We’ll tell you right up front that Margreet de Heer, author of PHILOSOPHY, A Discovery in Comics which NBM is just now publishing is no starchy expert with a doctorate in the field.
She’s a layman like you and me, albeit one who always had a fascination for it.
And that is exactly part of what makes this very personal exploration so real, palpable and relatable.
Hey, Philosophy is a heavy subject. One that most shun out of fear, either of brain meltdown or sheer boredom. Unjustly so. While the concepts can be very deep and involved, Margreet is excellent at taking our hand and guiding us through the basic concepts.
What is philosophy most basically? What are the main concepts of thought? Where did this all start?
Portraying herself along with her husband Yiri, she tells her us of her own experience in an autobiographical way, starting with the most basic of awareness: who are we? What is a thought? What is perception? And then, what is reality? A good few pages are devoted in the beginning to just establishing these very basics before embarking on presenting the great Greek philosophers and then traveling through to the middle ages. By that point, we are presented one page bios of Aristotle through Spinoza and a few pages of lively explanation very simply boiling down the core of their concepts.
And this is education at its most successful: conveying clearly and simply the most complicated even abstruse concepts. Making them fun and enticing to continue the journey after reading the book is quite an added bonus.
As a result you have a basic textbook introduction for classes but also a comics discovery of an intriguing subject anyone can pick up and enjoy.
This does not pretend to be complete. For instance, instead of going on with more of the recent philosophers, she takes a tangent to finding what friends and family think of when it comes to having a basic philosophy of Life. Heck, she even throws in George Carlin! Wait ‘til you see the compelling case she makes for him being… yes, a philosopher of sorts! The book also concentrates on Western Philosophy. Maybe the Eastern side might make another discovery in comics? Be that as it may, we are refreshingly instructed and maybe made somewhat less afraid of the whole thing.
Margreet lives in Holland, speaks excellent English and is available for interviews. She has also been blogging on NBM’s blog about the book and Philosophy in general in equally entertaining fashion (nbmpub.com/blog).
8x8, 120pp., full color hardcover, $16.99, ISBN 9781561636983; publication: September 2012
For further information, contact Stefan Blitz: NBMpubPR@gmail.com.