenger, and Columbia.) He says, “I’m hoping there won’t be anymore deaths. So I purposely spaced out the names so there wouldn’t be enough room to add more.”
For any curious readers of the Loom, we’re already checking with Yturralde if he wouldn’t mind if we submit a pic of his tattoo to Carl’s Science Tattoo Emporium.
Radical Publishing’s Shrapnel is one step closer to becoming a real, honest-to-God movie now that director Len Wiseman (Underworld, etc) has signed on. The graphic novel—written by Nick Sagan, Mark Long, and M. Zachary Sherman, with art by Bagus Hutomo—is billed as a “Joan of Arc in space” story. During the last day at Comic-Con, Sagan, son of the famous cosmologist Carl Sagan and a respected science-fiction writer himself, spoke to SciNoFi about the project.
“I think of Shrapnel as the anti-Star Trek,” says Sagan, who wrote several episodes for the franchise. “Instead of putting aside our differences to boldly go and do great things, I’m not sure that’s the way it’s going to actually happen. Shrapnel is based on the idea that we do colonize the solar system, but it’s not clean and optimistic. The haves are putting the screws to the have-nots. The story is about the last stand of the last free colony in the solar system.”
But moreover it reflects about man’s battle with himself—pitting the thin veneer of civilization against millions of years of evolutionary programming. “Higher levels of technology allow fewer people to do more damage,” says Sagan. “That’s going to be a real challenge for us. There’s a belief that if we branch out into the solar system, if something goes terribly wrong on Earth, we have an escape route. That’s a hopeful idea, but we tend to take our problems with us wherever we go. As a science-fiction writer, I feel my responsibility is to look ahead and see the dangers of what might happen, and try to warn people of the potential pitfalls.