Rocket Ride: Anne and Jerzy Drozd's "Science Comics: Rockets - Defying Gravity"


Science Comics: Rockets - Dying Gravity front cover and page

Everything I learned about rockets as a kid came from a Kiss song. That's rather unfortunate because I found out much later that "Rocket Ride" was not, in fact, about space travel but rather very Earthy matters.

If only I had Anne and Jerzy Drozd's Science Comics: Rockets - Defying Gravity to guide me rather than a subliterate Ace Frehley jam.

The book is part of First Second's graphic novel series about various science topics, from sharks and dogs to volcanoes and robots. Written and drawn by the Drozds, Rockets - Defying Gravity features a pigeon guiding us through the history of rocketry, from what is likely the first -- philosopher/scientist Archytas' wooden, steam-powered pigeon -- to modern-day and futuristic models. (The pigeon also pesters Sir Isaac Newton to slide him a frosty root beer in order to explain the First Law of Motion.) In the course of the book, gravity, force, acceleration, and everything else that makes a rocket move are covered in an easy-to-follow manner with excellent visual accompaniment.

A page from Science Comics: Rockets - Defying Gravity

The Drozds are married Ann Arborites (and Anne is a librarian at AADL) who will be joined by Vault of Midnight co-owner Nick Yribar and another local science-comic-writing author, the prolific Jim Ottaviani (Feynman, Primates), for a chat at the 2018 Kerrytown Bookfest: "Science in a Graphic Novel Way!" (1-1:45 pm).

The couple recently did a presentation at Nerd Nite Ann Arbor about what it was like to research and create Science Comics: Rockets - Defying Gravity and they talk about their interests in all things comics and outer space. (Note: They do not talk about Kiss or "Rocket Ride.")

Christopher Porter is a library technician and the editor of Pulp.

Anne and Jerzy Drozd's "Science Comics: Rockets - Defying Gravity" is available at Vault of Midnight (219 S. Main St., Ann Arbor) and all good bookstores. The panel discussion "Science in a Graphic Novel Way!" is at the 2018 Kerrytown Bookfest on Sunday, September 9, from 1-1:45 pm. Free.