... extraordinary ... Have I ever read anything like it before? No, I’m certain that I haven’t. Each page is a visual delight: as colourful and as joyful as a book for children. It’s extremely easy to read and often very funny. And yet you finish it with your mind blown. Simply by virtue of the fact that it makes some pretty cutting-edge brain science seem almost straightforward, it subtly expands the world of the reader. Afterwards, I wasn’t only more attentive to my own thought processes; armed with a bit more insight into the way people around me might be thinking, it’s possible that it may also have liberated me, just a little, from some all too human anxieties ... extremely rich, but never forced. It’s as if the brain is a fabulous gallery or museum, and they are simply taking us on an access-all-areas tour ... it wasn’t the science that I relished most, so much as the storytelling talents of Alex Frith and Daniel Locke. Their strips are an all-out treat, packed with visual similes and metaphors, slapstick jokes and witty, meta footnotes. With their round heads, which may be flipped open like boiled eggs to reveal the enigmatic organ within, and their ever smiling faces, the Friths, as they are drawn here, are at once themselves, clever and authoritative, and two highly original comic book characters, always larking about, always indulging in provocative little marital arguments. Like this book, they are truly delightful; you feel glad that they, and it, exist.
... weaves a delicate dance between memoir and popular science ... Visually, there is a strong reliance on the traditional nine-panel grid and some smart visual metaphors that combine comics and research visuals quite well (such as the triangle face studies). Nonfiction comics and science readers will be pleased to see footnotes and a complete bibliography.
In addition to the authors’ knowledgeable tours of the relevant science, the graphic element serves to reinforce the spirit of collaboration, one of the book’s primary themes ... The illustrations vividly capture both the significance of the scientific experiments and the unique familial experiences of the Friths. Locke’s art also helps clarify challenging issues involving, among other topics, autism and schizophrenia; in-groups and out-groups; how the brain can function like a hive of bees; and the deleterious effects of the failure to connect. As do many other books on the brain, this one leaves little doubt that so much of what we think or do is in response to the ways we copy others or anticipate what we think they think...However, by the end of this refreshing journey, readers will be much further down the path toward understanding ... An enlightening, inspirational scientific voyage that highlights the importance of collaboration.
... chock-full of science facts and delves into issues such as bias in academic research and mental disorders. Personal anecdotes wind a path through dense topics made accessible for general readers. The art style, however, skews picture book and sometimes feels flat. Though the presentation leaves something to be desired, the work overall has the feel of being invited to dinner with a friend’s eccentric genius parents: there are some awkward moments, but readers will learn much by the last course.