Daily Graphic Novel Recommendation 159

The Paleozoic

by Estrella Vega
Genre notes: paleozoic history, evolution
5 vols
ISBN: 0998066907 (Amazon)

The Paleozoic is a set of 5 accordion-style books that fold out to a collective 42 feet to chronologically describe the development of life across the six periods of the Paleozoic era. Each volume holds 24 pages and these make up a single long drawing (much in the fashion of Joe Sacco's The Great War). As well, each volume's image connects with the next in the sequence, so if you wanted, you could tape them together to form one really really long poster stretching from the Permian to the close of the Cambrian.

There *is* narrative flow throughout but as books cover nearly 300 million years, it makes sense that we wouldn't really be following characters. Vega's Paleozoic is somewhat a cross between Delgado's later two Age Of Reptiles volumes and Jens Harder's Alpha: Directives. The images, sensibly, are wordless like Delgado's better work and we're just along the ride with these creatures, but where Delgado's scope is immediate and local to a particular moment, Vega stands more in Harder's stream, telling the story of the world.

The Paleozoic is not entirely wordless, however. The backside of the accordion features illustrations of particular creatures and some of their anatomical peculiarities. As well, Vega supplies helpful descriptions of the periods covered as well as discussion of some of the important events occurring at the time (e.g. extinction events such as when the blossoming plant life on the planet likely killed 70% of animal life at the end of the Devonian).

(click above image to zoom)

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