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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

The Physics of Superheroes 2nd Edition - 2009

Hitting bookstores today is the second edition of Professor James Kakalios' book The Physics of Superheroes!

I read and enjoyed the first book thoroughly, so under normal circumstances I'd check out this second, updated edition. But this version holds particular interest, since there's a whole chapter devoted to Aquaman, titled "So He Talks To Fishes--Want to Make Something Of It?", covering the topic of Fluid Mechanics.

But that's not all! A few months ago, James went looking on the web for a particular splash page from an issue of More Fun Comics to run in the book. First he went to F.O.A.M.er Shag Matthews, who had a small version of the splash page in question on his blog.

Shag didn't have a high-res version, so he helpfully directed James to Laura's Unofficial Aquaman Site, as well as to me and the Shrine. Neither Laura or I had it (since, at that moment, the More Funs were all but unavailable to me).

But I kept trying to find it--even going directly to DC to see if they had it easily accessible in their files (they didn't).

Eventually, James gave up on the idea, and asked me for possible replacements. He wanted something from an Aquaman comic that would show off his super strength and invulnerability, due to Aquaman's ability to survive in the depths of the oceans.

I gave James a couple of ideas, but my #1 choice was an excellent sequence from Justice League of America #200 (aka The Greatest Comic Book Ever Made) where Aquaman drags one of the Appellax aliens under the sea.

Aquaman, in a particular bad-ass moment, holds the creature (who is made entirely of crystal) there by the throat until he shatters into little pieces. To make it even better, the writer of the story, Gerry Conway, gives us some narration that really underscores what a tough-as-nails moment this is. It remains one of my all-time favorite Aquaman sequences.

James thought that would work perfectly, so after I sent him a high-res scan of the page (from my battered copy) he slotted it in for the book. As soon as I got my copy in the mail over the weekend, I turned right to the Aquaman chapter, and there it is:
...how cool is this?

James asked how I wanted my name listed in the book as credit for providing the image. I told him that, since I'm sure space was limited, to forget my name entirely and just credit The Aquaman Shrine. I loved the idea of the Shrine's name actually being in a book.

But James went one better, singling out me, the Shrine, and Laura in the book's perface:
...Great Neptune!

I'm absolutely ecstatic James went to that effort, to mention me and the Shrine like that. The copy he sent me also features an inscription, instantly making this book one of my most treasured items, and I haven't even read it yet! Thanks James!

Any superhero and/or science fan should pick up a copy of the book. You can learn more about it here, or purchase it via Amazon using the Shrine's first ever online ad:


Sean Tiffany said...

Geez, you and the Shrine just keep getting cooler and cooler!

Russell said...

My sister gave me the original version of this book, and although I was happy to get it, when I scanned the table of contents and didn't find any mention of Aquaman, I have to admit I was disappointed. NOW...it sounds like he has rectified that mistake. I gotta pick this up. :-)

Anonymous said...

WOW! Congratulations!

Credit where credit's due!

Just bought a copy via your link (and a few more things too...)

Thanks very much! =D