Jim Ottaviani and Leland Myrick's Feynman was one of the best science-oriented graphic novels I've come across (see my 2011 review for more). So I was delighted to learn that the pair are now working on HAWKING, a graphic biography of The Hawk himself, to be published in 2016. Read on for the official, exclusive announcement from FirstSecond, along with a sneak peek:
Stephen Hawking is probably the most recognized and recognizable scientist alive; as he likes to say, a pair of sunglasses isn't enough to disguise him when he's out in public these days. He's famous for his physics, his popular writing, his public pronouncements, and his illness…but not necessarily in that order. HAWKING will tell the story of how he made his place in the many worlds he inhabits, from
the scientific to the celebrity…and how his discoveries have shown everyone how to understand our place in the universe. It will be published by First Second Books in 2016.
"July 4, 2012 was a good day in physics and for Gordy Kane, Leland and me. Not only was the Higgs boson revealed to the world, but Gordy — a prominent physicist and author of "The Particle Garden" — won a long-standing $100 bet with his friend Stephen Hawking on whether there even was a Higgs. And in an email letting us know about these things, Gordy and his wife Lois also added an "Oh, by the way…". They told us that Stephen had read and enjoyed our Feynman book (!) and invited us to come to Cambridge and talk about doing a book about him. We didn't get on a plane that same afternoon, but we did start planning our trip, and this book. Like I said, a good day." — Jim Ottaviani
"This is one of those once-in-a-lifetime books for me. I've been a fan of Jim's science writing for a long time, and we worked really well together on FEYNMAN, so the chance to do a book on a living legend of science like Stephen Hawking with Jim is a dream. When we were at Cambridge University doing research for the book (which for me meant taking lots and lots of pictures) there was a moment when we were both standing next to Stephen Hawking's desk in his office at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics. We looked at each other and both smiled. I don't know what was in Jim's head, but I was thinking, 'Wow, this is going to be a fun ride.'" — Leland Myrick
"I love comics about science. Rendering abstract concepts visually is a very powerful tool both in explaining science — and also in DOING science. That's one of the wonderful things about science comics: they bring the reader into the process in an immediate and visceral way. Jim Ottaviani and Leland Myrick's FEYNMAN is one of my favorites, and I'm so delighted to be working with Jim and Leland again on this exciting and important project." — :01 Senior Editor Calista Brill, who acquired HAWKING for First Second