Feynman by Ottaviani and Myrick

Graphic novel biography of Nobel-Prize-winning theoretical physicist: what could go wrong? Besides everything? Amazingly, (almost) nothing goes (seriously) wrong. Feynman, by Jim Ottaviani and Leland Myrick, as a comic book flows fast and tells diverse stories about Richard P Feynman (1918-1988). No (significant) new scholarship, lots of diverse classic anecdotes of a fascinating, flawed person.

Freeman Dyson, friend of Feynman and fellow physicist, explains in his review:

... The genre of serious comic-book literature was highly developed in Japan long before it appeared in the West. The Ottaviani-Myrick book is the best example of this genre that I have yet seen with text in English. Some Western readers commonly use the Japanese word manga to mean serious comic-book literature. According to one of my Japanese friends, this usage is wrong. The word manga means "idle picture" and is used in Japan to describe collections of trivial comic-book stories. The correct word for serious comic-book literature is gekiga, meaning "dramatic picture." The Feynman picture-book is a fine example of gekiga for Western readers.

Dyson concludes his essay on a personal note:

... He hated all hierarchies, and wanted no badge of superior academic status to come between him and his younger friends. He considered science to be a collective enterprise in which educating the young was as important as making personal discoveries. He put as much effort into his teaching as into his thinking.

He never showed the slightest resentment when I published some of his ideas before he did. He told me that he avoided disputes about priority in science by following a simple rule: "Always give the bastards more credit than they deserve." I have followed this rule myself. I find it remarkably effective for avoiding quarrels and making friends. A generous sharing of credit is the quickest way to build a healthy scientific community. In the end, Feynman's greatest contribution to science was not any particular discovery. His contribution was the creation of a new way of thinking that enabled a great multitude of students and colleagues, including me, to make their own discoveries.

Feynman wasn't larger-than-life — he fully filled his space-time. R.I.P

(cf Late Physicists (2000-09-24), Fractal Feynman (2003-01-30), Essential Knowledge (2005-06-20), Feynman Lectures (2006-11-26), Feynman on Poetry and Science (2015-11-03), Symmetry in Physical Laws (2015-12-12), Alternative Paths (2017-01-15), Feynman on Good Stuff (2018-06-03), ...) - ^z - 2018-09-21