Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Charles Darwin's On The Origin of Species Graphic Novel Adaptation

I can honestly say that as much as it's always fascinated me and as much as I've always been interested in the topics of evolution and natural selection and such, I don't think I ever would've read On the Origin of Species if it weren't for Michael Keller's new graphic adaptation of it with GORGEOUS illustrations by Nicolle Rager Fuller. And what a loss that would've been. The nerd in me really loved this one. Though I totally DON'T think you need to be a nerd to enjoy this one. If you have an appreciation for the way life works and the order of things, I think you'd really enjoy this one. I'm not going to give a summary of this one, because I think most people know what this one is about. What I will give is a description of how the book is laid out. It starts with sort of a description of how Darwin came to write On the Origin of Species and all of the trials and tribulations he fought both personally and publicly in getting it published. Told in graphic novel format of course. It then goes on to translate the entire text of On the Origin of Species itself into graphic novel form with editors notes added where things have been updated since it's original publication. What I loved more than anything about this, is that it really helped me grasp Darwin's work and understand it. I've always been much more of a visual learner. With this text in particular, I can see that I would've had a really hard time with it reading the original. To say that "the pictures helped" is an understatement. Not only did the illustrations help my understanding of Darwin's words, but they're GORGEOUS to look at. Just absolutely stunning and the layout of the whole novel is just fantastic. It goes without saying that this is just another example of the power of the graphic novel medium. I'm so glad to see this medium become embraced more and more and to see it expand into different genres like SCIENCE! What a great tool this is for learning! This is one that I'll happily keep on my shelves and thumb through over and over again and just admire the beauty of it's contents, the beauty of the knowledge that Darwin gave us, and the beauty of nature itself.

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