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3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  3,396 Ratings  ·  531 Reviews
Richard Feynman: physicist . . . Nobel winner . . . bestselling author . . . safe-cracker. In this substantial graphic novel biography, First Second presents the larger-than-life exploits of Nobel-winning quantum physicist, adventurer, musician, world-class raconteur, and one of the greatest minds of the twentieth century: Richard Feynman. Written by nonfiction comics main ...more
Hardcover, 266 pages
Published August 30th 2011 by First Second (first published 2011)
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C. The sections on photons will be too complex and theres a brief portion about topless bars.
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Community Reviews

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Seth T.
Oct 27, 2011 Seth T. rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
Feynman by Jim Ottaviani and Leland Myrick

Somewhere around two years ago, I ran into a video clip in which a brilliant physicist almost-patiently explained to an interviewer why he would not be explaining how magnets work to the man. Indeed, why he couldn't explain the phenomenon or any of the laws that govern it. The physicist was Richard Feynman and his answer was essentially that the question would demand an infinitely regressing series of Why questions, each one more complex and specialized than the last. Or in short, the interviewe
Brendon Schrodinger
I have been slow to discover the delights of Feynman, but I recognise a similar thinker, albeit a much, much brighter man. I love his famous BBC interview that was towards the end of his life and I did greatly enjoy his autobiographical sections in "Six Easy Pieces".

A graphic novel adaptation of Feynam's life works very well. While it does not present any new material, it takes the best snippets from all different sources and makes his life come alive with wonderful and simple illustration. Anot
Aug 31, 2012 Tim rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this graphic biography. I found it much more engaging (perhaps because the subject was more engaging) than Logicomics, to which it will likely be compared. Unlike Nat Torkington, I loved the last part of the book, which took a stab at explaining Quantum Electrodynamics (for which Feynman shared a Nobel prize.)

It was also lovely to see people I know appear in the book, including Freeman Dyson (who explained Feynman's idiosyncratic thinking to the rest of the physics world in a wa
A comic-book biography of Nobel Prize winning theoretical physicist Richard Feynman?! It's an idea quirky enough to have pleased the man himself, I think. It's a great way of finding out about a great scientist without risk of ever getting bored and would make a fine first book about the man for someone unfamiliar with his life and work.

For Feynman fanatics, and I suppose I must be one, it offers less; most of the material here is taken from the widely available published books by and about the
Oct 17, 2013 Sesana rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, comics
A graphic novel biography. There are a few of these floating around now, and I think it's a format that's best suited for scientists and artists. People whose lives will necessarily have graphic elements. Now, I knew very little about Feynman going into this book, and it would probably work best for people who are similarly uninitiated. It seems like much of the content was taken from Feynman's more popular works, and so there will be little new here for people who have been reading about him ...more
Aug 27, 2011 Chad rated it it was ok
Too disjointed, showing bits and pieces of Feynman's life without much connecting it all together. The art didn't grab me either.

The book jacket claims Feynman was a lot of fun at parties, but that doesn't shine through much in the book itself. I didn't realize some of the the things he said were jokes until other characters laughed uproariously, and even then I still don't quite understand how some of them are jokes.

The lecture presented as Feynman's effort to make quantum electrodynamics und
Nov 17, 2012 Dan rated it it was amazing
Anyone who knows anything about anything knows I'm a know-nothing when it comes to math and physics. This is probably the fault of the Arizona public school system. Despite this lack of knowledge I quite liked this graphic novel bio. With great illustrations and not too math heavy it reminded me a lot of Logicomix though I don't feel it was anywhere near as ambitious.

Hopefully these types of graphic novels keep getting released so there's a better chance of me becoming a know-something.
Andy Shuping
Oct 21, 2011 Andy Shuping rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novel
Before I picked up this book I didn't really know who Richard Feynman was. I mean I heard the name, but it didn't really mean lot to me. And then...I picked up this book. And within 4 pages I was captivated by him and what he meant not only to our understanding of science, but our understanding of the world at large. I didn't even get 15 pages in the book and I started looking to see what other books my library owned about Feynman, just so that I could learn more about him. That's how well this ...more
Nov 26, 2013 Josh rated it it was amazing
This completes my Jim O. catchup, having also recently read Primates and T-Minus. As usual, a five-star read. (You'd think I knew the author personally.) Recommended for anyone interested in anything.

My only complaint here is that it wasn't long enough--that's actually sort of the point, though. It's taken several books to document Feynman's life and Ottaviani does everything he can to capture his spirit without becoming excessively long. The medium and execution both work great. He's a ridiculo
Jennifer W
Nov 23, 2013 Jennifer W rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Good primer on an incredibly smart man. There were several times where the story jumped and I couldn't follow, and that's not to mention the math and science parts! I do have some background in calculus and physics, so I was mostly able to follow those sections, or at least follow it enough to keep going. I love how he insisted that it's OK to not get it and it's OK to question the results, because that's what this level of math and science is supposed to be! Pushing boundaries, thinking outside ...more
the gift
gave this to dad to look at, he was doing his masters at caltech and went to several lectures by feynman, this is what he said: Wonderful book Michael. And the drawings really work. So I have concluded that the reason I have not liked the "ilustrated" ones you brought to me before is that I did not like the violence that was a major part of each page. Thanks so much for bringing it to me.
Love dad
so that is a rec!
Sep 27, 2016 Scott rated it really liked it
Shelves: lives, campus, 2010s
Open a comic book and you step into a world of superheroes. In the late twentieth century, few cultural heroes were more super than Nobel Prize physicist-educator-safe cracker Richard Feynman. So what if he didn’t don a cape, stop bullets with his bare hands, or wear his underpants outside his trousers. He revolutionized our understanding of how light works, helped build the first atomic bomb, solved the Challenger mystery, and played some pretty mean bongos. Most remarkably, though, he brought ...more
May 17, 2014 Jim rated it it was amazing
A brilliant book about a brilliant human being. I'm insanely jealous of the art--Leland Myrick's drawings are deceptively simple, done with an economy of line and an energy that makes them look like spontaneous sketches, but each one carries at least a thousand words-worth of storytelling, conveying a setting, a likeness, or a telling gesture without using a single line more than is absolutely necessary to do so. The line work is perfectly complemented by Hilary Sycamore's color work, an ...more
Aug 27, 2016 Tony rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
FEYNMAN. (2011). Ottaviani & Myrick. ***1/2.
I’ve read a few graphic novels in my day, but this is the first graphic biography that I have taken up. The author and illustrator team have managed to provide an informative guide to the life and times of Dr. Richard Feynman, physicist and Nobel Prize winner. I’ve read some of Feynman’s essays with some degree of understanding, but as he got deeper into his subjects he soon shook me off. What these authors have tried to do is to go to the core of
Nick Kives
Sep 19, 2011 Nick Kives rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-club
I don't think I can recommend this book enough for anyone really. If you like math, or physics, and of course Feynman at all, you should give it a read, but even without those interest, Feynman's life was a pretty interesting. From meeting Einstein as a graduate student to working on the Manhattan Project to winning a Nobel Prize in Physics, he always brought his weird sense of humor to it. For anyone who doesn't like math or physics, there is about 20 pages broken into two sections that are ...more
Jul 23, 2015 Kathleen rated it really liked it
I don't know all that much about physics, but part of what I do know is that Richard Feynman is good at explaining physics to people who know nothing about it. He's also really funny, so I decided I was going to track down some of his books and see what I could learn.

You will note this book is not by Feynman, though it quotes him extensively. I decided to learn about him first and get some context for what I'd learn later. Also my friend was reading it and I wanted to talk to her about it.

So! F
Sivasothi N.
May 24, 2016 Sivasothi N. rated it it was amazing
A graphic novel which provides an excellent introduction to American physicist Richard Feynman, especially if you've not read his oral reminiscences, "Surely You're Joking, Mr.Feynman" and "What Do You Care What Other People Think?"

Well researched, it is an infective read which turns up a few gems even for the enthusiast. The book ends with his experiences on the Challenger investigation. "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fool
Dec 16, 2011 Melody rated it liked it
Huge Feynman fans like me won't find much new here- but there's so much worth revisiting that it's well worth picking up. I loved the stories, I loved the recreations, and I frankly loathed the illustrations. This loathing took away no little enjoyment for me, but since it's a book about RPF, well, I still loved it. 3.5
Edward Sullivan
Aug 22, 2011 Edward Sullivan rated it really liked it
Ottaviani and Myrick do a remarkable job bringing to life Feynman's astonishing brilliance and colorful personality.
Jun 15, 2015 Esme rated it it was amazing
A full review coming:
Man oh man, this was so great. I can honestly tell you that this graphic novel is one of the best I've ever read.
Sep 22, 2011 Justin rated it really liked it
I found the idea of a graphic novel biography of physicist Richard Feynman to be so quirky and interesting that I was fairly excited to get my hands on a copy. Feynman is a bit of a book searching for an audience, but it ultimately encompasses a fascinating man’s interesting life and complicated ideas in a fairly accessible way.

Ottaviani presents this biography as a memoir told by Feynman himself, drawn from various primary sources. The book begins with Feynman’s early life and first marriage, a
Oct 01, 2011 Aaron rated it really liked it
Richard Feynman is one of the unsung heroes of physics. Few people, including myself before this reading, would have recognized his name, yet he worked on the Manhattan Project, won the Novel Prize in physics, was the first big-name physicist to teach freshman courses, and was part of the panel who identified the problem with the o-rings that led to the Challenger space shuttle explosion. In fact, he was the one who figured out it was the o-rings. With all of that said, why is he such an ...more
Emre Bolcakan
Nov 30, 2015 Emre Bolcakan rated it really liked it
When my brother first handed this novel to me I approached it with skepticism because I am not particularly a fan of biographies and graphic novels. However I was quickly pulled into the story of the eccentric man Richard Feynman because of his quirky nature and high intellect. The novel is a exciting blend of image and writing, which complement each other instead of getting in each other's way.

I particularly enjoyed reading about Feynman's life. As I read on and on I realized that he is not sim
Angela Benedetti
This is an excellent showcase of parts of Feynman's life and work. What's here is great, the cartoon art worked well with Feynman's personality, and the book was an enjoyable read that I'll probably read again. My only complaint is that the different parts were too short. I've read a lot of other books about Feynman, and I recognized most of the stories. Things were compressed or cut off before the real ending, or what I thought of as the real ending to the incident or anecdote, and I constantly ...more
Veronica Erb
May 02, 2014 Veronica Erb rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
What a fun, breezy introduction to the world of Feynman. I was impressed by the man and his perspectives on the world. He managed to always move forward, and make huge contributions to science and the world.

Favorite lessons from him in this book:
You have to force yourself to learn about the big picture of the world. (Why he went to Princeton, pg 39)
If you can focus on something that you're truly passionate about, sharing that thing is no longer scary. (His first lecture)
Big shots need something
Sep 13, 2011 Kathleen rated it really liked it
An excellent biography of one of my favorite physicists. I appreciated the anecdotes and the art, but I thought the book really made the grade with the portion devoted to Alix Mautner and the QED lectures. Naturally comic art is an excellent means of conveying the explanatory diagrams which are very similar to what you would find in QED although more detailed and colorful. Furthermore, the poignant interplay of Feynman's friendship with Alix makes his desire to explain concepts of high physics s ...more
Emilia P
May 24, 2012 Emilia P rated it really liked it
Shelves: comic-books
So yes!
I was totally like NOPE I'm not gonna read this, another way too in-depth philosopher/science/etc comic and then Errol's friend Andy started talking about how much he loves Feynman's work and all his thoughts about Meaning and Rules and Life and stuff and anything that Andy recommends we basically will read, so I said ok I will go read the comic book.

Here are some great and rare things about this book. #1: Narrative flow! It was amazing -- how could a strange awkward physics dude's life p
Sean Francisco Yau-Smith
I was excited really excited to see this book in the local Graphic Novel. I was a Feynman fan in college, and in particular liked his insistence that the test of true understanding of any topic was the ability to explain it simply. I also thought the graphic novel format would give light to explaining his ideas and thoughts. It's something Feynman himself explored, and didn't feel he succeeded in his own dialogues with artists. In fact, he even wanted an abstract drawing of sound emanating from ...more
Margreet Heer
Nov 12, 2014 Margreet Heer rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
This book started off really well and interesting, but after about page 150 I had a hard time staying with it. I think it may have to do with the feeling that the narrator's voice (Feynman's own) is taken directly from Feynman's talks - it feels too much like a transcript of spoken word, without conveying the color and emphasis that it must have had in real life. It also constituted a lack in an objective, outside voice about Feynman. Yes, it is interesting what he has to say about himself, but ...more
Mar 05, 2014 Kirsten rated it really liked it
A really engaging biography of such an interesting character. I could have done with more visualizations of the scientific principles he was talking about. At times I found it a little hard to grasp, but by the sounds of it the QED theory for which he won the Nobel Prize was particularly difficult to explain. However, it conveyed great enthusiasm for a scientific way of thinking and was very enjoyable.

One more small niggle was that the frame narrative didn't make very much sense. Feynman-as-narr
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I've worked in news agencies and golf courses in the Chicagoland area, nuclear reactors in the U.S. and Japan, and libraries in Michigan. I still work as a librarian by day, but stay up late writing comics about scientists. When I'm not doing those things, I'm spraining my ankles and flattening my feet by running on trails. Or I'm reading. I read a lot.
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