Graphic Novels to dive into this National Science Week

by | Aug 17, 2020 | collections, special events | 0 comments

National Science Week is Australia’s annual celebration of science and technology. Running each year in August, it features more than 1000 events around Australia, including those delivered by universities, schools, research institutions, libraries, museums, and science centres.

The theme for National Science Week 2020 is Deep Blue: innovations for the future of our oceans.

The team at ALIA Graphic Novels and Comics have been busy this month putting together a selection of graphic novels and non-fiction titles that would make great reading this National Science Week.

There are comics inspired by science, others that have inspired scientific enquiry, and non-fiction graphic novels about science that make reading to learn so much more enjoyable! Here are a few of our favourites:

“There is evidence that reading can increase levels of all three major categories of intelligence. I believe my discovery of Spider-Man and other comic books turned me into a straight-A student.” Science writer Dan Hurley, The Guardian, 2014. 

The Invisible War: A Tale on Two Scales – Ailsa Wild, Briony Barr, Gregory Crocetti, Ben Hutchins, Jeremy Barr (Scale Free Network)

Medicine: A Graphic History -Dr. Jean-Noël Fabiani and Philippe Bercovici (SelfMadeHero) 

Heroes of Science: Who Changed the World -Dave Shephard and Emily Sohn (Graphic Greats Series)

Graphic Science: Seven Journeys of Discovery – Darryl Cunningham (Myriad) 

Science Tales: Lies, Hoaxes and Scams – Darryl Cunningham (Myriad)

Heroes of Science: Who Changed the World – Dave Shephard and Emily Sohn (Graphic Greats Series)

Heretics!: The Wondrous (and Dangerous) Beginnings of Modern Philosophy – Steven Nadler, Ben Nadler (Princeton University Press)

Keeping our focus towards the oceans, the following comics all have a definite saltiness about them:

I Survived the Shark Attacks of 1916 – Lauren Tarshis, Gervasio, Jok (Graphix)

Low. Volume 1, The delirium of hope – Rick Remender (Image Comics)

Dept. H: Vol. 1: Pressure – Matt Kindt (Dark Horse)

For younger readers, the Science Comics series by First Second offer a complete introduction to a wide range of science topics in a beautifully illustrated graphic format. Currently I am reading Coral Reefs: Cities of the Ocean by Maris Wicks and in one night I have learned so much about corals and other cnidarians (that’s right! I learned a huge word from this adorable comic). I have also had a good giggle while reading. The excellent imagery and sassy narrating character make absorbing the knowledge contained in this graphic so easy and enjoyable. 

Fish Feud! (Squidding Around) – Kevin Sherry (Graphix)

Coral Reefs: Cities of the Ocean – Maris Wicks (First Second)

Sharks: Nature’s Perfect Hunter – Joe Flood (First Second)

Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea (A Narwhal and Jelly Book #1) – Ben Clanton (Tundra Books) and WINNER – Eisner Award 2017, Best Publication for Early Readers.  

The deep. 1, Here be Dragons – Tom Taylor (Gestalt)

Still aren’t sure that graphic novels and Science Week go together? Believe it or not, numerous inventions and scientific investigations throughout the years have been inspired by comic books. Think about exoskeletons based on Iron Man’s suit; 2-way wrist radios (smartwatches) based on Dick Tracy; grappling hooks – thanks Batman; and spider silk, well, we can’t swing from the rooftops with it, but scientists are investigating how it can be used as a biodegradable glue alternative. 

“To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk” Thomas A. Edison.


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