Monday, September 5, 2011


This graphic biography focuses on Richard Feynman, an accomplished physicist who became a household name through his popular lectures and books, Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman and What Do You Care What Other People Think? He accomplished much in his life, winning the Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on quantum electrodynamics. He also worked on the Manhattan Project to develop the first US nuclear bomb and on the commission to determine the causes of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. Feynman often approached problems from unique angles, was not afraid to argue with authority figures, and was also a bit of a prankster. He also had a passion to explain the most complicated ideas in ways that laypeople could also understand. His personality and affect served him well in the scientific community, and it is much celebrated in this book.

Feynman is the creation of writer Jim Ottaviani, who has written a number of great graphic novels including ones about the early days of paleontology, the space race, physicist Niels Bohr, and women science pioneers. It was drawn by Leland Myrick, an Ignatz and Harvey Award nominated artist who is best known for his graphic memoir Missouri Boy. This detailed discussion with Robin Brenner at the School Library Journal website gets at many details of this book and Feynman's life.

Thus far, this has been an extremely well reviewed book. The New York Times Book Review's Freeman Dyson remarked that this graphic novel "somehow comes to life and speaks with the voice of the real Feynman." The reviewer at Publishers Weekly wrote that this book proves "that the most dogged intellectual pursuit can still be a good time." The reviewer quantum at the Physics Buzz blog gushed that "Feynman is a true testament to both the uniqueness of Richard Feynman as one of the twentieth century's most remarkable scientists, and the exceptional ability for comics to capture his one of a kind personality."

Feynman was published by First Second. An excerpt, video preview, and copious other information about the book is available here. A slightly altered excerpt also appears here at Kate Beaton's webcomic, Hark! A Vagrant.

Thank you, Gina, for the review copy!

No comments:

Post a Comment