Book review: the Squidtoons comic

This is the coolest piece of #scicomm I’ve seen in a while: Squidtoons: Exploring Ocean Science with Comics by Garfield Kwan and Dana Song.

Squidtoons has been ‘illustrating science with farts, burps, and giggles’ since 2013. Their website features entertaining comics packed with info on the amazing diversity of marine life, including a 2016 collaboration with The Fisheries Blog. Now they’ve released a slick, 119-page comic book that takes their scicomm to the next level.

This isn’t your average non-technical science book—It’s solid science presented in a one-two combo of hilarious writing and full-page color graphics…In other words, your marine biology textbook as a graphic novel.

Most of the chapters in Squidtoons focus on interesting anatomical or life history adaptations of marine species, covering everything from corals, to narwhals.

But you’ll also find a good bit of ecology and conservation. The curious love life of sea dragons, misconceptions about sharks, and differences between poisonous and venomous creatures are just a few of the cool ecological chapters in Squidtoons.

And let’s not forget about the chapter on collecting whale vomit.

But don’t let the goofiness fool you—this book is 100% science, including a glossary and bibliography of the peer-reviewed literature from which the information was drawn.

The Squidtoons book is a great introduction to marine science for a variety of readers. It casts a fresh light on how society perceives aquatic scientists, and is sure to inspire young readers who may not have had an initial interest in marine science. And for those readers with more formal training in the aquatic sciences, you’ll certainly get a laugh out of it.

You can find the Squidtoons book with the major online booksellers, or on my coffee table.

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