Last Saturday my newest book was launched, the Dutch ‘Wetenschappen in Beeld’, a 192-page comic book about science. It is the third book in the series of which ‘Philosophy: a Discovery in Comics’ is the first (the second is about religion).
The presentation took place in comic store and gallery Lambiek in Amsterdam, and was framed by a mini-expo I organized with twelve fellow comic artists, who made amazing banners on the theme of ‘Comics and Science’.
VIP guest and speaker was “math-maiden” Ionica Smeets, who is a doctor in mathematics, science journalist and comics lover – she was so kind as to receive the symbolic first issue of the book.
But first, Klaas of Lambiek welcomed everyone and passed the book to my publisher, Esther van der Panne of Uitgeverij Meinema.
I like to write and draw about my own personal life – in fact, all of my comics have autobiographical elements in one way or another. I especially like to draw our cats, beautiful Siamese Boris and his dark sidekick Toto. They both appear in ‘Philosophy: a Discovery in Comics’. In fact, Boris’ dreaming sparks the chapter about what human consciousness is, compared to that of other animals.
After ten pages exploring different features that may define consciousness, such as Logical Thinking, Self-reflection, Use of Symbols and Language, I draw the following conclusion:
Our cats also make an appearance in the two books that follow the Philosophy book – about Religion and Science (both published in The Netherlands and not in translation – yet). I really like drawing them and us in our natural modus, which is: lying in our kingsize bed.
In the book about Science, I use the cats in a similar argument as in the Philosophy book: what makes a scientific mind? Why have animals no science?
Isn’t the natural curiosity in cats the same as in humans? And isn’t that curiosity the base of science…? Yet, humans like to experiment and categorize, and that is not something a lot of animals do. Still, that may be mostly due to their lack of opposable thumbs – not lack of intelligence.
So – wouldn’t our cats monitor the barking-frequency of our neighbor’s dog if they had a chance…?
More comic cats to follow in the coming weeks… so keep an eye on this spot!