The Encyclopedia of Early Earth

Origin stories with a flair for the mystical populate Isabel Greenberg's astonishing debut graphic novel, The Encyclopedia of Early Earth. Her rustic drawings and wry humor stitch a Nord Storyteller's magnificent myths together into one tremendous quilt, keeping the Storyteller and his South Pole wife warm through the long, dark polar winters. From the moment they fell in love, the two have inexplicably been repelled from any physical contact, like twin ends of two magnets. Telling stories to one another is the only intimate act they can share.

Graphic novel lovers will be enamored of Greenberg's breathtaking artwork and the vividness of her apparently boundless imagination. For fans of meta-fictions, her story twists around itself, creating new iterations of ongoing histories. This is mythmaking at its finest, as Greenberg melds ancient oral traditions with her own spectacular interpretations, neatly bringing it all together in the closing pages.

From gods and shamans to genius monkeys and whales, giants, floods, love, adventure and magic--there isn't a single thing this story is missing. The Encyclopedia even presents as a wonderfully knowledgeable artifact, with appendices in its back pages elaborating on the Storyteller's tales. As soon as you finish reading it, you may want to turn right back to the beginning and start again. --Dave Wheeler, bookseller, The Elliott Bay Book Co., Seattle, Wash.

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