Hawking by Jim Ottaviani and Leland Myrick

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Through his early schooling at St Albans School and at Oxford, his ALS diagnosis and belief he had only years to live, and then going on to live until 2018 — this is a comic about science and arguably the most important scientist of our time: Stephen Hawking. 

For those of us who don’t casually delve into the history of science, there may be more detail here than we care to get into, like particle theory, for instance. And that’s OK if you’re one of those readers because there’s just enough information that skirts the world of scientific theory, with Hawking’s personal story and challenges in facing an all-encompassing, debilitating disease taking center stage.

At first he brushes it off. Then he is caught off guard, confused by what is happening. We learn of his terminal illness through others — through his father who studies late into the night trying to find a cure, his acquaintances who take pity, and his friends and lover who fear for their own lives when Stephen is behind the wheel. We witness his darkness, too, and then: the light. There is work to be done and there isn’t enough time.

Rendered cinematically, Ottaviani and Myrick have created a gripping story that at once tethers between the vastness of our universe and the human experience of inhabiting an earthly body.

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Hawking by Jim Ottaviani and Leland Myrick, published by First Second Books (2019)

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