“Reading “Logicomix’’ is like stumbling upon the best college class you never expected and settling down for enlightenment.” – Boston Globe
Logicomix is the NY Times #1 bestselling graphic novel. The concept, story and script were created by Apostolos Doxiadis. The concept and story were created by Christos H. Papadimitriou. Alecos Papadatos did the character design and drawings. And Annie Di Donna was responsible for color design. The authors/artists worked as a team and the book shares how they worked together and how the idea for the book came into being. It is a framed story within a story, in that sense, and a story commenting on itself.
Logicomix has been nominated for and has won all kinds of prizes. Covering a span of sixty years, the graphic novel Logicomix was inspired by the epic story of the quest for the Foundations of Mathematics. This was a heroic intellectual adventure most of whose protagonists paid the price of knowledge with extreme personal suffering and even insanity. The book tells its tale in an engaging way, at the same time complex and accessible. It grounds the philosophical struggles on the undercurrent of personal emotional turmoil, as well as the momentous historical events and ideological battles which gave rise to them. The role of narrator is given to the most eloquent and spirited of the story’s protagonists, the great logician, philosopher and pacifist Bertrand Russell. It is through his eyes that the plights of such great thinkers as Frege, Hilbert, Poincaré, Wittgenstein and Gödel come to life, and through his own passionate involvement in the quest that the various narrative strands come together. Themes are Logic and Madness, Science, The Quest, The Hero, and Paradox: Themes
And you can observe a lot here from how the book was created in the website section called “Pages in Production”: Process
This is a wonderful section to browse because there are slideshows on several of the pages of how the effects were achieved, with sketches in various states of becoming, all the way to final product. It’s a great teaching tool to look through these files and see how rough ideas came to life.
At the heart of the story is the life of Betrand Russel, a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, and social critic. At various points in his life he considered himself a liberal, a socialist, and a pacifist, but he also admitted that he had never been any of these in any profound sense. Russell led the British “revolt against idealism” in the early 20th century. He is considered one of the founders of analytic philosophy along with his predecessor Gottlob Frege and his protégé Ludwig Wittgenstein. He is widely held to be one of the 20th century’s premier logicians. He co-authored, with A. N. Whitehead, Principia Mathematica, an attempt to ground mathematics on logic. His philosophical essay “On Denoting” has been considered a “paradigm of philosophy.” His work has had a considerable influence on logic, mathematics, set theory, linguistics, computer science (see type theory and type system), and philosophy, especially philosophy of language, epistemology, and metaphysics. He was also a prominent anti-war activist. In Logicomix, he gets a very personal voice and his life story is told from childhood (young Bertie) to adulthood, very much like a quest.