Posted 20 hours ago

It's Lonely at the Centre of the Earth: This Book Is for Someone, Somewhere.

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Instead she seems determined to try and form relationships with others based on a persona that seems to actively sabotage any chance of relationships ("Sorry for being weird"). If you're looking for logical progression or just any kind of meaningful story in general, this is not for you, my friends. This is a highly self-conscious book, capturing the very human inner contradictions and inner dialogues we all face, particularly during moments of self-doubt.

You can always find the big, heavy quotations that attempt to maximize the beauty into a universal struggle for goodness and connectivity that improves us all, like Leo Tolstoy saying art ‘ is a means of union among men, joining them together in the same feelings, and indispensable for the life and progress toward well-being of individuals and of humanity,’ but whew, if this is at a party it’ll kill the vibes pretty quickly. To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average.

Centre of the Earth is an important work as a discussion of trauma, depression, and the hope that can keep one moving forward. Personally, this didn't work for me at all, but I'm glad the lonely are finding a kindred spirit in its pages. Imagine if Chuck Palahniuk slipped into a bout of life-long depression and shared the experience through the drawn and written word.

IT'S LONELY AT THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH is an intimate and metanarrative look into the life of a selfish artist who must create for her own survival. Thorogood has had, albatross-like, this label hung around her neck, and probably not very helpfully for someone at the start of her career. A robot devoid of any emotion who understands everything that happens around you, yet you don't care about any of it. It feels like a clash between past and present, an identity crisis, and an infinite possibility scenario.It felt like looking into a mirror with each page I read and I got really caught up (so much so that I burned my dinner) and honestly I didn't expect to be so influenced by Zoe's story. However, the 'plot,' such as it is, is disjointed and I would not recommend this to a person looking for a traditional structure. In this autobiographical graphic novel, creator Zoe Thorogood offers an honest look at what her depression feels like and how it affects her life and her relationships with others. Thorogood uses different drawing styles and colors in an imaginative way that makes it easier to understand which mental perspective is being focused on. Following the release of her well-received debut graphic novel, The Impending Blindness of Billie Scott, Thorogood finds that artistic success is no cure for lifelong depression, which she draws as a looming Babadook-like monster.

It’s a baffling phenomenon; the unwanted offspring of an unhealthy union between obscene privilege and a performative rejection of empathy. But more importantly the metafictional aspects of creating and how we are in turn created through critical analysis in the minds of others. For instance, she knows we have to in some sense "like" her if it is a memoir even one about such an intimate subject.The art is fantastic, pivoting between styles and alternating between bright colors to black and white ink frames in a way that feels akin to the ups and downs of moods when struggling with depression. To use the form, its tools, its possibilities and its potential in so many disparate ways to reflect mood, mindset and reactions to environment is the mark of an artist with the keenest understanding of the canvas of the comics page.

At times she doubts her own anxiety, characterising it as a performance and equating it with self-indulgence. A miserable autobiographical indie comic where one of the things the creator is disgusted with about herself is being the sort of person who makes miserable autobiographical indie comics, "Perpetuating our own bullshit, and validating our audience's bullshit at the same time. To say I am far more interested in Zoe Thorogood’s work when it’s her own pure and unfiltered artistic vision rather than when she’s illustrating someone else’s stories would be a somewhat entitled statement.It made me feel a little less alone in this world but I wouldn’t encourage a friend anywhere on their mental health journey to read this because I left it mostly feeling confused. Following the release of her well-received debut graphic novel, The Impending Blindness of Billie Scott, Thorogood finds that artistic success is no cure for lifelong depression, which she draws as a looming Babadook-like monster. It's that back and forth, the expertise in modulating the tone, which combine with the self-awareness and the irritation at the audience to make me want to give Thorogood the almost certainly unhelpful label of 'the Stewart Lee of miserable autobiographical indie comics'. Replete with visual metaphor It’s Lonely at the Centre of the Earth employs photo inserts, bursts of colour to emphasise mood changes, collage, some incredibly clever lettering choices to supplement theme and tone, and occasional step-backs into plot and art breakdowns.

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