Dirty Biology: The X-Rated Story of the Science of Sex

Léo Grasset and Colas Grasset, trans. from the French by Kendra Boileau. Graphic Mundi, $24.95 trade paper (192p) ISBN 978-0-271-08705-4
The Grassets deliver a thorough, accessible, uproariously funny, and undeniably French exploration of sexual reproduction in this clever guide. A nameless asexual humanoid with a winningly dark sense of humor acts as reader’s guide to the wonder and weirdness of sex, and opens with a question: Why do humans have sex? From this simple beginning, the book’s reach is vast, encompassing everything from the development of size difference in gametes to necrophilia among lizards. Playful colors and confident linework do an excellent job of grounding the ocean of information, while a concise script and tart humor—the guide declares “I love animals” after revealing particularly off-putting facts—make obscure biological processes like bacterial transduction immediately comprehensible. The Grassets’ sparing use of pop culture manages to enhance their subject in a non-corny fashion: as it turns out, The Lord of the Rings’ Ents really do provide a window through which to examine the reproduction of certain cypresses. The mix of giggle-inducing factoids and incisive scientific insights make this investigation of copulation well worth digging into. (May)
Reviewed on : 04/15/2021
Release date: 05/01/2021
Genre: Comics
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