Friday, August 23, 2013


Trinity is a 2012 graphic history of the first atomic bomb, written and illustrated by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm. Fetter-Vorm takes his title from the code name of the test grounds for the Manhattan Project.

The book traces the history of atomic discovery from Marie Curie through its various developments and breakthroughs to a terrific graphic representation of both nuclear fission and the principals of nuclear chain reaction.

The meat of the story begins in the 1930s with the realization  that this new found understanding of atomic energy could be weaponized. By the end of the 30s and the beginnings of World War II, concern escalates and the US begins to secretly look into atomic weapons. After Pearl Harbor, the US decided to be the first to build the first atomic weapon.

The story is fast moving and compelling. The images supplement the narrative so that the text and dialog need only be the bare minimum, and according to an author's note at the end, cribbed directly from the written record wherever possible.

The science, the politics, the engineering, the international struggles, the fear, and the horror of what might happen and ultimately did happen are all described--and illustrated--in a simple, gray-scale manner.

The book ends on the Cold War arms race and world wide implications of living in the nuclear age. The afterword is a simple yet grim reminder that nuclear particles remain with us for millennia as an unseen reminder of what we did, and what we continue to do.

Read--and look at--this book.

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