Preview Review: It’s Lonely at the Centre of the Earth by Zoe Thorogood

We have an extra Preview Review this week. This is for the graphic novel It’s Lonely at the Centre of the Earth that is released today from Image Comics.

It is on our list of Special and One-Shot releases for November that you can find here.

This book is available at your LCS now.

It’s Lonely at the Centre of the Earth
Image Comics
Written by Zoe Thorogood
Art by Thorogood
Cover Art by Thorogood


Cartoonist ZOE THOROGOOD records six months of her own life as it falls apart in a desperate attempt to put it back together again in the only way she knows how. IT’S LONELY AT THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH is an intimate metanarrative that looks into the life of a selfish artist who must create for her own survival.

A poignant, slice-of-life-style story perfect for fans of Adrian Tomine’s The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist.


Before I get into talking about this absolutley stunning book, I want to share a story. I went to Fan Expo Philadelphia this year and was excited that Zoe Thorogood was going to be there. Rain, the book that introduced her to me, was still coming out, and I wanted to let her know in-person how amazing I thought it was. I had briefly encountered Zoe a few weeks earlier at a different con, but I wanted to see her again and buy something from her, if she was selling. I think she is a fantastic artist.

So, at the Philly show, Zoe was on a panel talking about her art and her previous book The Impending Blindness of Billie Scott. I found her to be charming and interesting. She handled herself wonderfully on the panel. I wanted to make a point to go to her table during the show to buy Billie from her and let her know what a great job she was doing. I went past her table several times over the next couple of days but never seemed to connect with her. I regret that. But after reading this book, I am not surprised by the missed connection. This story isn’t all that interesting, but it happened, and recording reality in its purest form is what this book is all about.

Zoe Thorogood has crafted a raw, intimate, stream of consciousness into a stunning work of art. There is no apology in this effort. Let’s be clear, she is a gifted artist with a talent for creating lines into tender vulnerable characters while telling their stories without pretense across the page. The topics covered in this book are difficult to address in a graphic form, but she able to deftly reveal her truth to the reader regardless of taboo or discomfort. This book is heartbreakingly beautiful. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a complete story. It is a glimpse into the world of young woman trying to navigate the world she lives in. She recognizes some of her own limitations and flaws, and to Thorogood’s credit everything is fair game in this book.

The art in this book is breathtaking. Her sparing use of color is a wonderful choice as is the use textured greys. Her ability to design panel layouts that serve each scene perfectly cannot be overstated. She is really an amazing visual story teller, and the care that she takes with each panel is evident on every page of this book. I cannot forget to mention how fascinating the methods that she incorporates characters into the settings. The narrator’s partition in the story and physical location in the art is incredibly well crafted.

I have been anticipating this book for several months now and reading it left me an emotional mess. It has been very difficult to write this review because of how intensely it moved me. Do I recommend that people read this book? Yes. Do I know that some people won’t like it? Also yes. But all I know is that this is one of the most incredible graphic novels that I have ever read.