Spotlight on a graphic novel:
A Place Among the Stars

Imaging space flight

Every other year, the Stanford Graphic Novel Project admits a team of student artists, writers and designers in the graphic novel course to produce a book. The 2014 title is A Place Among the Stars: Thirteen Women and Their Quest for Space, about the Mercury 13, a group of female pilots in the 1960s who wanted to be the first women in space. The book is dedicated to Stanford alumna Sally Ride, who became the first American woman in space, launched aboard the space shuttle Challenger.

The plot: On a fateful day in 1961, Dr. Randy Lovelace, a physician in charge of assessing the physical fitness of potential astronauts, is walking along a Miami beach during a break at a physician's conference. He meets pilot Jerri Cobb. Lovelace has been preoccupied by the question of whether women – taking into account factors such as weight, size and tolerance for pain – might indeed be better suited for space travel than men. World-record-breaking pilot Cobb is the perfect candidate to test Lovelace's theory.

And so begins the true story of the astronaut testing program that will enlist 13 women who sacrifice much in the belief that they, too, will be considered serious candidates to be among the first Americans in space.

Free copies of A Place Among the Stars are available in the Creative Writing Program office, while supplies last.

Page from A Place Among the Stars, the 2014 Stanford Graphic Novel Project.