Logicomix An Epic Search For Truth, a graphic novel about Bertrand Russell and other logicians, is amazing, enriching, and totally engaging. Apostolos Doxiadis and Christos Papadimitriou, who both have backgrounds in mathematics and science, have written Logicomix in such a way that doesn't overwhelm the reader with mathematics and dense philosophy, while at the same not dumbing down any of the big ideas the books subject matter deals with. The artists of Logicomix, the husband and wife team of Alecos Paradatos and Annie Di Donna, draw this graphic novel in a wonderful cartoony style that definitely is a big part of why Logicomix is as great as it is.
With a title like Logicomix An Epic Search For Truth, one may think that this is going to be an incredibly dense, pretentious book that would be chore to read. Logicomix is anything but pretentious and dense (well it can sometimes be dense, but in a good, engaging, expand your mind way). Bertrand Russell, a mathematician / philosopher, is the main subject of Logicomix and the goal of this book being an examination of his life and ideas. Logicomix also explores other logicians like Russell's student, Ludwig Wittgenstein and through them define what logic / logicians study, which is the pursuit of methodical thinking (using the foundations of higher mathematical concepts) and trying to make order out of human behavior.
Doxiadis, Papadimitriou, Papadatos, and Di Donna, the four cartoonists of Logicomix, also interject themselves throughout their graphic novel, but not overtly, rather they do this in a manner that helps the reader understand the big ideas they are dealing with and put things in a kind of context within history. I especially liked their musings on madness and its role / existence that it shares with many logicians and that Russell himself wrestled with in his life. The way in which Logicomix is told is multi-layered, which mirrors its subject matter (the logicians and their ideas) in their complexities, while also showing that Russell and the other logicians were also human and thus not perfect.
Logicomix An Epic Search For Truth, is a 350 page, full color graphic novel, for a mere $22.95 and I hope that it doesn't get lost amongst the other great graphic novels that have been released this year. Logicomix won't get the attention that Cooke's The Hunter received and most comic book stores sadly won't have even ordered this, but a work of this magnitude that isn't afraid to explore big ideas in an entertaining manner, should be loudly heralded.
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