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Two Fisted Science: Stories About Scientists Paperback – April 1, 2001

3.9 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

It humanizes science in a badly needed way, it inspires. -- The Comics Journal

The cartoons both intrigue and amuse. An unusual but intelligent introduction to some of the most famous figures in physics. -- Physics World, December 1997

[W]onderfully offbeat and human. This collection illustrates some of science history's more offbeat sides... -- FACTSHEET FIVE, March 1998

About the Author

All stories are written by Jim Ottaviani, a former researcher and nuclear engineer -- now a reference librarian at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The illustrators include award winning artists such as Paul Chadwick, Donna Barr, Bernie Mireault, and Colleen Doran. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: G.T. Labs; 2 edition (April 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0966010620
  • ISBN-13: 978-0966010626
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.3 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,254,220 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Michael K. Smith TOP 1000 REVIEWER on September 19, 2003
Format: Paperback
All the stories in this collection of "graphic fiction" were written by Ottaviani, but the artwork was supplied by ten artists, including Bernie Mireault and Scott Saavedra. The stories are based on real events (reportedly real, anyway) about Einstein, Russell, Bohr, Heisenberg, and others - and especially Richard Feynman, who was not only one of 20th century physics's major minds but an amateur locksmith, talented musician, social philosopher, and world-class storyteller as well. Some, like "turtles all the way down," are smile-inducing classics, while others, like Heisenberg's approach to Bohr on behalf on the German nuclear effort in World War II are somber and reflective. Feynman's own recounting of his brief, tragic marriage during the Manhattan Project is especially affecting, and the tale of his safe-cracking activities at Los Alamos and Oak Ridge are a hoot. Oh, and you'll even learn some physics theory along the way, or at least get a taste of how physicists view the world. I hope another volume like this is in the works.
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Format: Paperback
Comics like "Two-Fisted Science" serve nothing but a good purpose. They remind us that comics - like other art forms - can be about anything, and are not captives of the humor, fantasy and adventure genres.
A science-themed comic is especially appropriate, as the art-text combination inherent to comics would seem perfect for conveying complex/cosmic ideas. This collection features some terrific artists - notably Bernie Mireault, David Lasky, Colleen Doran and Sean Bieri - but I was a bit disappointed in the writing. Ottaviani's stories so intent on being unorthodox and different that they instead become meandering and confusing. Oftentimes I was unsure of what exactly was at stake for each story and why we should care about what was being told. And I would expect to actually learn more about SCIENCE in such a book. Also, the organization of the book into seemingly random sections, and the clumsy, unimaginative publication design diminished the effect.
I give the book high marks for effort, nice artwork, and the especially interesting portraits of Richard Feynman, but overall I'd rate "Two-Fisted Science" a noble failure.
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Two Fisted Science is listed as the work of several graphic artists and writers. The back cover would have you believe that the purpose of the book is to help readers see scientists as humans. At best this is partially achieved.

We get a more or less fictionalized retelling of Galileo's problems with the Catholic Church. This is followed by a completely fictional "bar fight "between Newton and Leibniz. Leibniz is shrugged off as a Lawyer when in fact he was a lot of things.

The several sections on Richard Feynman includes the touching story of the tender love between himself and his dying wife as well as something of his mischievous sense of humor. Likely this section comes closest to capturing the person in the lab coat. Feynman also has the largest share of this short book. Bertrand Russell get a fairly clever and effective one page. Until you read that this is a version of a story based on something else. On the good side each section ends with some quality suggestions for additional reading.

As a collection of graphic art there is something here for everyone who admires this art form but the text/story lines include too much that is vague and unenlightening and too little that is of human interest. If any scientist profiled in Two Fisted Science was unknown to you before reading the book, likely they remain unknown to you nor do you have much that tells you why a given scientist is profiled.
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Being a science geek, I'm naturally interested in this subject matter. I was a *bit* disappointed in this book because the material is presented in a pretty dry fashion. I think there needs to be a bit more color and less slavish adherence to every letter and number in the history of science. Not falsifying but leaning more toward the human without being afraid to show disagreements, personality flaws, etc. The history of science is really the history of human beings, after all. I would recommend this book for anyone who, like me, slurps up Everything Science, but not, maybe, for a youngster who's just dipping her toes in the stream for the first time.
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By A Customer on December 28, 1998
Format: Paperback
We have given this book to various friends who have enjoyed the hard science topics in the 'comic book' format. We also have given it to nieces and nephews, who may not realize that they are being exposed to science and history. We can chat with them about it later, to see how much they have absorbed and to encourage them to reread it (comics are fun after all).
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