Yesterday, March 30, was the publication date for the paperback edition of Jim Ottaviani and Leland Myrick’s acclaimed graphic novel about the life and science of theoretical physicist Richard Feynman, simply titled Feynman. Ottaviani has written other graphic novel about scientists (such as Bone Sharps, Cowboys, and Thunder Lizards: A Tale of Edward Drinker Cope, Othniel Charles Marsh, and the Gilded Age of Paleontology and T-Minus: The Race to the Moon). His latest profiles the lives of three women who changed the way the public viewed scientists, and opened windows into the lives of our closest relatives.
Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas, by Jim Ottaviani and illustrated by Maris Wicks (New York: First Second, 2013), 144 pp.
This is the true story of three scientists who risked their lives for research that forever changed the way we think of primates… including ourselves. Jane Goodall discovered chimpanzees using tools – a trait once thought to be unique to humans – and is now one of the world’s foremost animal rights advocates. Dian Fossey fiercely protected the mountain gorillas she studied, bringing the plight of these gentle apes to public view. Birute Galdikas moved to the Indonesian jungle to observe the elusive animal native people called “wild person in the woods.” She stayed to rehabilitate orphaned orangutans and revolutionize rainforest conservancy.
Recruited by the great anthropologist Louis Leakey, these remarkable women are responsible for some of the biggest advances in both primatology and our understanding of what it means to be human. Written by Jim Ottaviani, with art by rising comics star Maris Wicks, Primates is an inviting, immersive, and often funny look at the lives of three of the most important scientists of the twentieth century.