Cover image for The cartoon history of the universe
The cartoon history of the universe
Gonick, Larry.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Physical Description:
volumes : illustrations ; 28 cm
General Note:
"Main Street books"--T.p., vol. 2.

Book 3 published by W. W. Norton & Co., c2002
[1] Volumes 1-7 : from the Big Bang to Alexander the Great -- [2] Volumes 8-13 : from the springtime of China to the fall of Rome-[3] volumes 14-19: from the rise of Arabia to the Renaissance.


Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
D21.1 .G66 1990 V.8-13 Graphic Novel Central Library
D21.1 .G66 1990 Graphic Novel Graphic Novels

On Order



An entertaining and informative illustrated guide that makes world history accessible, appealing, and funny.

Author Notes

Larry Gonick is a professional cartoonist and author of The Cartoon History of the Universe series, among other illustrated books. He lives in San Francisco, California.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Wells, Toynbee, McNeill, Durant--move over! Make room for a colleague--a witty chronicler-commentator working in a medium more suited than prose to efficiently wedding fact and interpretation. Larry Gonick's cartoon history, a continuing project of seven installments, taking the story from the big bang to Alexander the Great, is one of the most amusing, provocative surveys of the planet's progress ever made. A mathematician by training, Gonick's a whiz of a draftsman, whose style kinda, and whose incisive humor greatly resembles Jimmy ("There Oughta Be a Law") Hatlo's. Every bit as hip as his forebear, he consistently considers the status of women, lower-class people, and the losers of wars in his account of early civilizations. He also gives appropriate play to the influence of sex upon culture, pointing out that, according to the Bible and other ancient sources, not to mention mythology, much of consequence occurred because someone had a yen for someone else. It's hard to imagine how Gonick's achievement could be equaled, let alone bettered. Annotated bibliographies--illustrated, of course--for each installment are appended, and the footnotes are illustrated, too. --Ray Olson

Publisher's Weekly Review

Gonick's hilariously informative history of the planet is a great addition to the growing field of comics trade books. Starting with the Big Bang theory and moving on to the ``evolution of everything,'' he manages to cover three billion years--from the origins of cellular life to the fossil and dinosaur periods that followed, right up to the first appearance of hominids--all with casual erudition, silly humor and delightfully cartoony black-and-white drawings. But Gonick doesn't stop there. He reinstates the record of women (their theoretical role in the development of agriculture and the matrilineal clans of the neolithic era) as well as accurately restoring black racial characteristics to the Egyptian dynasties. He also surveys other highly evolved ancient civilizations: the Sumerians, the Hittites, the Assyrians and the Israelites. Gonick cheerfully conjures rulers, warriors and slaves alike, many stumbling around in the desert, as they form the foundations for Western civilization. This is Gonick's first book. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

This funny, whirlwind history covers everything from the Big Bang Theory to the evolution of man. Gonick is the master of graphic nonfiction guides such as this one, and he produces them with humor and wit, which will engage and entertain all readers. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.