The Z Factor is an illustrated book/graphic novel that explores the lives and adventures of three generations, who by consequence alter the human race. Beginning at the tale end of the nineteenth century, The Z Factor is fast paced, idiosyncratic, and addresses concerns that are relevant to the world in which we live today.
Hans Kasper Ivan Karp was a genius. Born and raised in the small city of Saarbrucken, Germany in the year 1886, Hans wanted to be an artist, but given his aptitude and interest in biology, his father had high hopes of Hans pursuing a career in medicine.
Growing up Hans was not like most boys his age. Eccentric and light years ahead of his time, he leaned towards gender bending (he was an avid cross-dresser), and homosexuality. Hans understood that society and governments imposed restrictions on men as well as women, therefore using sex to further their agendas. Unfair, as well as patronizing, Hans held the opinion that both men and women should be equal, and this equality should not lean exclusively toward one particular sexual category.
Upon entering medical school, Hans set out to achieve his goal and was determined to obliterate gender completely. By manipulating and combing both chromosomes, He successfully created a third. This he referred to as the Z chromosome. Unfortunately deeply misunderstood and always a step behind recognition, Han’s findings literally followed him to the grave.
In spite of his unconventional lifestyle and nature, Hans did manage to spawn a son, Ivanhoch (or Ivan as he insists on being called.) Named after the Dadaist, Hannah Hoch, Ivan possessed the history and whereabouts of the Z chromosome. He innocently shared this information with his then companion and medical student, Aaron Moses. Aaron’s interest was sparked to the point of convincing Ivan to exhume Han’s remains, and recover his experiments, writings, and drawings (the drawings depicted what the human race will look like by the year 2030.)
As a result both Ivan and Aaron managed to put Han’s findings into effect, thus unintentionally altering the human race forever. Although well intended, the outcome was not necessarily for the good of mankind.
Rich in historical reference, the time frame takes us from the later part of the 19th Century beginning with Han’s experience in Europe, first as a soldier, then as a Dada and Surrealist. Ivan’s climb to the top of the New York art scene, Aaron’s mission to rectify his past, and Katherine’s (Ivan’s biological daughter), destiny to establish a position within a fixed social order. The story explores the emergence of a new society and it’s fight for independence and civil rights.
Overflowing with detailed drawings, The Z Factor tells the story of how the Z chromosome was put into motion, and did in fact change the human race, as we know it. Although science fiction, the book lends itself to the possible and probable outcome of generations to come in a somewhat kinky and bizarre way, by addressing such topics as genocide, racism, and sexism, through the use of the metaphorically engineered “Umon” race.