The Encyclopedia of Early Earth: A Novel

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A beautifully illustrated book of imaginary fables about Earth's early--and lost--history.

Before our history began, another--now forgotten--civilization thrived. The people who roamed Early Earth were much like us: curious, emotional, funny, ambitious, and vulnerable. In this series of illustrated and linked tales, Isabel Greenberg chronicles the explorations of a young man as he paddles from his home in the North Pole to the South Pole. There, he meets his true love, but their romance is ill-fated. Early Earth's unusual and finicky polarity means the lovers can never touch.

As intricate and richly imagined as the work of Chris Ware, and leavened with a dry wit that rivals Kate Beaton's in Hark! A Vagrant, Isabel Greenberg's debut will be a welcome addition to the thriving graphic novel genre.An Amazon Best Book of the Month, December 2013: If The Encyclopedia of Early Earth is to be believed, the primitive days of our planet were icy landscapes drawn with thick, stark lines and highlighted with the careful use of bold colors. This beautiful comic, Isabel Greenberg's first, pulls on stories from cultural and religious traditions--Genesis, Nordic legends, Greek myths--as well as the work of other influential cartoonists--Kate Beaton, Seth, Jason--to create something unique and timeless. The stories here are imbued with such wit and heart: Two lovers--one from the North Pole, the other from the South--cannot come within two feet of each other because of their polar magnetization; an old woman defeats a giant with her storytelling; a cartographer is aided by three "genius monkeys from the Island of What." Greenberg uses our familiarity with archetypes to play with our expectations, bending these layered stories into something strange and delightful. The Encyclopedia of Early Earth is a journey that takes us from one end of the Earth to the other--just perhaps in the direction you'd least expect. --Kevin Nguyen

Product Features

  • Little Brown and Company

3 comments on “The Encyclopedia of Early Earth: A Novel”

  1. Frequent allusions to the great stories of the western canon (the Odyssey This is not a graphic novel that keep you on your toes. It does not keep you guessing at every turn about the outcome of the story. It is. however, a delightful page turner. Frequent allusions to the great stories of the western canon (the Odyssey, Genesis) as well the familiar structure of the fable/myth makes this story a wonderfully comforting read. It recalls the stories of bedtime during childhood--- adventure, exploration, and destiny. The drawings are adorable and really allows the...

  2. Lovely This book was my introduction to indie comics and years later I still go back to it from time to time. The woodblock-style artwork is so lovely and works perfectly to tell these 'olden tales', which are so incredibly creative in themselves. These are all-ages stories that I personally thoroughly enjoyed (as a 25-year-old). Can't get enough of Isabel Greenberg's work. Props to Jonathan Cape and their short graphic story contest for helping artists like her get their start.

  3. Simple but very entertaining story and art! The art is simple but visually powerful, more impactful than typically assembly-line-looking superhero stuff. The stories are adaptations of Biblical tales (Noah, Babel, etc) but fun in this new context. I enjoyed it a lot as a heartful, romantic yarn.

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