Primates is an ambitious book that largely succeeds at giving a "slice of life" look to three amazing scientists and their contributions to primatologPrimates is an ambitious book that largely succeeds at giving a "slice of life" look to three amazing scientists and their contributions to primatology.
Birute Galdikas, Jane Goodall, and Dian Fossey in the field
I was familiar with Goodall and Fossey, but I confess to have never read about Galdikas, and I am grateful for the opportunity to learn more about her work here. Each of these women were selected by Dr. Louis Leakey, premier anthropologist to study and observe in the field. Goodall and Fossey had no formal training when they began working with Leakey, and he liked it that way - not being bogged down with jargon and method, but a clear view of primate study.
Nuance and development are hard to bring in a graphic form - subtleties and glances, and general "feelings", but author Ottaviani and illustrator Wicks perform some spectacular character development of the three "Trimate" scientists, and their sponsor/benefactor Leakey here. Leakey comes across both lecherous and generous: he recruits young women and there are implied relationships - and then works to get funding and sponsorships for each woman to do their fieldwork unimpeded. He believes that women's keen observation skills work well in the field, and with Goodall, Fossey, and Galdikas - he sponsors their PhD education at Cambridge University.
Each woman is profiled as they begin their studies - Goodall with the chimpanzees in Tanzania, Fossey with the gorillas in Rwanda, and Galdikas with the orangutans in Indonesia - setting up camp, establishing patterns in the primate populations, and slowly getting deeper into the primate society.
The cartoon illustrations may lead people to think this is geared to a young audience (and it could be read and understood by 10+). The design and style was well though-out. Some of the interactions between the three scientists could have been confusing, but the illustrator made note to change the fonts for each: Goodall gets a curvy cursive, Fossey gets a serif typewriter font, and Galdikas gets a block script.
The format does limit any true detail, but this book is meant to give you an amuse-bouche, so the reader can get a cursory glance at each scientist, and follow up with the provided bibliography for many more details later.
It worked on me. I want to read more about these extraordinary women now!...more
I remember food like that too, Lucy. The roadside taquerias, the garden-fresh greens, my grandfather's pickles, ripe jungle fruits, the hot falafel an
I remember food like that too, Lucy. The roadside taquerias, the garden-fresh greens, my grandfather's pickles, ripe jungle fruits, the hot falafel and hummus, the bread bowl stews... mmmm. That's why I loved your book so much. A graphic food memoir checks several of my "favorites" boxes - plus, I am a big fan of your art and style, after reading your 2015 Displacement: A Travelogue a few months ago.
Your book was charming and sweet, telling your family's story, your own, the cities you've lived and traveled to, and of course, the richness of amazing foods throughout your life. I loved your graphic recipes (why isn't this more of a thing? other artists need to do this! a whole cookbook even!) and I am gonna try your chocolate chip cookies, sangria, pesto, and huevos rancheros recipes myself.
-- Read for 1) my appreciation of Lucy Knisley's work 2) I love food - growing, cooking, baking, preserving, eating 2) Book Riot's 2016 Read Harder Challenge - a food memoir
Whenever I travel through crowded places, I'm struck by how human beings en masse are so incredibly hideous, while individual humans can be so heartbreWhenever I travel through crowded places, I'm struck by how human beings en masse are so incredibly hideous, while individual humans can be so heartbreakingly beautiful. Congregated: ugly, ubiquitous, and repellant. Individually: nuanced, intricate, beautiful, and unknowable. ...
Lucy Knisley accompanies her 90+ age grandparents on a Caribbean cruise for the elderly. As her grandmother's dementia worsens, and her grandfather's mobility is impaired, they are all aware that this may be the last trip they ever take. Each day brings new stresses and worries for Lucy, in the challenges of caretaking and logistics.
Interspersed with her daily log of activities (or really non-activities since her grandparents are very limited in what they can do) are excerpts of her grandfather's memoir that he wrote several years ago about how he met his wife and his time in WWII.
Lucy's love for her grandparents is obvious. She deeply cares for them and their well-being. It is an important and simple story about aging, mortality, and simple cherished moments, drawn and written with love and compassion. ...more
A father with a secret family. A forgiving and loving mother. A chance to hide in plain sight and research clowns. All under the grey skies in Lima, PA father with a secret family. A forgiving and loving mother. A chance to hide in plain sight and research clowns. All under the grey skies in Lima, Peru.
Alarcon's City of Clowns previously published as a short story and later adapted for this graphic novel with a friend and illustator, Sheila Alvarado. It's a melancholy story: musings and memories of childhood, a man stricken by grief after the death of his father - who had another family on the side. All of this comes to light while Oscar's newspaper asks him to write a piece on the street performer clowns that are working political protests in the plaza.
Oscar decides to join the clowns for a day, riding city buses, performing in silly clothes, shoes, and makeup, and marveling when people he knows do not recognize him in this attire. He finds some freedom in this, even going to the neighborhood of his father's other family and seeing his half brothers, finally seeing his mother, the only one who does recognize him in his costume.
The story flows in and out of present - intertwining stories of youth and memories of his father. This switch between times may have been more confusing in written word, but it flows well in graphic form.
It's a thoughtful book with beautiful art. I hope to see more work by both Alarcon and Alvarado. ...more
Reading this book felt like going to a Storytelling workshop. There is SO MUCH information packed into each panel. It's all very fascinating, but it iReading this book felt like going to a Storytelling workshop. There is SO MUCH information packed into each panel. It's all very fascinating, but it is dense and cannot be read lightly, like many other graphic works.
Abel, uses her graphic medium to detail the ins and outs of radio storytelling. The book itself uses Abel and Ira Glass as omniscient narrators of the process of creating a radio narrative/documentary, in the vein of TAL, Radiolab, The Moth, Planet Money, etc. The book is structured as a dialogue and running conversation with producers from these and other programs and podcasts about The Idea, the Characters and Voice, Story Structure, Sound, and The Edit.
As a general fan and supporter of public radio, there was a lot to love here. This book provided a whole new appreciation for the incredible work that goes into production, both creative and technical. It was a fascinating read. There's a lot here for writers, storytellers, performers, and artists to glean, and apply directly to their craft....more
The more you read these crowd-sourced "deep dark fears" compiled and imagined in graphic form, you realize how very normal it is to have irrational anThe more you read these crowd-sourced "deep dark fears" compiled and imagined in graphic form, you realize how very normal it is to have irrational and ridiculous worries and fears! The comic visual and the irrationality make it inherently humorous, and you may even recognize a few of your own idiosyncrasies here.
Entertaining read - my husband and I read through this one together laughing aloud, and sharing a few of our own... I will check out his Tumblr. ...more