The True Comic Story About 3 Primatologists Who Changed How We See the World

Legend has it that in the 1950s, DC Comics concluded that the ticket to sure sales lay not with super-powered hijinks, but with gorillas: any comic with an ape on its cover was sure to outsell the ape-free issues. By that token alone, Primates, a new graphic novel by Jim Ottaviani and Maris Wicks about the lives and work of three seminal primatologists, should be a smash-hit.

Primates tells the connected stories of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas, known collectively as “Leaky’s Angels” in tribute to their collective mentor, archaeologist and paleoanthropologist Louis Leaky. Beginning with Goodall in 1960, each woman embarked on a long-term field study of a group of primates—Goodall, chimps; Fossey, mountain gorillas; Galdikas, orangutans—and, in the process, revolutionized not only the field of primatology but scientific perspectives on human evolution and the very definition of humanity.

Written by Jim Ottaviani and drawn and lettered by Maris Wicks, Primates draws from the diaries of all three scientists—as well as a slew of other sources detailed in a bibliography at the end to paint a compelling picture of their work and lives, deftly interweaving the three women’s stories in an account that’s equal parts biography and scientific history… 

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I have always love collecting comic books, getting into a really good graphic novel series, heck, I even have binders full of the collectible cards…
But I don’t think I’ve ever wanted a graphic novel as much as I want this one.