Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species: A Graphic Adaptation

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Last month I was sent a review copy of one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read: Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species: A Graphic Adaptation by Michael Keller and Nicolle Rager Fuller. Although, I haven’t finished the book yet, I think today, the 150th anniversary of the publication of the Origin, is an appropriate day to talk about it.

The book is a wonderful adaptation of the Darwin’s influential original. It beings with a history lesson about his voyage on the HMS Beagle and his return to England. It then follows with abridged text from the Origin and associated graphical adaptations. I could spend a thousand words describing the format to you, but it is more effective to simply share a lo-res sample with you. Although the format is great and beautiful, some of the artwork, especially people, does not look right. I would have preferred a style of artwork more suitable to the graphical novel medium, like The Manga Guide to Molecular Biology.—But doing it in manga form opens up the possibility of Darwin x Wallace dōjinshi, which makes me cower.—But this is probably just due to my taste.

Minor art issues aside, I believe that this book will make a great gift for anyone interested in science and especially biology. I also think that it can serve as a powerful teaching tool in high school and college, due to its uniqueness. For anyone that still has a bad taste in their mouth from Comfort’s bastardization of Darwin’s work, Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species: A Graphic Adaptation will make you feel better.

10 Comments

Perfect Xmas gift I say…, or perhaps {\it Origin of Species} day gift.

Ironically…I just got home from Portland, OR (a day late…) where I was visiting on family business. While there, my wife and I went to Powell’s Books…where I picked up a copy of this book.

Hey…wait a minute…those animals look glued on!!!

W. H. Heydt said: While there, my wife and I went to Powell’s Books…where I picked up a copy of this book.

Mmmm, Powell’s Books.

Not quite Mecca for geeks, but close (especially their tech bookstore, which was a pleasure to prowl because it had a deep stock of older, used books, which is a wonderful thing if, like me, you often have to sort out a legacy interface that is no longer well documented.)

I even met Fup on occasion, though, sadly, I understand he (she?) has recently gone on to the big scratching pad in the sky.

I would believe in evolution, but Harun Yaya’s book had more pictures.

First a quick thanks to Reed for posting this. I went out and purchased the book this morning for a student of mine, as the class was getting ready to read and analyze part of the Origin next week, and I think this resource is a better fit for the student. Second I’m sure there are more than what I’ve noticed so far, but the artwork at least contains some entertaining anachronisms that one should be aware of. For example in the chapter on the geologic record it includes pictures of some Eiadacaran fossils not discovered until the 1900’s. Overall though the book seems like a positive example of a book being modified in the public domain.

I was highly surprised to find there was a graphical adaption of On the Origin of Species.

I was even more surprised (and highly amused) to see the mention of a Darwin x Wallace doujinshi. Good show, Mr. Cartwright.

Wow that is a great looking book. Do you think it would be a good book for children?

Young children? No. Middle and High schoolers? Yes.

Another great Christmas gift is one that I read recently. I am a student and completely new to evolution, intelligent design, creationism, naturalism and other isms that are out there. I pretty much have no idea really how to debate or argue points about any of it because of very little knowledge of it all but I read Dembski’s “The Design of Life” and I really began to understand what Intelligent design is all about. I see alot of bloggers are asking if design where to be true then who designed the designer and from my understanding thats not the point of Intelligent design, to name the designer, but rather just stating that there is an intelligent agent of some sort responsible for making the world go round. As I said I am very new at this and I could be completely off but just curious to it all.

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This page contains a single entry by Reed A. Cartwright published on November 24, 2009 3:19 PM.

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