Science Comics: Cars: Engines That Move You
Science Comics: Cars: Engines That Move You is an excellent companion to First Second’s Maker Comics: Fix a Car! While that book concentrates on taking care of a vehicle, this graphic novel by Dan Zettwoch focuses on understanding how they work and came to be with incredibly comprehensive, well-cartooned content. The book covers, among other topics,
- some history of vehicle travel
- the physics of combustion and how engines work
- the history of the wheel and the steam engine
- the development and operation of the gasoline-powered internal combustion engine
- the first cross-country road trip and how roads were built
- the Ford Model T
- customization, hot rods, and lowriders
- racing and speed records
- how gas gets from the earth to the car
- hybrid and electric vehicles
I particularly liked the occasional diversions, which include various odd vehicle inventions of the past, a history of tiny cars, 1950s body design (fins!), amphibious cars, and a history of car audio.
It isn’t strictly chronological, instead introducing concepts and background as it makes sense to the reader. There’s a ton of detail, using the comic format to full advantage with lots of diagrams and labeled illustration and plenty of historical images and expressive characters. The book serves as a survey of the topic, with lots of ideas quickly mentioned and at the end, followup material for further reading, including a glossary, end notes, a cutaway diagram of car parts, and a bibliography.
Science Comics: Cars: Engines That Move You is well worth reading, even if you’re not already interested in the concept. (If you are, it’s fantastic.) It can be preordered now from your local comic shop with Diamond code MAR19 1778 (paperback, $12.99) or MAR19 1779 (hardcover, $19.99). It’s due out May 28. (The publisher provided a digital advance review copy.)