Following Albert Einstein and his sidekick through space and time, Journey By Starlight is a graphic novel that depicts how Einstein explains science backing everything. From Origins of the universe to the meaning of life, divided into 36 chapters, questions of alien existence and how relativity works are covered by the 201 pages in mostly black and white that are sometimes in full color. A must-have for any philosophizer, this book has its own place amongst the Science and Mechanics Collection. If you have yet to read a graphic novel, know that these pack punch and the speech bubbles break up the text in an easier to digest size. Plus having the characters drawn fills in blanks regarding who we hear from, all the while simplifying who is where justifying the word.
What follows the chapters is an index to be referred to after concluding the “time traveler’s guide to life, the universe, and everything.” Following Einstein through his lessons, the novel is not simply confined to a spaceship illustratively. As New York’s Journal of Books wrote, “[authors] Dr. Flitcroft and Mr. Spencer have created a showcase for why comics and graphic novels can be the perfect teaching tools.” Just the sheer amount of illustrations stimulate our creative side and provides a visual aid like any great presentation.
In the novel, Einstein explains gravity and how variable it is when referring to the moon and beyond. There’ s gravity and electromagnetic field and we’re all on it no matter how many light-years away from a planet or celestial object we are. Space is fragile, and so is the earth. Maybe Einstein is the right face to lead an allegory about global warming. His perspective from an afterlife will teach us Earthlings a valuable lesson with a parable about death, beyond and what to expect as we don’t trash and care for our planet.
With clear and concise messages, the meaning of humanity and our place in the universe is made apparent. “On a clear night on Earth, you can see only a few thousand stars, but there are 100 billion stars in this galaxy alone.” Humbling and gratifying, through learning about the universe and beyond, more and more of our lives become relevant.