Gennis, Emi – Unfortunate Mishaps in Aviation History



Unfortunate Mishaps in Aviation History

Well, you certainly know what to expect with a title like that. Don’t expect any happy endings here, as Emi once again tells a couple of stories about historical events that didn’t go exactly as the participants had planned. If you’ve ever stopped to think about how the parachute was developed, chances are that you can imagine that it wasn’t perfected on the first time out. The first story tells of one version of it and of the man who decided to test his own invention by jumping from the Eiffel Tower, even though he had only tested his parachute using dummies previously. The really tragic thing about this is that another inventor had successfully tested his own parachute two days before in New York. I do wonder if the doomed inventor had word of the successful test or if he thought he still had a chance to be first and that’s why he rushed it. The second story is all about an expedition to the North Pole in 1896. Emi does a fantastic job of showing the various terrible lapses in judgment that the crew committed before and during the trip, but the idea of using a hot air balloon that was able to control its progress by using a series of ropes dragging along the ground was always a little dicey, especially considering the fact that the inventor couldn’t even get it to work consistently in trials. Emi has managed to piece together a pretty detailed account of their trip, although she somehow manages to make it seem a touch less gruesome than it probably was. There’s room in the world for a big old collection of these stories, oh mighty comics publishers, once Emi gets enough of them together. In the meantime, the rest of you should probably buy these comics of hers to show her that it’s a good idea to keep making them. Not that she should give up on Spaz, but I’m always fascinated by historical tragedies that I’ve never heard of. $2


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