Daily Graphic Novel Recommendation 14

Alpha: Directions

by Jens Harder
Genre notes: history, also like nothing you've ever seen
362 pages
ISBN: 0861662458 (Amazon)

Alpha is a weird book. Or maybe not weird so much as maddeningly genius. It's part one of a proposed trilogy. Beta has already been released in German but Gamma remains only on the Potential horizon. It's too ambitious. Maybe it will never be completed but maybe it will. Fortunately, Alpha stands well on it's own.

Alpha presents the history of the earth from Big Bang through the cenozioc. Beta focuses on the rise of humanity from cenozoic to the present day. Gamma will tell the history of the world from today til the end of the universe. Where these books are unique is in the methodology.

Harder tells the story of the world through borrowed images. He came up with nothing in the book on his own. He drew everything, sure, but it's all redrawings of other things—from scientific illustrations, to illuminated manuscripts, to ancient maps, to sculptures, to comics and other pop cultural ephemera. You'll see things in panels in the pages I post that you recognize. Maybe it's Tintin, maybe it's Godzilla, maybe it's Goya's Saturn. The book, by its method, holistically draws from the whole of human history and experience and belief to make the story of creation our story.

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