Can Humans Beat Sleep?

We spend a third of our lives sleeping. For the average human, that’s 191,625 hours. Or close to twenty-two years. And we probably waste just as much time feeling tired. Struggling through restless nights, which turn into unproductive days. What if you never have to do that again?

We all know the person who can get four hours of sleep a night and bounce off walls the next day, as well as the other who gets ten, eats healthy and is somehow ragged all day long. It is the rare individual who can get a full night’s sleep each and every night. And even if they do, it takes hours. Hours they could spend doing so many other things. Reading, learning, travelling, working, spending time with family…

What if you were never tired? Never required a nap or a rest? Never had to ‘relax’?

Picture a world where you can get a full, uninterrupted night’s sleep in a half hour – each and every night. So the hours you are up aren’t just more plentiful, they are more productive. Useful. People will never be tired. Never be lazy. Accidents because of exhaustion go out the window. Physical conditions that exist because of lack of sleep are eradicated. Workdays double and our earning power increases. The world’s most brilliant minds are able to function at full capacity twenty-three hours a day. Think about what they can accomplish.

While idols of mine, like Ray Kurzweil and Aubrey de Grey, attempt to extend life indefinitely… I am trying to get the most of the current life we lead.

The ancient yogi in India believed that by chanting the OM Mantra, one could attain a level of consciousness called yoga nidra, or deep sleep. And there are four stages of that refrain. The ‘A’. The ‘U’. The ‘M’. And the ‘O’, which represents silence. Only those who are truly enlightened reach ‘M’. And in this state such a man could fulfill all his basic sleep requirements in an hour or so of meditation.

My theory posits that we can emulate this process through the use of a sleep chamber and trick the brain into the cycles of REM, speeding up the process and eliminating the need for sleep. Well, the need for sleep as we know it.

Ever since I was a child, I could never understand why we were wasting our time sleeping. It really manifested itself when I was in college, because I struggled with bouts of insomnia. Sometimes I would go days without rest, through sports and a rigorous course load, knowing that ultimately the fall would be epic. And it was.

It was around then that I remembered a segment on a news broadcast when I was a kid about a chair that looked a bit like a futuristic hair salon dryer chair that supposedly allowed someone to get a full night’s sleep in a half hour or so. Apparently I was crazy, because nothing like that ever aired on a broadcast. At least that I could find. So maybe my ten-year old self dreamt it. However, it set me on a path. Over the course of years, I contacted everyone I could who was renowned in the world of sleep research and they all basically told me the same thing – you’re off your rocker.

But I was not dismayed. The revolutionary forces of any movement are those capable of shifting the present foundation of things, of changing the angle of reality. There are all types of forward thinking people out there. Individuals that do not shift to the way of the world. Steel pillars whom the earth and society will break around. Men who forged fire. Created the wheel. Built the printing press and the steam engine. Men who changed the course of humanity with the silicon chip. All for what? So you could live a better life?

What if you could live two lifetimes?

There are those who are repelled by such a thought. I have heard all of the arguments against such a theory or chamber. The human body needs time to rejuvenate or heal – but what about those of us that heal faster than others? Perhaps that is that because that person has more complete sleep each night. Some people will tell me they look forward to falling into their bed with the fluffy comforter. When you are energized and ready to take on the world, do you really think about such things? You don’t even need to own a bed. You can, but now it can be more customized to what you need it for – such as sexual intercourse. Others want to harp on the negative effects such an advance will bring. For most of us that have to work, that’s twice the time away from your family. It’s twice the crime. Double the drain on our natural resources. It’s speeding up the end of the world. I am the harbinger of death. If you want to change the world you have to break some eggs, right?

People even insist on asking me… What about good old-fashioned natural sleep? The only truly natural sleep is death. It lasts forever and comes soon enough. I am not interested in rushing it.

This sleep chamber and its underpinnings are the basis for my graphic novel R.E.M.. If you enjoy a challenging story, I hope you’ll check us out. Anyone can read the first 30 pages on the website… so give it a shot.  That’s all I ask. You can actually check out a prequel of the story as a short film on the website as well.

And if you like what you see and want to know what else is coming from us, follow us:

www.facebook.com/spokelane

www.twitter.com/spokelane

www.instagram.com/spokelane

Why Do We Sleep?

Russell Foster discussed this very topic in his TEDtalk – a topic that is clearly very near and dear to my heart, as I wrote a graphic novel about a scientist trying to beat sleep (the drama/thriller R.E.M.).

Awesome Con: Washington, DC

If you’re in the Washington, DC area this weekend, swing by Awesome Con and say hello to myself and Zsombor Huszka.  We’ll be in Artist Alley at Table M8 all weekend.  We’ll have copies of R.E.M., Harbor Moon, promo issues of Chasing Rabbits, art prints and t-shirts.  Treat yourself to some good times!

Awesome Con takes place April 18 – 20, 2014 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

Friday: 3pm – 8pm
Saturday: 10am – 7pm
Sunday: 10am – 5pm
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First Official ‘R.E.M.’ Review

We have had some pretty amazing reader comments and posts about the book, but yesterday saw the first ‘official’ review of the graphic novel.  It comes from Alternative Magazine Online, a UK publication run by Marty Mulrooney.

I’m proud to say it is a glowing one – and can only hope and pray this is the first of many.  The full review is at the site, but here is a quick snippet:

“R.E.M. is a success both as a Kickstarter campaign, and also as a graphic novel that demonstrates genuine and heartfelt passion from its creators. I’ve kept my eye on Ryan Colucci ever since I reviewed Harbor Moon in 2010. As much as I enjoyed that previous work, R.E.M. is a cut above in every department. I must confess that I felt quite a personal connection with Michael’s struggle. My girlfriend suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome and the power of sleep – and the importance of a good night’s sleep actually doing what it’s supposed to, something many people simply take for granted – wasn’t lost on me in the slightest. R.E.M. is a graphic novel that will reward repeat readings, singling out Ryan Colucci and Zsombor Huska as a creative partnership to follow closely. I’m proud to have backed their latest project and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.”

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Goodreads Awards: Rock the Vote

Two years ago, I was contacted by Goodreads because Harbor Moon had made it to some sort of finalist round for Graphic Novel of the Year.  I realize that book came out in April and had most of the year to pick up steam (and actually have people read it)… but I’m asking for you to get out and rock the vote on R.E.M.!

If you don’t have a Goodreads account, no sweat (but it’s a cool site that lets you chart your reading).  For those of you who do, and who have backed the Kickstarter and received (and hopefully enjoyed) the book… please show some love.

What you have to do is follow this link and ‘write-in’ for ‘R.E.M.’ (you’ll see it as one of the choices once you type in R.E.M. ), then click vote.  It’s that easy.

https://www.goodreads.com/choiceawards/best-graphic-novels-comics-2013

Thanks all!

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Gearing up for NY Comic-con

Just over a week out from NYCC and the official launch of ‘R.E.M.’.  Zsombor got to NY last week and we’ve been getting a lot of housekeeping done.  Putting the finishing touches on art prints (including a NYCC exclusive), making sure all the prints are ready for print (which should get printed this week), getting a promo issue of Chasing Rabbits done, as well as making sure all the rewards and stretch goal artwork is ready to go.

We had a bump in the road yesterday – that made me lose about a year of my life.  But it is apparently working itself out – but cost me a bunch of money and has the chance to cost me even more. I will write a detailed post about it tomorrow, but it involves the importing of the books from a foreign country (my first time doing that).

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