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Neurocomic Hardcover – April 15, 2014

4.4 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Even if Farinella’s artwork is pretty crude, the fact that he and coauthor Roš are bona fide PhD-holding neuroscientists assures that they know what they’re talking about. Inspired by Alice in Wonderland, they depict the adventures of a young man who, by means of a pretty girl reading a book, falls into what seems to be a forest but is actually the brain. There he meets a couple of Nobel laureate scientists who explain brain morphology to him before sending him into a neuron, where more top researchers elucidate brain pharmacology. After inadvertently overindulging there, he plunges into a cell and, thereby, brain electrophysiology. Further episodes acquaint him with plasticity and synchronicity in the brain before he is reunited in an epilogue with the pretty girl. The information relayed is sufficiently genuine for the book to be a neophyte’s primer on brain science, and the manner of its presentation is certainly exciting enough to sustain interest. Though Farinella’s drawing chops leave something to be desired, this handy introduction to neuroscience is a handsome artifact. --Ray Olson

Review


"This remarkable collaboration between Dr. Hana Roš (and dog knows I love few things more than a female neuroscientist) and neuroscience-PhD-turned-illustrator Dr. Matteo Farinella, with support from the Wellcome Trust, explains the inner workings of the brain in delightful and illuminating black-and-white illustrations, covering everything from perception and hallucinations to memory and emotional recall to consciousness and the difference between the mind and the brain."
—Brain Pickings

"I wish there was more of this art/science crossover in science books, don’t you?"
—It's Okay To Be Smart

"This unusual comic, both written and illustrated by neuroscientists, is sure to excite readers to further study the brain.[…] easy-to-understand illustrations and explanations of the underpinnings of neuroscience.
—American Association for the Advancement of Science

"The book’s descriptions of the cellular mechanics behind neurological function (often narrated by comically illustrated versions of pioneering neurologists) are captivating and informative. This book should please anyone who loves graphic novels or enjoys an entertaining read on neurology."
—American Scientist

"...incredibly informative and obviously expertly presented. Its two young creators --- she earned her Ph.D. in 2007, he obtained his in 2013 --- lend expertise and authenticity to the project, which was no doubt a labor of love for them both. The comics format allows them to have a great deal of fun with the material, which is enjoyable for the reader as such heady topics as “Is my mind something else than the brain? Or is the mind just a product of my brain?” are covered. If you’re at all interested in the question of what makes you truly you, this is the comic to help you better understand both the answer and the question."
—Graphic Novel Reporter

"This is a book for laymen and beginner students, not experts, but if you’re interested in taking a surreal but simple trip through the incredibly complicated landscape inside your skull, this might be the rabbit hole you’re looking for."
—Wired

"By turning neurons into trees, the depths of memory into caves, and the mind’s self-deceptiveness into a haunted castle, Roš and Farinella take you on a visual and verbal rollercoaster ride into your own brain in hopes of bringing the non-brain surgeons of the world closer to cutting through all the scientific jargon and considering the big questions of brain versus mind, how we remember, and how we become who we are. A mind trip in every sense of the word, Neurocomic gets into your head to get you into your own head."
—The Big Think

"While the concepts are still probably heady for a casual reader to immerse themselves in, Neurocomic is great for someone with a predisposed interest in science, especially young adult readers. A book like this can be an excellent gateway for young minds into further scientific studies."
—Mental Floss

"Written by two neuroscientists, this book uses a journey through the human brain to show us all its wonders. We follow the protagonist meeting various strange characters inhabiting the world of the mind, learning something from each of them. Engagingly trippy, in the best way possible."
—Comic Book Resources

"The book is a psychological and anatomical Alice in Wonderland where a central male figure with a cartoonishly large head and very amusing facial expressions encounters a “force” pulling him into a cheerful-looking young woman’s brain on a sunny day. Thereafter he finds himself in a “dense forest” of the mind, or the brain, to be more exact. Here his tutorials begin, because if he ever wants to escape, he must map the brain with the aid of significant neuroscientists throughout history who he encounters. "
—Bleeding Cool

"It combines all the best elements of science, art, humor, story and information. It illuminates the brain in new and wonderful ways. […] It’s an altogether engrossing and entertaining way to learn about the brain. We often see science as stuffy and serious, but this book injects so much playfulness and humor into neuroscience, that it’s an irresistible way to learn. The drawings are lively and expressive. I love the playful way brain functions are characterized. […] Nobrow has done a stellar job in publishing it. It’s a delight to hold and behold. I worry that the era of beautiful books has come to an end with ebooks, but publishers like Nobrow are putting those fears to rest.”
—Joy Corcoran
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Nobrow Press (April 15, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1907704701
  • ISBN-13: 978-1907704703
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 7 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,769 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
As a scientist I find this book a revelation! The reason? The brain is complicated enough for a scientist, so to present it in such an understandable and fun way is really something. Marvelous and highly recommended to scientists, schoolchildren and anybody else interested in how the most fascinating human organ works!
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I'm a college student and I adore this book. I wasn't really sure which age/grade level this book was geared towards, but I liked it nonetheless. The creators have quite the imagination. It captured how the neuron works and involved scientists from years past that contributed to it's function. This book even included some things that I am learning in my biochemistry class right now which I thought was cool.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was worried when I ordered it that it wouldn't be detailed enough to give me new information, but I figured it'd be worth a shot. This is clearly written, has some great information with great visuals, and has some really great metaphors that bring the information home. A great study guide that while written with college level detail is presented in a way that anyone that wants to learn would be able to understand. I need to see what else Hana Ros has written. This is such a great and fun way to learn.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found Neurocomic a really creative book to provide a reader with a basic introduction to aspects of the workings of the brain. In my opinion, the book spends too much time reflecting on neuroscientists where it could have provided more content about the various structures of the brain - which I felt the book only barely accomplished. I was disappointed that the authors did not use this creative medium to explain the anatomy and function of more parts of the brain. The creative genius of the book cannot be overstated - the imaginative forces that developed this book are remarkable. It is a fun and artfully drawn book that would be enjoyable for readers to explore.
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Format: Hardcover
I love books that illuminate the brain and help me understand how brain and mind function. I’ve recently fallen in love with the book Neurocomic by Dr. Hana Ros and Matteo Farinella, beautifully published by Nobrow this year. It combines all the best elements of science, art, humor, story and information.

The book opens with a man who starts to flirt with a woman then finds himself sucked into her brain. His quest is to get back out so he can continue to pursue her. He has no idea where he is and wanders through a neuron forest until he runs into Santiago Roman y Cajal, a “Spanish neuroscientist and Nobel Laureate (1852-1934)…considered as the father of neuroscience, although he always had a great passion for drawing.”

Thus begins our hero’s journey through neuron forests, memory caves, and castles of deception. Along the way, he runs into pioneers of neuroscience who seem to delight into sending him into even more mysterious places. It amused me to think of neuroscientists spending eternity studying inside a living brain. Is that heaven for them? The scientists are only the beginning of the zaniness. There’s a giant squid seeking revenge for experiments on its giant axons. There’s an aplysia snail playing banjo. We run into Pavlov and his dog.

It’s an altogether engrossing and entertaining way to learn about the brain. We often see science as stuffy and serious, but this book injects so much playfulness and humor into neuroscience, that it’s an irresistible way to learn. The drawings are lively and expressive. I love the playful way brain functions are characterized.

Dr. Hana Ros is neuroscientist with a PhD from Oxford University. Matteo Farinella is an illustrator specializing in graphic journalism and scientific illustration.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had high hopes. it's a great idea, and the cover is so fun & whimsical. but the author focused on a dull & disjointed presentation of historical figures in biology. as a neuroscientist who has taught many classes on the brain, I can tell you it's easy to present this subject in a fascinating, humbling or humorous way. it's exciting stuff -- how we are able to see, think, feel & move through the world is nothing short of miraculous. but the author decided to make this a story about a man who journeys thru the brain trying to find a cute girl and instead runs into a parade of old scientists who tell him what they discovered. the protagonist doesn't care, and neither do we. there is no context. there is no coherent explanation of how anything works. there is no mystery or humor. it's painful. I can only hope people don't read this book and lose their interest in neuroscience. I am so disappointed. this thing is cringe-worthy.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A quick, entertaining read through the brain. Neat introduction to how our brains works and an excellent gift for children and adults alike. Made me wish the authors would pair up to draw/write more in-depth graphic novels for medical students or college students interested in the matter.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm really not sure how to describe this book because as it says near the end "...because nothing really happened if not inside [your brain]" The topic as a whole covers what happens inside the brain and the history of neuroscience. This is presented with a character who appears to be trapped inside a brain and is trying to find a way out, by the end he wants out of the brain and the discussion enters the realm of what can happen when one goes out of their brain/mind. Mind vs brain is explored and the end leaves us waxing philosophically. This is a deep subject and this amusing beginners intro shows the powerful format the graphic (or comic) presentation can be for educational purposes. As always from Nobrow, a high quality book as well.
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