Leo Geo, a lengthwise comic about a journey through the Earth

Jon Chad's Leo Geo and His Miraculous Journey Through the Center of the Earth is a kids' comic story that blends science and fancy to tell the story of a scientist who goes all the way through the Earth's center from Argentina, headed for Taiwan. The long, skinny book is meant to be read "vertically," and instead of panels, the action proceeds directly across a series of two-page spreads that are dense with clever and fun details, from the realistic to the fantastic. This device is extremely charming, especially when Leo Geo reaches the Earth's center and begins his journey "up", and the pages suddenly change direction, requiring the reader to turn the book upside-down and read from bottom to top.

Leo Geo's journey is peppered with encounters with fantasy underground monsters and heroes, including some beasts that plot the downfall of the surface dwellers (that is, us). But Leo beats them all with science, and his travelogue is peppered with scientific observations that are interesting and informative, and provide a crunchy counterpoint to the gooey made-up stuff, like four-eyed quadclops monsters (Leo Geo is eaten by one of these, but beats it "with science" by travelling through its digestive tract and escaping through its "ileum and colon").

Chads art is fab, with a good, confident line and a lot of zest and silliness. The line-drawings cry out to be colored in by the reader, and the whole book makes a fabulous entertainment and distraction for the kids in your life, with its mix of science, storytelling, art, and humor.

Leo Geo and His Miraculous Journey Through the Center of the Earth


  1. I saw his art and book presented at a gallery opening in Lebanon, NH months ago.  It was a show with artists from the Center for Cartoon Studies in Vermont.  I loved this book as soon as I saw it.

  2. Kind of Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel meets Freud.

    The penwork on Chad’s illustrations are massive.

  3. This looks awesome. It is exactly the kind of thing I would have loved and adored and re-read constantly when I was in elementary school.

    And I would have unwittingly internalized the sister’s role — to stay topside and worry and wait for the scientifically-adventuring brother.

    This doesn’t make it less awesome or less worthwhile. And I am not accusing the author of sexism, or doing this intentionally, or anything. Clearly that’s not the case.

    But it’s just another little twinge.

  4. My 8-year-old daughter just found this book at the library and really enjoyed it. Although, to be honest, she’s spent more time with “What Stinks?” by Marilyn Singer. Rocks are great, but poop is hard to beat for a second grader.

Comments are closed.