He had life down to a science.
Jim Ottaviani has carved out a niche as comics' unofficial historian of science, and his latest book continues that trend with a biography of physicist Richard Feynman. A Nobel Prize-winner and pioneer in quantum electrodynamics, Dr. Feynman is depicted as no ordinary egghead but an iconoclast with a particular way of looking at science that reduces theories to shapes and colors. Feynman covers his early childhood to his final days, using a framing device that starts off with the already-famous title character lecturing on how even amid chaos, patterns are discernible. He may be talking physics, but as his life unfolds in events both personal and historic in scope—his college years, intimate relationships, working on the atomic bomb—a common theme emerges: Feynman's indefatigable sense of curiosity and persistence. Ottaviani, whose tales of great scientists have been illustrated by a variety of artists, finds an equally confident collaborator in Leland Myrick, whose artwork looks simple, but whose mastery of pacing is evident in his use of panels. And though not all of Feynman's history is happy, Ottaviani and Myrick's use of bright colors and occasional tweaks to reality ensure that the overall tone is fun. There's already enough written by and about the man himself that Feynman may not be essential reading. Nevertheless, it's terrific storytelling capably centered around a compelling protagonist.