100. CARL SAGAN: Pale blue dot

Discussion (297) ¬

  1. Macuelos

    My, that’s a very big amount of faces you’ve got there in that fourth panel.
    Lawrence of Arabia, Nelson Mandela, Muhammed Ali, Abraham Lincoln, Mozart, Darwin, Caesar, Beatles(?), Elvis, Napoleon, Jesus, Einstein, Chaplin, Bruce Lee, Steve Jobs, Van Gogh, Shakespeare, Bob Marley, Kennedy, Che Guevara, and all those others. There must be a good 50 faces in there.

    • Moh

      Hehee you named quite a few ;)

    • The Strongest Karate

      I spent more time trying to name those faces than I did on reading the rest of this great comic!

    • Tony Fisk
      Tony Fisk

      Naturally, the Beatles *had*to be in the montage!

    • REJOY

      I’ve waited so Long Gavin, I thought you had forgotten. Thank you so much.. its more than i could Have Imagined.
      Thank you so much.

      • Neha

        Congratulations for the 100th comic and the Zen Pencil’s anniversary! I agree with you, it feels like it’s more time. Maybe it’s for the quotes, they’re timeless.

    • Anonymous

      And yet somehow, there are only 7 women that I count in the picture.

      • Anonymous

        Only 7 for now, there are more that can be recognized and more that will.

    • Jeff

      That frame alone is an incredible piece of artwork; it rivals even the Sgt Pepper album. If I had a big house and cash to spend on art, I’d have a lithograph of that on a wall somewhere…

    • Koios

      Thought that was Beethoven, myself

      • delani

        I know them all except the asian man with the goatee in the upper left corner.

        • KB

          That’s Lenin.

          • ali-g

            i believe that would be atilla the hun

  2. Terence MacManus

    That was brilliant! A very fitting capstone to 100 marvellous comics; bravo!

  3. Assilem

    Congratulations for the 100th comic and the Zen Pencil’s anniversary! I agree with you, it feels like it’s more time. Maybe it’s for the quotes, they’re timeless.

  4. Philippe

    Happy birthday zen pencils. May the time be good to you like you have been to me.

  5. Paul Caggegi

    This is my favourite Sagan quote. I’ve bought four of your posters, and am waiting for some more work to be able to afford to frame them… but I am taking out a second mortgage to buy this one. Maybe one of the extra large’s. Cheers, Gavin. Really well drawn. And I love your rendition of Carl as a kid!

  6. Uri

    Like you, I wished for Pale Blue Dot ever since you published your first comic.
    Thank you.

  7. Nick Johnson

    A beautiful adaptation of one of my favorite quotes. Bravo!

  8. Colin Jagoe
    Colin Jagoe

    Well done! Totally did it justice.

  9. Anonymous

    Very good, though the map of Polish-German border is wrongly drawn. During World War II, the border looked completely different from the modern one.

    • M

      it’s not even up to date map. czechoslovakia does not exist any longer

      • bildungsroman

        It’s supposed to be 1939, when Czechoslovakia did exist but Poland’s borders were very different: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Territorial_changes_of_Poland_immediately_after_World_War_II

        • BarcaS

          Actually Czechoslovakia had ceased to exist before Germany invaded Poland.

          • Lexx

            you have to check your history books my friend, Czechoslovakia existed from 1918 until its peaceful dissolution into the Czech Republic and Slovakia on 1 January 1993.

            • LukeS

              Not quite.
              After the Sudetenland was annex by Germany in 1938, the region gradually turned into a state with loosened connections among the Czech, Slovak, and Ruthenian parts, called Czecho-Slovakia. A large strip of southern Slovakia and Carpatho-Ukraine was annexed by Hungary. Between 1939–1945 the region split into the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia and the Slovak Republic. In 1945 Carpatho-Ruthenia was ceded to the USSR as part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic

    • Anonymous

      Good thing the idea of the piece wasn’t lost on you guys.

      • John Barleycorn
        John Barleycorn

        My exact sentiments! Why the pissing contest?

        • Anonymous

          I think of Carl Sagan of someone who cherished the search for truth and critical thinking. Besides having a poetic and didactic talent, he was a great scientist after all. And a polite discussion is not a pissing contest.

  10. Moh

    Happy Birthday Zen Pencils!! <3 Great choice for #100.

  11. Alan OBy

    A very accurate and thoughtful way of getting across the obvious. If only we as a species could live by the thoughts of peace we generate and so desire.

  12. Vladimir Zh

    Thank you very much, you are really inspire (http://baihu.tom.ru/2013/01/pale-blue-dot.html) every week.

  13. The Strongest Karate

    Hey Gavin,

    First: Great comic. I didn’t have a traumatic or overly terrible youth, but when life started to cave in around me I would often find a quiet spot outside at night and stare at the stars. It always helped me realize how small I am and, by comparison, how small my problems are.

    Second: I knew that was Carl Sagan even in the first frame he appeared! It was the eyebrows…

    Third: I love the dirty look Napoleon is giving to Chaplin!

    Keep ‘em comin, Gav!

  14. Dana

    I have been visiting your web site for quite some time, but i have been more of a silent stalker, however, now I have to congratulate you on the great adaptation of my favorite quote.
    Great quote indeed for the anniversary!

    Here is a great video depicting this quote I found a while back:

  15. Mazahar

    Awesome !! Done true justice to Celebration of 100th comics with the most famous and fabulous quote by Carl Sagan, having the amazing ability of justifying philosophical thoughts.

    Thanks Gav, for implementing this through your amazing comic art work.. :)

  16. Gabriel

    That just brought me to the point of tears and I’m a big dude who doesn’t cry easily. I knew from the first couple of words what this quote was and who it was buy. Carl Sagan brought so much joy and happiness in my life. As a kid I would rush home from school so I could catch the latest episode of Cosmos. And I’ve read almost all of his books. Thanks for this. It was wonderful.

  17. KensterFox

    Neat comic.

    Also neat that you posted a comic featuring the face of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the day dedicated to his memory in the United States. I know you’re not American, so I assume this is just a cool coincidence.

  18. Joel

    I always get goosebumps when I hear Sagan recite this quote.
    Thank you for your work in getting all of these wonderful tidbits of humanity out there for more to see.

    Also, I appreciated the Who reference of “Silence in the Library” – nice nod there :)

    • Evan

      Carl Sagan quote…

  19. Bearman

    Another gem though this would have been the perfect opportunity for my image to cameo in your collage of historical figures..haha

  20. Lucas Góis
    Lucas Góis

    I love this quote, simply love it. I listen to it often and the comic is amazing. I think that this quote should be played in every school, for every one, and explained. It helps us understand our place in the universe, and to take away some of our ego.

  21. Tiffany

    I loved the comic, this was wonderful, I was just marginally disappointed we didn’t get a Martin Luther King, Jr comic, especially considering the date. But perhaps we’ll get one in the future. :) This comic was amazing, and I can’t wait to see the comics you’ll post in the future. Keep up the good work.

    • Anonymous

      Tiffany – Australian comic.

  22. rejoy

    i found your website just 2 or three months ago… and have been an avid reader since…
    to give you a sense of your worldwide reach ,let me tell something nice in my mother tongue malayalam…
    ???? ?? ????? !!!!!!..:-)

    • rejoy

      oops!!guess your site doesn’t support malayalam , :-(
      anyways good wishes….

  23. Charles Ton
    Charles Ton

    I could write several pages right now.
    Summing it up: Thank you for investing your life in this site.
    You did Sagan and the 100th quote justice.

    I think him as a kid really captures his character, always interested to learn and find things out, and being thankful and loving to those around. I feel that’s good take on life.

  24. dbryte

    Great job Gav! I’d like to suggest that if you were to ever “tweak” this in the future, that the symbol for Secular Humanism be included in the collection of “religious” symbols. Carl Sagan was a self-identified Humanist and considered by many to be one the greatest thought-leaders of the Humanist movement. I think he would like that. Keep up the great work!

  25. SKinspired

    Very Excellent & Awesome!!!!!
    its even better even to read it whilst listening to the youtube video!!!!

    i think u should do a quote zen pencil about george orwell’s 1984….:)

  26. Andrew T
    Andrew T

    What a fantastic choice for #100.

    I don’t know if I’ve ever commented on one of your posts, but I had to share. This little monologue, the picture that goes with it, and Sagan’s presentation… they all come together to be one of the most moving things I’ve ever seen.

    I wish, I truly wish, that more people could develop the appreciation for our circumstances that Sagan, other astronomers, and the various astronauts have demonstrated. Truly, the world would be a much better place.

    Thank you again. You’re fantastic!

  27. Joel Bustamante A.
    Joel Bustamante A.

    Just can say great quote for celebrate u first anniversary. All u comics are great, but this very special. Regards from Mexico.

    Solo puedo decir que es una gran cita/frase para celebrar tu primer aniversario. Todos tus comics son grandiosos, pero este es muy especial. Saludos desde México.

  28. Lin Barrett
    Lin Barrett

    Your illustration for this is absolutely brilliant. Brilliant.

  29. Dan

    Great quote, and congrats on 1 year/100 comics!

    One critique though–the Milky Way is most likely a “barred spiral” galaxy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barred_spiral_galaxy
    If you ever re-draw or touch up comics, you should consider changing the depiction of the Milky Way in 16th panel.

    • Neil Haggath
      Neil Haggath

      No, The library sequence shows Carl Sagan as a kid. We didn’t know the Milky Way was a barred spiral in those days; it’s a recent discovery. So the book is as it would have looked at the time.

      • Dan

        Oh, good point

  30. Kathleen M
    Kathleen M

    From left to right, top down:
    Lawrence of Arabia, MLK Jr, Che Guevara, Nelson Mandela, Magellan or Columbus (maybe?), no idea, Genghis Khan or Attila the Hun, not sure, Beethoven, Abraham Lincoln, don’t know the little girl, Bob Marley, JFK, Muhammad Ali, Julius Caesar, Lady Diana, Shakespeare, Charles Darwin, The Lady, Elvis, The Beatles, Van Gogh, Benjamin Franklin, Mark Twain (?), Helen Keller, Michael Jackson, Joan of Arc, Steve Jobs, Mao, Stalin, Isaac Newton, Bruce Lee (?), Hitler, Michael Jordan, Marilyn Monroe, the Dalai Lama, Amelia Earhart, Einstein, Theodore Roosevelt, Jesus, Buddha, da Vinci, Napoleon, and Charlie Chaplin.
    I’m sure on most of them.

    Awesome quote Gav! I love the way you adapted this one.

    • Piera

      I think the guy next to Columbus (or Magellan) may be Oscar Wilde, the one next to Genghis Khan (or Attila) may be Lenin, and the little girl looks like Anne Frank.

      • Kathleen M
        Kathleen M

        That seems to be correct. Thanks! 43 characters, pretty cool.

    • Calibur

      Damn you two took them all.. Yeah I had all except the age-of exploration guy and the ond the one next to him.

    • Adarsh

      I think “The Lady” (Beside Darwin) is Aung San Suu Kyi

    • Neil Haggath
      Neil Haggath

      Definitely Oscar Wilde, Genghis Khan, Lenin and Anne Frank.

  31. drokalok

    Fantastic adaptation, Gav! But, I think the common interpretation of the photo/quote “as a sobering reminder of our planet’s insignificance” deserves reexamination.

    Whenever this theory (or similar) gets brought up, I see a lot of people coming to believe how small/insignificant they are. Think about it the other way. Think about how big you are. Yes, you. What happens when you zoom in closer and closer to the smallest and smallest levels of magnification? Down to the bacteria, the cells, the chemicals, the molecules, the atoms, the quarks and whatever-extends-beyond that composes your body. The you (the skin-encapsulated “you” that we tend to define ourselves as, anyway) almost becomes a universe onto itself. With billions of galaxies and trillions of stars and planets and inhabitants. Now, at that scale, extend that to our planet and its unfathomable concert of organisms.

    So, which point-of-view is correct? Both, perhaps – but, as Alan Watts said, it comes down to “how you define yourself.” Along those lines, he offers yet another shift of perspective:

    “Billions of years ago, you were a big bang, but now you’re a complicated human being. And then we cut ourselves off and don’t feel that we’re still the big bang, but you are. Depends how you define yourself. You are actually—if this is the way things started, if there was a big bang in the beginning—you’re not something that is a result of the big bang, on the end of the process. You are still the process. You are the big bang, the original force of the universe, coming on as whoever you are. When I meet you I see not just what you define yourself as…I see every one of you as the primordial energy of the universe coming on at me in this particular way. I know I’m that too, but we’ve learned to define ourselves as separate from it.”

    Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor put it this way:

    “We are the life-force power of the universe, with dexterity.”

    So, I see it the other way, as a reminder of our planet’s significance. Or, rather, as a reminder of a universe that bears not only the Earth’s signature, but each and every one of our signatures (and every organism, micro- to macro-, to date). Neil deGrasse Tyson riffs on this quite beautifully, as well:

    “So that when I look up at the night sky, and I know that yes we are part of this universe, we are in this universe, but perhaps more important than both of those facts is that the universe is in us. When I reflect on that fact, I look up…many people feel small, cause they’re small and the universe is big. But I feel big because my atoms came from those stars.”

    Congrats on the milestone!

    • Paul Caggegi

      Drokalok – this quote is about humbling ourselves, seeing ourselves in perspective. your thoughts are valid, tho, as we are also unique (as far as we know) and so therefore, extremely special. Have you seen this awesome chart which shows the two sides of this same coin? http://joke7x24.deals.lv/site/assets/you-are-enormously-significant.jpg

      • drokalok

        Paul – Thanks for the response and the slick infograph! I think humility is an important quality to have, and that contemplating the vastness of the cosmos is one way for people to gain that perspective. My issue, though, is that this somehow automatically points towards “insignificance.” See, even if the universe is this vastly enormous thing that goes on forever and ever, it still depends on you existing from moment to moment.

        I don’t mean this in a way to boost one’s ego or get an inflated sense of self, just the simple fact of what is. The universe equally depends on the existence of the “tiniest” gnat buzzing about. But when we decide to make that judgement call – that we are “just” an insignificant thing on this tiny speck – well, that’s what Alan Watts called the “put-down theory” of life. This might not be a problem if it didn’t so drastically affect the way we feel about ourselves and behave towards the world (which one’s ideas and beliefs inevitably do). It too often breeds unhappiness and misery. It not only gives us a false sense of isolation and separation from the natural world (since that’s how we’ve defined ourselves), but I agree with Watts when he said it “underlies the misuse of technology for the violent subjugation of man’s natural environment and, consequently, its eventual destruction.” He then recognizes:

        “We are therefore in urgent need of a sense of our own existence which is in accord with the physical facts and which overcomes our feeling of alienation from the universe.”

        In this short clip, he gives an idea of this perspective (which holds true no matter how far you zoom in/out):

        Organism-Environment, the transactional nature

        And he elaborates/sums it up elsewhere:

        “By cultural and social conditioning, man has been hypnotized into experiencing himself as an ego-as an isolated center of consciousness and will inside a bag of skin, confronting an external and alien world. We say, ‘I came into this world.’ But we did nothing of the kind. We came out of it in just the same way that fruit comes out of trees. Our galaxy, our cosmos, ‘peoples’ in the same way that an apple tree ‘apples.’

        You and I are all as much continuous with the physical universe as a wave is continuous with the ocean. The ocean ‘waves,’ and the universe ‘peoples.’ And as I wave and say to you ‘Yoo-hoo!’ the world is waving with me at you and saying ‘Hi! I’m here!’ But we – our consciousness – of the way we feel and sense our existence, being based on a myth – that we are made, that we are parts, that we are things – our consciousness has been influenced, so that each one of us does not feel that.”
        http://deoxy.org/w_nature.htm (text)
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElTxR5vxQ6o (audio lecture)

    • Nabarun

      I do not think Sagan’s quote in anyway tries to tell us that we’re insignificant. It only tries to remind us that we’re apart (a significant part) of a larger whole. Yes, the universe is within us in a way. Sagan himself said ‘We’re made of star stuff.’ I believe what Sagan tries to reflect over and remind us is that many times through human history we have and continue to indulge ourselves into this feeling of personal significance so much that we tend to forget we are a part of a much bigger and beautiful whole and in fact try to assert one’s significance over another. Having said that I agree with you when you say that people might tend to misinterpret this as an outright reminder of our insignificance which it is not.

  32. Rosie

    My favourite website just adapted my favourite quote, you have no idea how loud I squealed :D

  33. Eric Hauck
    Eric Hauck

    I’ve waited so Long Gavin, I thought you had forgotten. Thank you so much.. its more than i could Have Imagined.
    Thank you so much

  34. Guy from Poland
    Guy from Poland
    • Gav

      Thanks for the link

  35. Charles

    Phenomenal as always! Once I get a little more disposable income, I’m definitely buying a copy of this one.

  36. Francisco G
    Francisco G

    Absolute favorite quote by Carl Sagan, an excellent choice for the 100th comic. Well done Gavin, and congrats on both the 100th comic and Zen Pencil’s birthday. Keep ‘em coming!

  37. Anne Dreya
    Anne Dreya

    This is so beautiful! I will definitely be buying a print of this. :)

  38. Arturo

    thanks for make me SMILE =)

  39. Lisa

    Is the girl next to Lincoln Anne Frank?

    • Gav


  40. Fisilosofo

    Thank you SO MUCH, for keeping this speech for the 100th comic. It means a lot to me (Carl Sagan, Brian Cox and others like them are the final reason for me studying physics in the end).


  41. Lauren

    A timeless quote (I can’t help but hear it in his voice!) and beautifully illustrated. Congratulations on the 100th! I truly love your art and messages you share. :)

  42. T-Dawg

    I love the many faces, and the way you keep zooming out of the dot, and of course Sagan’s fantastic quote. This is my favourite of all your comics, and reminds me of your NdGT one (number 42) as well. Keep up your inspirational and beautiful work!

  43. Madfishmonger

    Beautifully done, you’ve done it justice.

  44. Gav

    Thanks for the great feedback :) and to all of you who sent me an email requesting this quote the past year, you don’t know how hard it was to bite my tongue – I always knew this would be my 100th comic but I wanted it to be a surprise

    • ANMOL

      Haha. When you sent me a reply saying you had this on your plate, I just knew this was going to be No.100! Congrats Gavin. You have achieved great heights in just one year and 100 comics! Continue inspiring us. :)

  45. Mark Joseph
    Mark Joseph

    Like many others, I’ve been waiting for this quote just about since I started reading Zen Pencils. And the wait was worth it–this is a brilliantly conceived and beautifully executed rendition of the quote. Thank you!

    For the record, the quote continues: “Look back again at the pale blue dot of the preceding chapter. Take a good long look at it. Stare at the dot for any length of time and then try to convince yourself that God created the whole Universe for one of the 10 million or so species of life that inhabit that speck of dust. Now take it a step further: Imagine that everything was made just for a single shade of that species, or gender, or ethnic or religious subdivision. If this doesn’t strike you as unlikely, pick another dot. Imagine it to be inhabited by a different form of intelligent life. They, too, cherish the notion of a God who has created everything for their benefit. How seriously do you take their claim?”

    Congratulations, Gavin, on 100 illustrated pieces of wisdom!

  46. Luis

    I think I can name them all, is there a prize XD? A very moving piece, congratulations from Mexico on you 100th post! Keep it up!!

  47. Christopher Ruz

    I have to admit, I have tears in my eyes. A stunning adaptation.

    Although I have to ask… and I’m making the assumption that that is Jesus on the bottom edge of the largest panel… why is he so, well, white? For someone who seems to always include a huge range of ethnicities in his comics, it seems strange for you to draw the most famous Middle Easterner of all time as a pale Caucasian.

  48. Mark

    How cool would it be to see all of those people interact with each other? Like at a party or something! Having Nelson Mandela chat with Amelia Earhart would be an interesting conversation to see I’m sure.

  49. Shehryar

    WOW! I’m speechless!

  50. Sherri

    beautiful. A very humbling, yet inspiring quote, especially enhanced with your art. Thank you!

  51. Andy

    excellent as always…hope there is many more comics to come. ^^

  52. Edie

    I LOVE all your zenpencils, and you never let me down with the quotes you choose and the way you depict them. You’ve outdone yourself with this one. It is now my favorite! Thank you!

  53. Uzgov

    Simply Beautiful…. T_T

  54. Eccles9

    Gavin, I’m putting on a hat just so I can take it off in respect. What a way to mark the milestone of your 100th Zen Pencils post – congratulations and may your star continue to rise.

  55. Troy Pathon
    Troy Pathon

    Superb, love this one. Keep up the great work, your ideas reach further than you will ever know. I am a year 6 teacher in a school in South Australia, last year after stumbling upon your site I began sharing certain of your comics with the class, with a few of them this in turn led to more in depth conversations. I personally love astronomy and the great minds in this field such as Sagan, Hawking and DeGrasse. What a privilidged position your have carved out with your dedication and talent, well done.

  56. Donna-Lee

    Thanks Gavin, of all the scientists that have inspired me in life and as a scientist, Carl Sagan has been at the top of my list for decades. My only regret is that he died to young and I never got to meet him.

    This is a beautiful rendition of a wonderful and timeless quote, and it is my wish that all inhabitants of the earth would finally take on the depth of this message. It’s not rocket science, he was a great communicator and he broke it down into the simplest of terms, here. Blessings, Donna-Lee

  57. Dedwarmo

    Love this quote and your illustrations.

    Did you have to get Ann Druyan’s permission?

  58. gabriel

    AMAZING work man! that’s my favorite quote by far… congratulations on your first year!
    btw, your challenge of naming all the characters is killing me… hahahaha… would these be them?:
    lawrence of arabia, martin luther king jr., che guevara, nelson mandela, christopher columbus, edgar alan poe, ghengis kan, vladimir lenin, ludwig van beethoven, abraham lincoln, anne frank, bob marley, john f. kennedy, muhammed ali, julius caesar, princess diana spencer, william shakespeare, charles darwin, aung san suu kyi, elvis presley, the beatles, vincent van gogh, benjamin franklin, mark twain, hellen keller, michael jackson, mohandas ghandi, joan of arc, steve jobs, mao zedong, joseph stalin, isaac newton, bruce lee, the dalai lama, marilyn monroe, michael jordan, adolf hitler, amelia earhart, leonardo da vinci, albert einstein, theodore roosevelt, jesus, siddharta gautama, napoleon bonaparte, charles chaplin

  59. Dwight Dunlop
    Dwight Dunlop

    Thank you thank you thank you

  60. Nikolas

    Congratulations for the Zen Pencils anniversary, Gav!! I’ve seen all posts as soon they were launched since the 10th one!! Thank you for all these comics all this time!

  61. Alex

    Congrats Gav – superb work as always. I’m impressed with how far you’ve come in such a short time. It’s great to see an artist perform when they’re inspired!

  62. Hugo Motral
    Hugo Motral

    Excellent work. One comment – why Hitler? Out of the hundreds of possible incarnations of evil, why the most generic (and perhaps overused) villain? I certainly don’t underrate what occurred in Europe during the 1930′s and 1940′s, but a more universal example could be used: being Nazi doesn’t make something more evil.

    Just a random thought after enjoying and loving many more comics. Keep it up!

    • Calibur

      Perhaps because he is the most generic and most universally considered evil.

    • Matt

      I was a bit disappointed with the choice of Hitler, too. (And I feel like a total **** saying anything negative about this — this is probably my favorite quote of all time and Gav does a great job with it, as always. But if we’re going to nitpick…) I would actually have preferred someone *more* generic, less recognizable, less obvious. To me, a key point of what Sagan’s getting at with that line (“the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot”, which is my absolute favorite part) is the limited and ephemeral nature of such political/military “power”. So I always envisage some random guy in a chariot — a Hittite warlord, or Egyptian pharaoh, or suchlike. Someone who was mighty and feared in his day, and whose name and deeds we don’t even remember today. (Think of Shelley’s “Ozymandias”) Hitler is still on the edge of living memory. But eventually, even he will fade into just another pitiful asshole whose deeds have been washed away by the ocean of time.

  63. zeh

    I’ve been a fan of the Pale Blue Dot for a while. Few texts would be more fitting for your beautiful drawings. Bravo.

  64. Sarthak

    Congrats on your 100th comic :D
    I really love your work !
    I saw the second last panel and just couldn’t stop thinking about how stars are not visible where I live, like on good days, you can see just one or two max. I like to think that when I was young, the sky used to be full of stars and now the pollution made them go away or something. But I don’t remember much about my childhood. Maybe the stars just don’t shine on for people like me :)

  65. Christopher

    Congratulations on your 100th, my friend! Well done!

  66. Nick King

    still have a problem viewing the comic. I tried IE, Firefox, Chrome… non display the page correctly. It started when you added that Forward/Rewind buttons, maybe there’s something else going on too…

  67. Sashank

    What a quote for the 100th post. Congratulations!

  68. Franco

    Not only was this very inspiring but a humbling one as well. An excellent comic Gav. I’m sure Carl Sagan is proud!

  69. Vinayak

    Brilliantly done!

  70. DunbarJam

    Wow! Congratulations on two wonderful milestones, I love getting my weekly dose of wisdom, and I can see that this installment must have taken quite a number of hours. Many thanks, and keep it up!

  71. prasanna n

    It’s a great piece of Art. Thanks.

  72. Kris

    Aung Sann Suu Kyi went out with Elvis? I knew it!! And great work Gav, super!

  73. L. Rowan McKnight
    L. Rowan McKnight

    There are not enough words to express how much I ??? this.

    • L. Rowan McKnight
      L. Rowan McKnight

      For some reason my hearts turned into question marks…

  74. Meezan

    Congratulations dude. Looking forward to the next 100. Keep em coming.

  75. Aditya Thakur

    Congratulations on the one year anniversary and the 100th comic. I love your comics. And I loved this quote a lot. Our world is tiny and it is a humbling experience to understand just how tiny it is. Another humbling experience is to understand that the time of our lives is an insignificant fraction of a second of the universe’s life. In the BBC documentary ‘wonders of the universe’ they explained that if we measure the universe’s age in terms of human years then the universe is in its late teens. The earth came into existence 6 months ago. Life started on earth 1 week ago. And humans evolved 6 seconds ago. We should stop being arrogant and realize that we are far from ‘masters of the universe’. Let’s live harmoniously not just with other humans but other life as well and strive to let life grow and maybe then one day, when the universe is getting old, some form of life will be able to call itself the master of the universe.

  76. Srinin

    Fabulous work! Especially getting all those celebrities and villains in one of those panels is outstanding. Great imagination and superb rendition of a profound thought of astronomical proportions. Congratulations and thanks for doing it for us.

  77. Denzil

    This is brilliant Gavin. The luminosity of earth, so well rendered, is enough to move ones soul. I love the little portrait of Van Gogh. Wishing you the very best for the next 100 :-)

  78. Nivas

    This is awesome :) 1000 like to this!

    Amazing words by Carl Sagan and awesome illustration by Gavin

  79. Sarah

    PLEASE TELL ME THAT THE GIRL NEXT TO LINCON IS ANNE FRANKE!!!! otherwise I would die. This strip gave me goose bumps. Thank you muchness!!!

  80. LongTimeReaderFirstTimeComentor

    I can’t wait for your book!! Your quotes are awesome and I look forward to them every tuesday. I love stand up comedy, literature, philosophy and comics! Gavin, If you are interested, I started posting my own comic strips on Facebook. Search “Filbert comics” if you want to see them, I’d love to hear your opinion of them.

  81. Calibur

    Funny, having never seen a picture of Sagan, I imagined him as an older Louis C K. I guess it’s just my harmless cultural ethnic bias everyone has a version of.
    In reference to his darker skin.

  82. Thayu

    An awesome quote rendered in an awesome way! Fitting for your 100th comic! :)
    What’s the dollar sign doing in the third panel with the religious symbols though? ;) Or is it the symbol of some religion I’m yet unaware of?

    • Calibur

      It does say “economic doctrines”
      I suppose that ship steering wheel is something to do with the Bhuddism eightfold path?

      • Thayu

        Yep, you’re right. The religions are (in order):
        Taoism, Shinto, Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism and… the dollar.
        I just meant that I found it weird to have just a single dollar symbol thrown in with a whole bunch of religious symbols. Ah well, I was just nitpicking… :)
        And technically, there are people today who seem to worship money… :P

  83. Fernando

    como siempre, grandes ilustraciones para grandes pensamientos!a seguir asi!saludos

  84. Emi

    wow! well done Gav. 100- 1 year! when are we celebrating? :P

  85. Pep

    I’m following your website since a few months. I think it’s very inspiring. Your work adds another shade to the quotes’ authors.
    I’m a science teacher in Barcelona and I’m using your work to inspire, too, my students (and to promote the use of English!). I’ve been “touched” for some of the quotes and make me think a lot about my own life.

    This last work is based in one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite scientists. And I think it’s a wonderful tribute to Sagan (and the child all good scientist should have within).
    I hope you will go on with your work. But if you decide to quit because life gives you another challenges, I think many people will be grateful to your contributions.

    (and sorry for my English)

  86. Sadiq

    The truth is, this “pale blue dot” is not being taken care of very well. In a few short decades, much of the Earth will be blighted, and heavily fortified at the edges, due to the effects of a rapidly unfolding worldwide environmental crisis. We can already see forerunners to this future, for instance, in the form of the great border fence between India and Bangladesh.

    Humans are near-chimpanzees. They will never be sufficiently developed for the awesome responsibilities that come with tending this Earth, much less leaving it. All of you need to internalize this. Sagan’s dream of interstellar voyages may become true one day but if it ever does, it will be machines, not humans, plying the vast distances between the stars.

  87. Sergey

    It made me cry

  88. Vaibhav Yadav

    Very impressive, very descriptive, love this post

  89. Brian

    Simply Brilliant!

  90. Jesse

    I’ve been waiting for awhile for you to do this quote and…I just…I can’t express how awesome your work is and how you’ve created something so amazing that will always be a reminder of what will probably always be one of my favorite quotes. Thank you. Thank you so, so much. You are definitely on my list of favorite people :’)

  91. Xin

    Hey, it’s that librarian again from the previous Carl Sagan comic!

  92. Bradley

    I found it very amusing that you featured a Jewish man and an African-American man next to Hilter!

    Nice work as always, and a sobering quote for sure.

  93. Iz

    I love that you included John Carter! Such an awesome movie! It deserved more attention than it received!

    But the thing is, the Edgar Rice Burroughs book is actually called Princess of Mars.

    Your drawing may have been intentional, but I just thought that should be put out there. I don’t mean any disrespect! I loved the comic! That just popped out to me.


  94. Ljiljana

    This is great, Gav! Thanks a lot! Congratulations to your anniversary :)

  95. ioresult

    This quote always without exception brings up a tear.

  96. Rose

    Hi Gav, I’ve been reading your blog since day 1. Starting to sound like a broken record here, cause every week I say something along the lines of, “love this one!” But then you go and make another great comic, so, I’ll just say it – I love this one! This is edging up behind my other favorite, the Neil Gaiman “Make Good Art.” Thanks again for the inspiration each week.


  97. Calli Arcale
    Calli Arcale

    That is gorgeous, and one of my favorite quotes!

    A minor correction, though: Voyager 1 was long, long past Saturn by the time it took this picture. It had passed Saturn a decade earlier. This was after its twin, Voyager 2, had passed Uranus and Neptune, and since Voyager 1 is traveling faster, Voyager 1 is even more distant. Further away than Pluto, even. Today, of course, it is even further still.

  98. Roger Weeks
    Roger Weeks

    Is this one too big to hope for a print being available? I would love to hang this on my wall.

  99. Patrick

    I’ve been following your work for a few months now, thanks to Chris Guillebeau. I LOVE this piece. It’s simple and poignant. Thanks for sharing.

  100. TayK045

    Your work and the quote you selected always inspired me. I’ve never heard of Carl Sagan but I would love to know him now. Thank you Gav!

  101. Melat

    Congratulations and thank you Gav! Your creations have gotten me through a lot this year. This is where I turn to every time I need cheering up. Foster on!

  102. Trevor

    So glad you did this one! This is one of my favorite quotes of all time. The world sorely needs more thinkers like Carl Sagan, and your illustrations capture the power of this passage superbly. Excellent job!

  103. João Oliveira
    João Oliveira

    I’ve been waiting to see this quote for a long time. When I opened your website today, I just couldn’t believe it. It’s marvellous. Congratulations.

  104. dhia

    Why didn’t you draw Carl Sagan there. :’(

    • mjcowley

      He’s in 15 frames!

      • dhia

        Did you mean that child?

        • Rosie

          That child is Carl Sagan when he was young, as the label on his bag (and his eyebrows) show :)

          • dhia

            Yes, i was just noticed. How dumb i am for could’nt noticing him :(

            • Rosie

              You’re not dumb :)

              • dhia

                Well thank you Rosie, you’re nice. :)

  105. Jacob Steffey

    Could have done without the National Socialist defamation, they fought for cosmic truth and pantheist principles, symbolized in the swastika.

  106. Amanda

    I love it! Beautifully done.

    It is a shame there are only 7 women versus 43 men shown in the panel showing the selection of people for “everyone that has ever existed” – I understand it must have been tricky to represent humanity and you understandably chose well-known figures. Perhaps there could have been a selection of people from different cultures, showing a more accurate distribution of female and male humans! The discrepancy was jarring. Had to say something as it really stuck out to me.

    But anyway, beautiful, beautiful work! Thank you for illustrating Sagan like this.

    • Ot

      I totally agree with this observation. Another impression I got from that panel is that people from America outside US or Cuba are rather unremarkable. But perhaps that is not as bad as it seems.

      • Ot

        I meant US and Argentina. Sorry.

    • Anne

      I *strongly* feel that this whole comic is breathtaking; full of pathos, well-paced, well-drawn, and a lovely blending of the source text with evocative imagery that expands upon it. So, thank you for making it, it is *beautiful,* and I am very, very appreciative of all the time and emotion that went into the making of it.

      However, I was *sad* to see only 7 women… I ran into this same issue when making lesson materials (I’m an EFL teacher). I was making worksheets of famous people to spark discussion, and at first, man after man came to mind. This is partly due to men having more access to education and power throughout history, but also to the way we are taught. I forced myself to sit down and come up with an even number of men and women, and though the process was slow, I realized that ultimately, I was actually aware of plenty of famous women:

      Marie Curie, Florence Nightingale, Harriet Tubman, Isabela la Catolica, Emily Dickinson (and *many* other poets), the Bronte sisters, Frida Kahlo, Mary Cassatt, Cleopatra, Hatshepsut, Sacajawea, Alice Walker, Maya Angelou, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Abigail Adams, Pocahontas, Maria Callas, Sappho, Annie Oakley, Betsy Ross, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Rachel Carson, Jane Goodall, Clara Barton, Juliette Gordon Lowe, Beatrix Potter, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Helen Keller, Anne Sullivan, Rosa Parks, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Ella Fitzgerald, Eleanor Roosevelt, Sojourner Truth, Jenny Lind, Georgia O’Keefe, Molly Pitcher, Mata Hari, Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth I, Mae West, Coco Chanel, Oprah Winfrey, Hilary Rodham Clinton, Sandra Day O’Connor, Lucille Ball, Indira Gandhi, Mary Shelley… the list could certainly go on.

      That said, apart from that one issue, I am pretty much in love with this whole comic — I wish I could buy a looooong poster of the whole thing!

  107. mjcowley

    Perfect and congrats on 100

  108. Kishore Nath

    Gav, always loved your art. You are knowledgeable and eloquent. You know how to say the significant things. I think we owe it to you for doing that and saying those things.

    Guess, that’s Oscar Wilde next to Columbus.

  109. Edouard Stenger

    Wow this one is particularly amazing. I discovered this website a few months ago and it became an instant favorite.

    A huge thanks for taking this magnificent quote for your 100th comic. I really look forward to know what the poster will look like.

    I also look forward to reading the next hundred !

    Please keep up the good work Gav’. All the best !

  110. Ben

    Nice to see Uncle Albert from ‘Only Fools and Horses’ featured in the montage.

  111. Fowley

    Truly excellent work…. and do I spot a Doctor Who reference? Nicely done :)

    • Jake

      I noticed that. I wonder if it was intentional.

      • Evan

        It’s a Carl Sagan quote…

        • Bellevivre

          “Silence in the Library” is not a Carl Sagan quote :)

  112. Lee Eisenberg
    Lee Eisenberg

    I recently watched “Cosmos”. Pretty impressive stuff.

  113. Lars Holm Jespersen
    Lars Holm Jespersen

    I believe you misquote in the end; “the only home we have ever known: The Pale Blue Dot” is how it should be, rather than reversed, afaik.

  114. Tony Fisk
    Tony Fisk

    This is a great depiction of a great quote (and I love the way it gets signed off!)

    As an aside, I referred to Sagan’s quote when setting up a prediction registry for David Brin’s ‘Earth’ some years ago. I used that same Voyager image as a header rather than something more visually appealing beacause, in the spirit of the ‘prediction’ theme, I pointed out that Brin had said something very similar at the end of the book, published about five years before Voyager took that photo. (Sagan’s version is a lot more expansive btw)

  115. Sgaradh_uaim

    You’ve done a beautiful job with this one, this very special one. Thank you!

  116. Bill

    Last Tuesday I visited NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, where I was treated to a talk by Brazilian astronaut Marcos Pontes. Astronauts all have something unique to offer, but the one common theme they share is their fervent desire that people treat one another more kindly. They’ve all seen that blue ball, and they all wonder why it is we mistreat our fragile planet and one another. Thanks for a great comic, Gav.

  117. Alvaro

    Carl Sagan had the gift to talk/write about science with the same passion others talk about love, well, he was

  118. Ryan

    I shed a tear. That was truly beautiful. Thank you for 100 of these inspirational comic strips. ;)

  119. Alexandraaa

    I wanna say thanks to you Gav, because you make me feel alive and you make me see that although th¡ngs begin and end and life can be hard sometimes, it is worth and a great present to be alive. Thanks for your comics from Spain!

  120. Jonathan Moore
    Jonathan Moore

    This was my first time visiting your comic, coming from Lar DeSouza’s blog. This brought tears to my eyes. It’s one of my favorite quotes, and a beautiful reminder to keep things in perspective. I have subscribed to your feed, and I plan to buy this as a print.

    You’ve done what art should do: touched the mind, the heart, and the soul with a simple arrangement of colors in a space, and left me with more than I started with, just from those blotches of virtual ink. Thanks.

  121. Sergio

    Congratulations on your 100th comic!

    I’ve been a follower reader of yours and I love all of your comics!

    As a suggestion, you could make some Facebook Cover with some of your images, such as the part with Carl Sagan on the library (awesome scene!).

    We all would like to put them on FB!

    Keep up the good work and onwards, mate!

    • Gav

      Done :)

  122. Kerling

    And secretively, that is why people that stare only down, are the kinds of people that freak the shit out of me.

  123. Ray

    This is by far my favorite one ever. Thank you.

  124. Javier

    Amazing, really beautiful comic rendition to the beautiful words of a beautiful, humble brilliant human being. He was, indeed, a pale blue dot in the dark and vast immensity the human race is. Thanks a lot for doing this.

  125. Anonymous

    This is beautiful- very nice work!

  126. d_yanera

    Amazing. You almost make me cry :) Congrats!

  127. Shashikiran

    Most amazing. If Carl Sagan would have been alive, he would also have loved it. Great tribute to the cool dude who tried to make science more popular. Cant wait for the extra large print.

  128. Allan Lemos
    Allan Lemos

    Gavin, I do not want to be repetitive! So congratulations on 100th comics!

  129. Katie

    Beautiful, sir. Simply beautiful!

  130. Albert

    Long time stalker and first time commenter here.

    It’s high time I thanked you for all the work you’ve put in to motivate and elevate your audience.

    Carl Sagan was a personal hero of mine and I think you really did him justice with this illustration. I’m sure he would be proud.

    Even though I’ve heard this quote many many times, I shed a fair few tears after reading this comic.

    Also, I would like to agree with Drokalok’s comment: there are two ways one can interpret Carl’s message. One is to feel sad and insignificant. Another is to feel truly connected with the universe and unchained from the trivialities of everyday life. With this state of mind, a phenomenon Neil DeGrasse Tyson calls “the cosmic perspective”, one can live their lives thinking in terms of billions of years. Fallen out with a loved one and your pride is holding you back from apologising? Think of the tremendous amounts of strife and misery experienced by the collection of all human beings that have ever lived. Now how big does your problem feel?

    Here I’m just giving one example, but I’m sure you understand what I mean.

    Anyway, thanks again Gav. We are so lucky to be living at the same moment you are making these comics.

    Peace and love

    • Gav

      Thanks for finally commenting ALbert, really appreciate your kind words :)

  131. Bodysyke

    It is amazing that when you consider the vastness of our world, our solar system, our galaxy and then the universe is it not a good idea to live and let live.

  132. Terence Blake

    Congratulations on your brilliant work. Sagan’s PALE BLUE DOT is Bruno Latour’s GAIA with more respect for the cosmic and speculative dimension of science than Latour seems to have.

  133. Oz

    Makes me tear up every time I read this! I am a HUGE admirer of Carl Sagan, even going so far as to get Voyager 1 tattooed on my arm in recognition of his work. Thank you so very much for this!

  134. Sam

    I came across your work recently. I’ve read about why and how you pursued your dream.

    You, Sir are amazing. And so is your work. Hats off to you! And I’ve never paid anyone that compliment non-sarcastically. Ever.

    • Gav

      Thanks man, I’m honoured!

  135. Anonymous

    >hitler invades poland
    >postwar map

  136. Lotus P
    Lotus P

    This quote was very moving. And the artwork that accompanied it was perfect. Thanks for all your great work. And congrats on 1 year/100th comic Gavin.

  137. Aaron Ryan

    Where can I buy this?

    • Gav

      It’s not for sale, the passage is from a copyrighted book by Carl Sagan.

      • Aaron Ryan
        Aaron Ryan

        Ah right, I see.
        Brilliant comic though, absolutely love it.

      • Brett

        Have you considered contacting his estate for permission to sell it? I’ve come very close to buying some of your prints, but this one really does it for me. I’d love to have one of these even if it cost more.

  138. Sadra

    I just read it … I ‘actually’ CRIED …………….

  139. Blake

    When he went out on the roof I thought the vastness of the universe depressed him enough he was going to jump. I suppose that would only have been mildly funny anyway.

  140. Danny Rose
    Danny Rose

    If that’s Karl Jung between Einstein and jesus, I object Freud’s omission!

  141. Cool Guy feat. Chill Frog
    Cool Guy feat. Chill Frog

    Very good comic, though I should point out Van Gogh cut his left ear :)

  142. Daeyn Silvermane
    Daeyn Silvermane

    Heh, great comic. But just answering the challenge, gotta get’em all:
    Laurence Trent d’Arby; Martin Luther king; Che Guevara; Nelson Mandela; Cristoph Columbus ; Oscar Wilde; Genghis khan; Lenin; Beethoven; Abraham Lincoln; Anne Frank ; Bob Marley; John Fitzgerald Kennedy; Muhammad Ali; Julius Caeser; Princess Diana; William Shakespeare; Charles Darwin; Aung Suu Kyi ; Elvis Presley; The Beatles { Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, Ringo Starr}; Van Gogh; Benjamin Franklin; Mark Twain; Helen Keller; Mahatma Gandhi; Joan D’Arc; Steve Jobs; Mao Tse Tung; Joseph Stalin; Isaac Newton; Adolf Hitler; Michael Jordan; Marilyn Monroe; Dalai Lama; Amelia Earhardt; Bruce Lee; Albert Einstein; Theodore Roosevelt; Jesus Christ; Sidharta ; Leonardo Da Vinci; Napoleon Bonaparte; Charlie Chaplin

  143. Andreas Müller
    Andreas Müller

    As a mathematician, I was looking for Carl Sagan’s head in panel 4. This would have made this great comic recursive, giving it a touch of infinity appropriate for the great person Carl Sagan was.

  144. Denise

    Thank you for this lovely illustration of a beautiful quote. You are a talented artist!

  145. daveypea

    Thanks for taking the time to do this. You have really nailed it. Absolutely lovely. Nice to be humbled on a Friday morning!

  146. JimZubemo

    Just wanted to say I enjoyed the comic.

    IT portrayed Carl Sagan’s words very well. Loved it.

  147. Dominic

    I’m reading this series, slowly, from start to finish, and loving every one. Good choice for your centenary strip. Thanks for doing this.

  148. Ydhakal

    Happy B’day and Great work.

  149. Pepe

    Need this in spanish to share.

    it’s an amaizing job!!! thanks and congratulations

  150. Rob

    Great job in naming everyone, just one mistake. That’s Oscar Wilde, not Edgar Allan Poe, I believe.

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    Jeg elsker det her. Smukt sat sammen :)

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    theodore roosevelt
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  154. Forrest

    Sagan’s speech puts a lump in my throat. Every time. This comic was fantastic. Thank you for sharing.

  155. noxious nixie
    noxious nixie

    When will this be available in print version?

  156. Anonymous

    Hey man this is beautiful. Thank you for making this! It’s such a wonderful tribute and hit me in a new way. I appreciate it.

  157. Jackie A.
    Jackie A.

    I really hope this becomes a print/poster if it’s not already. So worth being reminded of this every day.

  158. Nabarun

    Awesome work. Just awesome. I almost cried.

  159. Anonymous

    Absolutely love this. Would definitely buy as a poster.

  160. makagutu

    This is great! Loved it

  161. don groves
    don groves

    Steve Jobs but no Bill Gates! I love it!

  162. PennyAnn

    This was nice, thank you. I must ask though, why is Mr. Twain looking at me so sternly? I feel as if I’m about to be scolded!

  163. Alan Kierland
    Alan Kierland

    Surely a great job, an exciting tribute, congratulations. However, I believe Michael Jordan, Bruce Lee, Marilyn Monroe, Muhammad Ali and (especially) Michael Jackson received an *exaggerated* position (or a position they do not deserve). And, of course, very important people were forgotten: Cleopatra, Archimedes, Hypatia, Gutenberg, Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Elizabeth I, Babbage, Ada Lovelace, Mendeleev, Marie Curie, Oppenheimer, Orwell, Asimov, Richard Feynman, Rosalind Franklin, Grace Hopper and Neil Armstrong. As a counterpoint to Hitler and Stalin, I would also include Churchill and Eisenhower. Not only because Carl Sagan gave Hypatia a place of honor in ‘Cosmos’, I would like to suggest a fairer revision of that relevant frame. Is that possible? Thanks.

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  166. Thomas Haider
    Thomas Haider

    That reminds me of a picture recently released by NASA of Earth taken by Cassini spacecraft in Orbit around Saturn. I find it even more beautiful than the pale blue dot and equally thought provoking:

  167. lostnaustin

    I just happened to be listening to Imagine covered by APC when I read this. How proper is that.

  168. Kindness Blog

    Hey There! :)

    Just wanted to say that is absolutely beautiful and a perfect way to illustrate such an amazing quote.

    Really, _really_ great work! :)

    Thank you.

    Team KB

  169. Cobey

    This is so beautiful. Thank you so much. In all of human history there has only been one Carl Sagan and you captured him beautifully.

  170. Uttaran

    I love the way how you suddenly have some frames with only pictures and no text in all your comics. It was there in the one about “For whom the bell tolls as well”. Thank you.

  171. somu

    great…..and thanks for making me feel kind…..

  172. Tannan

    Every stinking time. I cannot read, listen or watch this monologue, with out tearing up. Thanks for posting this today.

  173. mzack

    Is it possible to order one of these as poster? So wonderful!

  174. Daniel N.
    Daniel N.

    Polish borders are wrong. These are not the borders at the time of German invasion, so the cartoon is inaccurate from historic standpoint.


    Otherwise, a nice cartoon.

    • Anonymous

      picky picky, or to be a little facetious, Pedantic

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  178. Satwinder

    I have been following the short stories, quotes and word of wisdom since last 2 weeks and make, am hooked. It is one of the best thing happened to me since long time and I am grateful to know you and many like you exist in the world and trying to spread hope and positive energy all around with your passion and resourcefulness.

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