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Apollo (SelfMadeHero Non-Fiction)

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In 1969, mankind set foot on the moon. Neil Armstrong, Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin and Michael Collins carried the fire for all of humankind. Backed by the brightest minds in engineering and science, the three boarded a rocket and flew through the void – just to know that we could. In Apollo, Matt Fitch, Chris Baker and Mike Collins unpack the urban legends, the gossip and the spec In 1969, mankind set foot on the moon. Neil Armstrong, Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin and Michael Collins carried the fire for all of humankind. Backed by the brightest minds in engineering and science, the three boarded a rocket and flew through the void – just to know that we could. In Apollo, Matt Fitch, Chris Baker and Mike Collins unpack the urban legends, the gossip and the speculation to reveal a remarkable true story about life, death, dreams and the reality of humanity’s greatest exploratory achievement.


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In 1969, mankind set foot on the moon. Neil Armstrong, Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin and Michael Collins carried the fire for all of humankind. Backed by the brightest minds in engineering and science, the three boarded a rocket and flew through the void – just to know that we could. In Apollo, Matt Fitch, Chris Baker and Mike Collins unpack the urban legends, the gossip and the spec In 1969, mankind set foot on the moon. Neil Armstrong, Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin and Michael Collins carried the fire for all of humankind. Backed by the brightest minds in engineering and science, the three boarded a rocket and flew through the void – just to know that we could. In Apollo, Matt Fitch, Chris Baker and Mike Collins unpack the urban legends, the gossip and the speculation to reveal a remarkable true story about life, death, dreams and the reality of humanity’s greatest exploratory achievement.

30 review for Apollo (SelfMadeHero Non-Fiction)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ivy_Lost_inside_Pages

    Everyone knows this story but as graphic novel it was really awesome to read. Beautiful drawn and a great story indeed. Getting the 4 fully I recommend this to all which doesn’t know anything about that kind of history plus special teens go get it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rod Brown

    A decent but still disappointing retelling of the first manned moon landing. My main objection is the repeated use of dream sequences and hallucinations, a personal pet peeve of mine, I admit, that may not turn off other readers nearly as much. The art is okay, though telling the astronauts apart in their spacesuits is often impossible without memorizing the seating order or seeing big name labels on their chests. I don't really understand the use of tone throughout to give everything a grainy lo A decent but still disappointing retelling of the first manned moon landing. My main objection is the repeated use of dream sequences and hallucinations, a personal pet peeve of mine, I admit, that may not turn off other readers nearly as much. The art is okay, though telling the astronauts apart in their spacesuits is often impossible without memorizing the seating order or seeing big name labels on their chests. I don't really understand the use of tone throughout to give everything a grainy look. Was this originally intended for black and white production or were the creators invoking the Ben-Day dots printing process of 1960s comic books? Regardless, it just served to make the pages look unnecessarily murky. I was put off by a fake-out simulation scene that seems to throw a bone to moon landing hoax conspiracy theorists. More egregiously, I was saddened by the typo in astronaut Gus Grissom's name in the end matter: "Grissolm." That's just highly regrettable copy editing. Frankly, the highlight of the book was the closing excerpt from John F. Kennedy's famous speech. "We choose to go to the Moon!" That sentence pulled up more emotions in me than anything else in the book.

  3. 4 out of 5

    KaitLphere

    I had trouble keeping the white male astronauts separate throughout the story. Also, there were a lot of imagined scenes and flashbacks and combinations of those two things. Those scenes were very cinematic but also confusing. (Were they memories, daydreams, hallucinations?) I am left with a desire to know what happened in the personal lives of the 3 Apollo 11 astronauts after returning to earth. This book definitely taught me some things I didn't know about their lives, the space race in the US I had trouble keeping the white male astronauts separate throughout the story. Also, there were a lot of imagined scenes and flashbacks and combinations of those two things. Those scenes were very cinematic but also confusing. (Were they memories, daydreams, hallucinations?) I am left with a desire to know what happened in the personal lives of the 3 Apollo 11 astronauts after returning to earth. This book definitely taught me some things I didn't know about their lives, the space race in the US, and the sense of hope the moon landing gave the people. This is a good book, but I definitely think it will take more than one reading to be fully appreciated.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Dave

    In the summer of 1969 the dream of landing on the moon had been accomplished, astronauts were heroes and children all over the world dreamed of going to space. Now, almost fifty years later, the mission of Apollo 11 has faded from the popular consciousness and the United States barely has a presence in space anymore. Thankfully three young Brits have crafted a beautiful homage to that mission and those dreams. Apollo is beautifully illustrated and smartly written capturing the truth and the emot In the summer of 1969 the dream of landing on the moon had been accomplished, astronauts were heroes and children all over the world dreamed of going to space. Now, almost fifty years later, the mission of Apollo 11 has faded from the popular consciousness and the United States barely has a presence in space anymore. Thankfully three young Brits have crafted a beautiful homage to that mission and those dreams. Apollo is beautifully illustrated and smartly written capturing the truth and the emotion of a great moment in human achievement.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jacob Stevens

    This an exceedingly beautiful work. Mankind’s magnificent achievement of landing on the moon is framed and exemplified through the personal experiences and struggles of each man in the lunar capsule. The final landing is sublime. Prepare for goosebumps.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Laurie

    Storytelling was just ok. Art was just ok. I definitely wasn't a fan of the hallucination scenes... Just not sure where it was really going with those. I did like the end scene with Buzz's father and the scenes with Janet, at least. Loved the beginning quote and ending excerpt from JFK. Storytelling was just ok. Art was just ok. I definitely wasn't a fan of the hallucination scenes... Just not sure where it was really going with those. I did like the end scene with Buzz's father and the scenes with Janet, at least. Loved the beginning quote and ending excerpt from JFK.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Nigel McFarlane

    Nice graphic novel about Apollo 11. The dark thoughts of the astronauts make it a surprisingly poignant story.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jefferson

    A bit too surreal and hard to follow, and lacking in historical detail. I was hoping for more of a docu-drama.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Shoe

    A good graphic novel about the first moon landing; including some historical perspective, a few funny moments, and some poignant scenes.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Frank Garland

    The story opens with Neil Armstrong's thoughts on the Apollo 11 launchpad as the seconds to launch count down. As the thrusters blaze, the astronauts reflect on the horrorifying tragedy of the failed Apollo 1 mission, where Chaffee, White and Grissom lost their lives in a command module fire. As Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins go through their precarious docking manouvres in space, the families they leave behind pace the floor and watch the mission on television, politicians chew cigars and childre The story opens with Neil Armstrong's thoughts on the Apollo 11 launchpad as the seconds to launch count down. As the thrusters blaze, the astronauts reflect on the horrorifying tragedy of the failed Apollo 1 mission, where Chaffee, White and Grissom lost their lives in a command module fire. As Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins go through their precarious docking manouvres in space, the families they leave behind pace the floor and watch the mission on television, politicians chew cigars and children lie awake all night fretting. As they hurtle deep into space, the stress of each astronaut is expressed in dream sequences and surreal revelations. And this is the rubbing point for many readers. The surreal moments are extraordinary, and quite unexpected in a story of scientific achievement. But this is a tale of exceptional human endeavour, and the subconscious mind rises close to the surface in such extremes of experience. Surrealism is a thing that comic books can do very well, and these episodes make the historic moment human and more understandable. If you feel you might like such a book, then I would recommend being careful not to flick through the pages before reading, but open it at the beginning and watch the pages explode.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Siobhan Ward

    I love a good graphic novel, and I'm a sucker for anything NASA, so finding this at the library was a total dream. Obviously, the plot was great, but the weird dream sequences (particularly Collins') really threw off the book for me. However, this was totally redeemed by the parallels that were drawn between the lunar landing and the Vietnam War (particularly the idea of landing on the moon "in peace for all mankind" while the Vietnam War was going on back on Earth. It was a short read, but the I love a good graphic novel, and I'm a sucker for anything NASA, so finding this at the library was a total dream. Obviously, the plot was great, but the weird dream sequences (particularly Collins') really threw off the book for me. However, this was totally redeemed by the parallels that were drawn between the lunar landing and the Vietnam War (particularly the idea of landing on the moon "in peace for all mankind" while the Vietnam War was going on back on Earth. It was a short read, but the art was great, particularly the use of colour. Definitely a lovely read, and I loved all the diagrams at the end!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lowthor

    Really well put together version of the Apollo 11 mission, with a really nice retro art style and some interesting creative touches.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

    Beautiful illustrations for this out of the world historical event. As I read, I was reminded of James Michener's Space which is one of my favorite books. Beautiful illustrations for this out of the world historical event. As I read, I was reminded of James Michener's Space which is one of my favorite books.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Suzann

    Creatively arranged, poignant reminder that our astronauts of the Apollo era were human, with fears, joys, and buried traumas.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Eamonn Murphy

    21 July 2019 will be the 50th anniversary of that ‘one small step’ by Neil Armstrong onto the surface of the Moon. There should be dancing in the streets but there will be plenty of commemorative books and television documentaries. SelfMadeHero, publishers of many interesting works, have got in early with this book. ‘Apollo’ is written by the team of Matt Fitch and Chris Baker and beautifully illustrated by Mike Collins, the artist not the astronaut. They have done a good job. Actually, it’s bri 21 July 2019 will be the 50th anniversary of that ‘one small step’ by Neil Armstrong onto the surface of the Moon. There should be dancing in the streets but there will be plenty of commemorative books and television documentaries. SelfMadeHero, publishers of many interesting works, have got in early with this book. ‘Apollo’ is written by the team of Matt Fitch and Chris Baker and beautifully illustrated by Mike Collins, the artist not the astronaut. They have done a good job. Actually, it’s brilliant. Buy it now. The story starts with the launch from Cape Kennedy on 16 July 1969 and takes the reader through to the final approach back to Earth. Captions give the exact time of events thus: ‘Mission Time: 00:03:12:54, Distance from Earth: 8,213 miles.’ Other captions explain the acronyms in the dialogue: C.M.P.: Command Module Pilot: C.S.M.: Command Service Module. The facts are exact but this is more than a dry, factual account. The press release states that the story is ‘supported by extensive research from books, official documents and recordings’ and presumably that includes the non-technical stuff. The astronauts were men and so were their families back home. We are shown Mrs Janet Armstrong putting on a brave face. In flashbacks, we see Buzz Aldrin’s difficult relationship with his father as well as his strong desire to be the first man on the Moon. In a dream sequence, while isolated in orbit, pilot Mike Collins passes over the dark side of the Moon and sees a cheerful, smiling face. It looks like Ego the Living Planet in the old ‘Thor’ comics. There’s also a few pages of President Richard Nixon, focused on his principal concern, President Richard Nixon and how he looks on television. On the bright side, the ‘Apollo’ story does show that the USA can accomplish great things even when there’s a dud in the Whitehouse. Ironically, the creative team are all British which at least proves that the Moon landing was an event for all mankind, as was frequently said at the time. It also means that while there’s great enthusiasm for the project, it shines from every panel, it’s unencumbered with the gung-ho American patriotism that a native writer and artist might have felt and who could blame them? No doubt rightly stuffed yanks galore will be making their own contribution to the celebrations next year but I think the story here benefits from not being too nationalistic. On page 41, there’s a lovely panel showing the globe as seen from the Moon rocket which quietly clarifies the fact that we all live on the same world, though it won’t please any flat-earthers out there. Via the silver screen and CGI, we have grown accustomed to watching men whiz between stars and fight battles across the galaxy. Although pure fantasy, this might make us blasé about space travel. The odd thing is that, while the fantasy has blossomed, the reality barely limps along. This fine book is a record of reality. I thought as a nine-year-old and I still think now that putting a man on the Moon was the greatest thing the human race has ever accomplished. I told that to someone once and he looked at me as if I was mad. I guess he didn’t grow up reading optimistic 1940s Science Fiction. Perhaps the 50th anniversary of the Apollo landing will rekindle efforts to make dreams come true and we’ll see a man on Mars before my time on Earth is done. I sure hope so. Eamonn Murphy

  16. 5 out of 5

    AJ Torres

    Looking at the cover in the library, I think I was expecting something else. The cover art is great, but also misleading. I thought maybe I'd be getting a different spin on any of the Apollo missions, but it was just a confusing-at-times narrative of the first lunar landing with some odd flashbacks and dreamlike sequences sprinkled in. The art style was not for me. The cover art of the astronaut floating upside-down in space and the back cover art of the three astronauts side by side looked grea Looking at the cover in the library, I think I was expecting something else. The cover art is great, but also misleading. I thought maybe I'd be getting a different spin on any of the Apollo missions, but it was just a confusing-at-times narrative of the first lunar landing with some odd flashbacks and dreamlike sequences sprinkled in. The art style was not for me. The cover art of the astronaut floating upside-down in space and the back cover art of the three astronauts side by side looked great at first glance. Once I started the book, I was immediately put off by it. There is this weird dot texture that looks like a 3D red and blue filter. It makes the art look too muddy and grainy. It's just not an artistic choice that I jive with. The image of the side-by-side astronauts looked better on the back cover compared to the inside of the book. Oh, and the cover image isn't even in the book. If this is your first time experiencing the story of the first American lunar landing, I would say it's not a good introduction. The narrative is too muddled with incoherent flashbacks and hallucinated-like story points. If those two things were removed, it would be more understandable. But it's frustrating to see the added plot points not really go anywhere. The hippie in space was kind of cringe. The Nixon subplot also felt like it could have been handled better. Maybe it would have served better in a standard novel format instead of in comic form. This nitpick is gonna sound stupid, but it really bothered me. Since the story revolves around a narrative painting the astronauts to be American heroes and legends for being the first men on the moon, I found it odd that there were words in the dialogue that added "u"s. It was a distraction when seeing words like "honour" instead of "honor". Again, just a small nitpick, but it happened like 5 times in the story and I couldn't get past it. I would say that I didn't mind reading it since it was just a library loan and also only took like 90-120 minutes to read. But if you're looking to purchase this, I'd probably say skip it.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ian Massey

    A smart little graphic novel that mixes that facts of the Apollo 11 mission with sequences that get inside the heads of Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins. I particularly liked the grumpiness of President Nixon, the splash page of the iconic "one small step" moment and the way that Collins' loneliness is depicted, especially the Spirit of America being presented as a kind of hippy-biker type, rather than the usual Uncle Sam. I don't know how much some of it is true - did Nixon really refer to himself i A smart little graphic novel that mixes that facts of the Apollo 11 mission with sequences that get inside the heads of Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins. I particularly liked the grumpiness of President Nixon, the splash page of the iconic "one small step" moment and the way that Collins' loneliness is depicted, especially the Spirit of America being presented as a kind of hippy-biker type, rather than the usual Uncle Sam. I don't know how much some of it is true - did Nixon really refer to himself in the third person? Did Aldrin make a bid to be the first person to step on the moon? - but I don't care because it all works in the context of the story presented in this manner. The grainy style of art took a little time to get used to, but eventually won me over. A quick, but still detailed read that was perfect for the fiftieth anniversary of the landing.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Christa Van

    In 1969, American astronauts Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins made a trip to the moon. This graphic treatment is done with an interesting perspective, intimate yet from afar. Instead of only focusing on the technology and the mission, we meet Janet Armstrong as she stays positive and supportive. We see Aldrin's father who was proud of how hard he was on his son. The illustrations are marvelous and this is a must read for people interesting in the space race. In 1969, American astronauts Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins made a trip to the moon. This graphic treatment is done with an interesting perspective, intimate yet from afar. Instead of only focusing on the technology and the mission, we meet Janet Armstrong as she stays positive and supportive. We see Aldrin's father who was proud of how hard he was on his son. The illustrations are marvelous and this is a must read for people interesting in the space race.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    A brief but expressive telling of how the first moon landing intersected with the personal lives of the astronauts and with the American psyche. I wouldn’t recommend this if you’re looking for a grounded historical account given its heavy use of metaphor, flashback and juxtaposition but I’m well versed on the myth and went with the dreamlike flow of the story. Best read in a single comfortable sitting.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Alyssa

    A cool book. Graphics were depicted well. Story of first landing on the moon. Two things- one, the story would randomly jump and that was hard to catch at first. Then when it did I was confused sometimes as to where and why. Secondly- I wish something towards the end (no spoilers) was a little more explained but that’s okay. Overall good.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    An interesting read and introduction for those who may not have lived during the Apollo program and the mission to the moon. The zip a tone dot artwork helps to capture the feeling of being in the past.

  22. 5 out of 5

    John Pehle

    Following the narrative was difficult , with random flashbacks and disrupted threads. Much of the art was beautiful. If you don’t know both the major story and dome back stories, I think you would find this graphic novel very confusing.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Dee

    This was a strange one. The illustrations were beautiful but the writing was just strange. The story had multiple fragmented plot lines which made it a little disorienting to read. And then it ended abruptly. So this was a miss for me.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Natalie S

    The art was extremely well done, was laid out in a nice manner. Although some parts played with reality and I felt skewed it, and did not play on the story positively. However, it was an informative read; worth the read if your interested in the subject and want another point of view.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Robert Kenny

    There are much better books on this subject. It wasn’t bad for a brief recap of the major events, but it lacked a lot of the interesting details and didn’t do much to tell the personal stories of those involved.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sherri

    I did really enjoy the details in the scenes, but I felt like every time they deviated from true history, it was confusing. Just an odd telling of the first lunar landing.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kas

    A great book about the biggest achievement of its time beautifully drawn.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Katherine

    The illustrations were gorgeous and the messages were beautiful. I loved how one page made you laugh out loud and the next made you want to give them a hug.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    Beautifully drawn, fascinating story

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mimi

    This book was okay. It seemed a little all over the place and not fully developed. Excellent artwork though!

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