Stephen Hawking to Get Graphic Novel Biography in 2016

Hawking Sketch - S 2013
<p>Hawking Sketch - S 2013</p>   |   Leland Myrick/First Second
New comic book biography came about as a result of Hawking's enjoyment of the creators' work on an earlier graphic novel about Richard Feynman.

The world knows about Stephen Hawking from his work, his celebrity and, of course, his appearance on Star Trek: The Next Generation. But what about the man behind the science? A new graphic novel aims to reveal all.

Hawking reteams writer Jim Ottaviani and artist Leland Myrick, creators of the earlier memoir Feynman about theoretical physicist Richard Feynman, which was released to critical acclaim two years ago. That book, it turns out, led to this new project.

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"July 4, 2012, was a good day in physics and for Gordy Kane, Leland and me," Ottoviani said in a statement accompanying the announcement of the project. "Not only was the Higgs boson revealed to the world, but Gordy, a prominent physicist and author of The Particle Garden, won a long-standing $100 bet with his friend Stephen Hawking on whether there even was a Higgs. And in an email letting us know about these things, Gordy and his wife Lois also added an ‘Oh, by the way ... ’ They told us that Stephen had read and enjoyed our Feynman book (!) and invited us to come to Cambridge and talk about doing a book about him."

Described as a "once-in-a-lifetime" book, Myrick recalled that during a visit with Ottoviani to Cambridge University for research, "there was a moment when we were both standing next to Stephen Hawking's desk in his office at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics. We looked at each other and both smiled. I don't know what was in Jim's head, but I was thinking, 'Wow, this is going to be a fun ride.'"

Hawking will be published in 2016 by :01 First Second.