It's Lonely at the Centre of the Earth

An auto-bio-graphic-novel

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Pub Date Nov 15 2022 | Archive Date Not set

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Description

  • Thorogood is the winner of the 2023 Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer Award
  • Nominated for two 2023 Eisner Awards in the Best Graphic Memoir and Best Writer/Artist categories
  • Winner of the 2023 Ringo Award in the Best Graphic Novel category
  • Included in Forbes' "The Best Graphic Novels of 2022" list 

The 2023 Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer Award winning cartoonist, Zoe Thorogood (writer and artist of The Impending Blindness of Billie Scott, artist on Joe Hill's Rain graphic novelisation), 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 and meta-narrative look into the life of a selfish artist who must create for her own survival. A poignant and original depiction of a young woman's struggle with mental health—through the ups and downs of anxiety, depression, and imposter syndrome—as she forges a promising career in sequential art and finds herself along the way.

Select praise for It's Lonely at the Centre of the Earth:

"Thorogood elevates the dark material with her expressive use of the comics medium and the urgency of her voice. One to watch for the 2020s." ―Forbes

“This has the force of a fist punching through the page." ―Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

“Thorogood taps into sensation and the way that it is experienced in a way that is unlike anything I’ve seen before. It’s astonishing.” ―AIPT 

"Tragic, funny and disturbing." —Connecticut Public Radio/NPR

"Unflinchingly stark and personal." —The Guardian UK

  • Thorogood is the winner of the 2023 Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer Award
  • Nominated for two 2023 Eisner Awards in the Best Graphic Memoir and Best Writer/Artist categories
  • Winner of the 2023 Ringo...

Advance Praise

  • Thorogood is the winner of the 2023 Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer Award

  • Nominated for two 2023 Eisner Awards in the Best Graphic Memoir and Best Writer/Artist categories

  • Nominated for the 2023 Ringo Award in the Best Graphic Novel category

  • Included in Forbes' "The Best Graphic Novels of 2022" list 

"Thorogood elevates the dark material with her expressive use of the comics medium and the urgency of her voice. One to watch for the 2020s." ―Forbes

“This has the force of a fist punching through the page." ―Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

“Thorogood taps into sensation and the way that it is experienced in a way that is unlike anything I’ve seen before. It’s astonishing.” ―AIPT 

"Tragic, funny and disturbing." —Connecticut Public Radio/NPR

"Unflinchingly stark and personal." —The Guardian UK

  • Thorogood is the winner of the 2023 Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer Award

  • Nominated for two 2023 Eisner Awards in the Best Graphic Memoir and Best Writer/Artist categories

  • Nominated for the 2023...

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781534323865
PRICE $12.99 (USD)
PAGES 196

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Average rating from 143 members


Featured Reviews

A six month record in the life of cartoonist Zoe Thorogood and how she feels as her life falls apart and how she survives. This was such an interesting book, you get to see a young woman's struggle with mental health in a difficult time, you get to see her thoughts and mindset as she deals with anxiety, depression, and imposter syndrome. This was really fun to read and you really empathize a lot with Zoe, I found myself relating to a lot of her struggles and feelings, and the depiction of her struggles was so well done. Overall, I would definitely recommend it!

*Thanks Netgalley and Image Comics for sending me an arc in exchange for an honest review*

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This is a wholly inventive book that kept me intrigued with every turn of the page. I loved getting a glimpse into the author’s thought process and the meta narrative really drew me in.

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This is my favorite book of the year despite coming out a year ago. I know Thorogood hates the word “relatable” but it was cathartic to read about someone like me and who is also a creative. I loved how she used every art form imaginable to speak her mind and the things that happened in 6 months. Text messages, photos, realistic art, monsters, caricatures. It felt unbound which works for the story of the past 6 months of her life. I will definitely buy a physical copy soon and reading it left a pit In my stomach. I even wrote a new poem while reading so that says something. It glued me from beginning to end. My only issue is the NetGalley app. It kept blanking pages and crashing but in spite of that I pushed through and finished it in one sitting with a few breaks sprinkled in. I loved this book and I can’t wait to read more of Thorogood’s work in the future.

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Thanks NetGalley for the ARC, all opinions are my own.

Wow, the art? Stunning. I’ve never felt more visually represented on a page in terms of how depression feels. We prickly pear people aren’t always sunshine. Seeing someone grapple with this and how to grow was so refreshing. Loved this.

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First of all, Zoe Thorogood is an amazing artist.

This really felt like stream of consciousness to me, and not in a bad way. To me, the changes in art style and the different stories she told really highlighted the issues she wanted to discuss that were present in her life, and how she viewed herself. Reading the book really just felt like I was having a conversation with Zoe as she was telling me about her life.

I think if you're someone who struggles with depression or any other mental illness, you may find yourself having a hard time reading this. Some parts of this book were hard for me to read, because it almost felt like taking a magnifying glass to the inadequacies of my own life and experiences. Others may not like that, but I kind of did. It reminded me to be kinder to myself and others, because you really just don't know what's going on under their skin.

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This was exactly what I needed for waiting at the airport as I was able to finish it pretty much in one sitting! I love Zoe’s illustrations/artwork and was very impressed with how good she it’s with different styles (some more realistic while others are like cartoons). I found it a really interesting read, and this is actually my first graphic novel and I would read more from her.

Definitely recommend, especially if you are sleep deprived and cannot focus on reading a regular book.

Thank you for letting me read this NetGally!

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Thank you NetGalley for providing this comic in return for a review:

Before reading this autobio, I unfortunately hadn't read anything else by Zoe Thorogood and now I wish I knew of her beforehand. The story is raw and emphasizes the anxiety of having a 'story' to a self-reflection when the author can barely control her own emotions.

This was a very personal piece that is reachable to the audience while reading. Anxiety, depression, panic attacks, and imposter syndrome are all feelings that are often talked about in other media to bring mental health awareness. But rarely show what it is like when you struggle with wanting to be better but not fully understanding how.

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This book hit me in the feels. The theme here is depression, and in that aspect, it’s a challenging read for me. I probably wouldn’t recommend this to those who are in the midst of an emotional crisis, but I can’t say for sure either. My big takeaway was that the artist here is incredibly talented, and I look forward to reading future work from them. Something about a “silent hill ripoff” is mentioned and it sounds perfect paired with this style.

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Haunting, visceral, dark look into the artist trials with mental health. I love the message and the art is top tier. Thank you Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for my honest opinion

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*reviewed from ebook courtesy of publisher via netgalley*

graphic semi-autobiographical memoir (true thoughts and feelings with fantastical imaginative elements), a 23 y.o. UK comic artist dealing with depression/suicidal ideation and crippling social anxiety while working and attending a comics convention and meeting an artist friend/potential boyfriend in the US; 196 pp.

Skillfully rendered, with gorgeously imaginative illustrations/layouts and an impactful storyline. It's clear that Thorogood has put a lot of thought and care into this, and it has paid off in this brilliantly human graphic memoir. It's fairly heartbreaking to read, when all you want to do is try to comfort Zoe but of course her problems aren't that simple.

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"it's okay to not be okay, until someone is faced with the reality of you not being okay. then, it is not okay to not be okay." ~ me, 2023 (some random thought that materialized when thinking about how stigma sucks!)

wowww..im utterly speechless after reading this one. I don't even know where to start but I guess I'll just start here. depression is messy. it's also not the same for everyone (the onset of it, the duration, and the highs and lows) especially if you have different forms of depression, manic depression (bpd), mdd etc. zoe does an EXCEPTIONAL job of illustrating this and her own experiences of depression in "it's lonely at the centre of the universe." Typically in mainstream media, we tend to see depression look the same and very dramatic, and sometimes (sadly) romanticized. but zoo's experience is unique to herself, yet still relatable and familiar to many.

in regards to telling her story, zoe doesn't follow the "rules" and that's okay. there is no right or wrong way to tell a story especially your own story. I get some people may not be a fan of the storytelling and narration, but it's really not for you to truly understand. well yes, but no.
some side notes:
-i like how author addresses stigma

-FOUJD DAMILY IS MYBFAVOIRTE TROPE SHEE SP RELATVLE

-Queen refs

-uhh the author might be autistic. some of her experiences were so relatable and similar to me being an undiagnosed, autistic female. i think she should look into assessment:")

-her art is so pretty!

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Beautiful and brilliant. This book is one that is sure to stay with me long after ha ING finished it. Highly relatable to another artist suffering from depression.

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A dark, reflective metanarrative "auto-bio-graphic-novel" that explores the author's struggles with anxiety and depression through fourth-wall breaks and various art styles. This book is the definition of "NO PLOT, JUST VIBES" and I was HERE for it. From the (*shudders*) relateable subject matter to the breathtaking art styles to the innovative structure of this graphic novel memoir, It's Lonely at the Centre of the Earth screams "i am just a human trying my best." Because of its lack of plot, this book will NOT be for everyone (as shown by its divisive Goodreads reviews). But, when it hits, it HITS, and that's what I love about this book. It's not trying to be something great, it just *is.* This is probably one of my favorite graphic novel memoirs of all times (I know, I've been saying that a lot lately, but I mean it!) and I will definitely be checking out more of Zoe Thorogood's works. While this book may not be for everyone, it certainly was for me <3

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The art is beautiful and I also liked the various characters as manifestations of past selves/anxiety/depression, but did now wholly jibe with the project in its entirety. This is clearly more the case of my own (more advanced) age, and would still recommend this for high school libraries.

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This was one of the most heartfelt books I have ever read. I also struggle with depression and I felt so genuinely seen while reading this. The way the author loses train of thought and sense of timelines while confronting their feelings; I related to that sensation immensely. The art felt like seeing myself, my brain displayed through someone else's eyes. This was brilliant and it gave me hope for the future. I feel less alone after reading this.

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Posted on Goodreads:

First, thank you to the author, image comics and netgalley for allowing me to read an ebook for this masterpiece.

TW: unaliving, depression

I can't help but thank Zoe for creating this work of perfection. There are reasons as to why people with mental health issues do not come forward. And the 1 star rate review is a good example to why.

This graphic novel follows Zoe for six months and her deep troubles with unaliving and severe depression. This was so raw, real and heavy and accurately represented what it's like to be in that mindset. I saw myself from 25 years ago in these pages. The lurking monster always there, the self deprecating thoughts, the knowing you're close and you're afraid of that, the parents that just don't fully understand the full scope of what's going on.

The artwork was fantastic and truly captured the chaotic stream of conscious that can take over.

I need to buy a copy for myself. I need it in my library.

Favorite quote: "Life is merely a collection of good and bad experiences loosely held together by the void in between-and that void is your space to mold, a space to harness and create in. Just be careful not to get stuck there."

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Zeo Thorogood documents six months of her life. The result is a meditation on depression and how it informs and deforms every aspect of your life.

There were times when her depiction of depression was—as the running joke in the book goes—“relatable”. Other times what she managed to capture on the page was terrifying. There are aspects of depression that I still hide from people, not necessarily because of what they will think of me, but because of how they will worry about me.

And yet, Thorogood manages to capture this in all its horrific detail. There is an admirable bravery in doing this.

I’d recommend this book for anyone that has a loved on that suffers from depression. But be warned, this is not the sanitized version of depression that you usually get—enough so that you understand, but not enough so that you are freaked out. This gets at how truly horrendous it is to have to live with, negotiate with, be entangled with overwhelming depression.

I don’t think I’ve ever read a book more open and honest than this.

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Zoe Thorogood was the artist for a comic series called Rain which I loved. When I saw this I just had to read it. Great concept and characters.

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I really enjoyed this book, at times it hit way too close to home. I like how the ending shows the mc still has a bit of hope left for her future :)

As always, thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the arc!!

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A graphic novel memoir about the authors struggle with depression. I absolutely love the art style of this! So creative! I enjoyed the 4th wall breaks. Kind of gave me Donnie Darko vibes.

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I liked how It’s ‘Lonely at the Centre of the Earth’ covers so many aspects of the author’s depression as well as other peoples experiences of it.
It is a very expansive read and the artwork is beautifully done to reflect the text and sentiments of the book.

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What a rollercoaster. I really loved the way she mixed certain panels with real photos. It feels weird giving a review of someone's life. So I'm not going to. And I'm certainly not going to use the word "relatable." I can say as someone who has experienced depression, that this does allow a small peak into what it is like.

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I will be buying myself and everyone else I know a copy of this. It is such a raw insight of life. Not just as an artist.
I needed this without even realizing it.

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Depression can make everything much more difficult than it looks. Getting out of bed can be a nearly insurmountable challenge, let alone putting a pen to paper to draw or to write. Add a global pandemic into the mix, and it's truly astonishing that Zoe Thorogood got anything done at all - but get it done she did. She persevered, at times kicking and screaming, sure, to document six months of her life in comic book form. IT'S LONELY AT THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH is the result of that.

I'd not read Thorogood's work before, but I was struck by the beautiful artwork and the insightful self-examination that was offered up in this book. She puts herself under the microscope revealing warts and all - or mask-induced acne outbreaks. She examines the dark side of herself, and the difficulty of reaching success and still not finding happiness. Other reviewers have called her pretentious and self-absorbed, and I'm sure she calls herself that as well, but often-times this is part of the process of just living with depression.

It would be a cliche to call this book relatable, but I'd be pretty darn surprised if a lot of creative types didn't relate to, and feel sympathy for her over the course of reading this. Everyone struggles to some degree, I can only hope that she finds some peace and happiness in her life. One of the most damaging cliches of the artistic world is that you have to hate yourself and be depressed in order to create. These things can be managed if you put the work in and get the right help.

There's hope out there, and I imagine this book will help an awful lot of people find hope in their own lives, too. I hope Zoe finds it in her own life.

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An introspective, at times unnerving and ultimately (for me) relatable (ha!) peek inside the mind of someone flailing, swimming and trying not to drown inside their mind. I appreciate this book, and the fact that it exists, immensely.

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for an advanced copy in exchange for my honest review!

If you are someone who has struggled with depression, with your self-worth and confidence, and trying to find meaning through art, this is a tough read. I will admit, I had to take breaks reading this novel, mostly because I didn't feel like I was reading a novel, but rather looking into a mirror. To use the dreaded word of the hour, a lot of what Zoe went through IS relatable. Her struggles with her depression, her struggles with her suicidal ideation, and her struggles with her art. This novel is real, it's raw, and at times uncomfortable. Her art is visually stunning and the mixture of styles and even inclusion of photography elements is gorgeous. Her full-page illustrations are impactful and wonderful to look at. I had not heard of her other words before reading this, but I will be seeking them out.

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How do you review an autobio comic that makes it clear that the author hates to be perceived without feeling like a jerk? Proceed on the assumption that they also like to be paid for their work and the review machine is a very small part of that? Hmm.

Anyway, this good - timely, stylish, weird. I read a lot of autobio comics in the early 2000's and this feels similar, but modernized. It has the painful, intellectualized self-awareness that seems to be one of the hallmarks of the latest generation of young writers. If that sounds like I'm being pretentious (maybe?) or that it might be a tedious exercise in navel-gazing be assured: It has the style and craft to pull it off. Really knows how to use comics as a form, which is a delight to see. Very curious to see how that craft is applied in the author's fiction; if it's a as good as this I think I'll like that even more.

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An amazing graphic novel. To start, the artwork is amazing. Beautiful in nature and striking in its own right, the art pops and shows confidence and power. This work was so reflective to me as it resembled, in my eyes, an honest portrait of life itself. I truly felt like Zoe through how depression and life were depicted here, and I think many will as well. While some parts can be a bit slow, this work usually pops from page to page with precision and understanding that is beautifully empowered by creative and thoughtful artwork. Upon reflection and re-reading, I would argue the slow moments are actually brilliant in articulating the timeline of the work and the many fragments of emotion that hit our lead. This work feels like reading a beautiful, fun conception of emotions rarely captured as detailed in comics I have read recently. Along with all of this, there were many jokes that made me get out of my chair and laugh with glee, a true delight in that aspect as well. A great, fun, emotional read that touches on many deep concepts wonderfully!

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Zoe is a fantastic illustrator! A very meaningful autobiography. Zoe if you’re reading this you’re super funny and this story was very meaningful. The way you illustrate is so fun and trippy, i love it. Don’t give up even if you only help one person. And with this book I’m sure you’ve helped millions. Will be picking up more of her books.

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Full review at link below.

This book is difficult to love and impossible not to.

The self-deprecating, faux-narcissistic, depressive, dark humour is just too – sorry Zoe, I’m going to say it – relatable.

For those like me – especially fellow creatives – who have lived experience of mental illness, this ‘auto-bio-graphic-novel’ is a must-read.

I say this with the caveat that the author pulls no punches in her depiction of the depths of mental illness. In fact, she includes her own content warning.

The vibe is kind of like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off if Cameron was the main character. Except instead of destroying his dad’s car, he gets an STD and a broken heart.

I love how Zoe experiments with different styles throughout the book. The story flows seamlessly, despite the staccato changes in colour, layout, form, etc. It’s a great representation of the bumpy spiral-turned-whirlwind of mental illness.

That search for meaning, purpose, and identity; the horror of being perceived and the fear of disappearing entirely; simultaneously craving and recoiling from connection and the subsequent vulnerability.

The fact that Zoe manages to inject humour into this undeniably depressing book is a credit to her skill as an artist. To make me as the reader feel like I wanted to laugh, cry, write a poem, and punch myself in the face all at the same time is quite an achievement.

This isn’t the kind of A-to-B, linear, formulaic mental illness story where the protagonist goes from sad to happy, running off into the sunset with a grateful wave to their trauma for all the “good lessons”.

There is disappointment. There are failures. There is self-sabotage and unanswered questions and the author doesn’t tie up all the loose ends with a neat bow. It’s messy. It’s ambiguous. It’s real.

“… maybe life is just about those good f*ckin’ sandwiches.”

I mean, she’s not wrong. I do love a good sandwich.

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A look into how suicidal depression can shape one’s life and outlook. How isolated one can feel in their own mind and how kindness can mean the difference between life and death

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The art in this book was entrancing, and the story was addictive. I was first hooked by the way art changed styles and yet seemed to still all fit together seamlessly. As I read I was drawn in even more by the narrative, what I read felt raw and real. I enjoyed this book and found it a unique graphic novel that stands out from the others I’ve read.

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a masterclass on the way mental health impacts the creative process. i really appreciated the distinct art styles reflecting different manifestations of zoe’s struggles, and thorogood as an author excels at creating a narrative that is discombobulating by nature, truly highlighting a disjointed psyche. i often don’t read graphic novels a second time but this one i just might reread.

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Note: I received access to read this book from the publisher for free. That doesn't influence my opinion on it, but it is worth disclosing.

RELATABLE.
Gosh, I loved this. Review done.

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Thanks to netgalley for an advanced copy for an honest review

An amazing read, the artwork is great and it is a very meaningful autobiography.

It’s lonely at the centre of the earth can be a bit of a difficult read as the subject matter but it is worth it.
Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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This will be a relatable book for many, as it captures emotions and depression well, expressing how the author is feeling over the 6 month period recorded.
The art work is incredible, showing a mix of different styles that will leave any reader in awe.
Can be a difficult read at some points but overall a beautiful book with stunning art, however I would’ve liked to be able to read it on my kindle as this would have made viewing easier, but this option was unavailable.

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Thank you to NetGalley and Image Comics for a copy of this ARC. All thoughts are my own.

This is an autobiographical graphic memoir covering a six month period in the author's life. It covers ups, and downs, plans made and changed, self-doubt, and fighting depression. It is an emotional read.
The artwork is gorgeous, with a range of styles employed throughout.

If you enjoy autobiographical graphic novels, or authors like Tillie Walden, check this one out.

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Thanks to Image Comics and NetGalley for an ARC of this dazzling autobio graphic novel!

5 out of 5⭐ for a physical reflection of deep and painful woes so similar to my own.

It's Lonely at the Center of the Earth is a deep dive into the psyche of comic artist Zoe Thorogood, and it is a beautiful, mesmerizing journey.

The composition, scene transitions, and various stylizations used throughout the novel keep the eyes thoroughly engaged. The use of animal heads on everyone but Zoe, her family, and those featured in flashbacks is such a prominent way to illustrate the isolation she feels from the world--even her loved ones, as they are expressed akin to one of her stylized selves and not drawn fully representative to how they look.

Thorogood is a master at pinpointing the mental havoc mental illness plays on you and those around you, and the Embodiment of Depression that haunts her looks as vividly evil as it feels when it's weighing down on your chest crippling every decision you make, or refuse to make.

I wish Thorogood healing on her journey & am thankful for her bravery on being open. It's a conversation that doesn't happen enough.

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I have never resonated with anything more! And I’m not sure how I feel about that ha
This is a wonderfully raw account of mental health and I’ve never quite found anything that is as truthful as this. Sad girls - this is the book for you

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"It's Lonely at the Centre of the Earth is an intimate and meta-narrative look into the life of a selfish artist who must create for her own survival. A poignant and original depiction of a young woman's struggle with mental health—through the ups and downs of anxiety, depression, and imposter syndrome—as she forges a promising career in sequential art and finds herself along the way."

Amazing art style and different POV. A bit harder to read so I suggest checking the TW/CW before jumping in. I'm not sure if I got a defective copy of this but I thought the book was hard to follow with multiple blank pages... Might be a user-problem rather than the book. Though it was hard to follow, I still thought it was a wonderful depiction of how someone with mental health struggle cope with everyday life!

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This book is some pretty big topics. It is emotional and not an easy read, but it is well done. A little odd at times, but a powerful look at life.

4 stars

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As someone who has dealt with depression her entire life this was one of the most accurate depictions of the struggle I’ve ever read. Beautiful art that felt real and raw with how it changed as she told her story.

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I was pleasantly surprised by my first attempt at a graphic novel that took a biographical approach. The conversation around mental health and childhood translates perfectly to Zoe’s art and I enjoyed myself so much more than I expected! Thank you Image Comics and Netgalley for the digital arc!

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I really connected with this story. This is a graphic memoir of a young comic artist who is struggling with mental health, self doubt, and just life altogether. God it was so relatable and I just felt really understood by the author and them I read some reviews where they said they were annoyed because she was wallowing in her depression which I thought was just so funny. Like maybe yeah she does a bit but it’s sometimes very hard not to when you are depressed and it’s definitely not like in the way that many people used to romanticize depression like 10 years ago (particularly on tumblr). So sure maybe some people found her annoying but I got it. Also the formatting and the use of multimedia was just so creative and I really loved (again some reviews were calling it self indulgent and pointless). So obviously it’s not for everyone but I really connected with it and it worked for me. I’d recommend it especially for people who have dealt with mental health but would advise checking content warnings.

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I had the pleasure of delving into It's Lonely at the Centre of the Earth by Zoe Thorogood, and it's a strikingly self-aware journey. Zoe lays bare her own flaws and struggles, making this graphic novel an intimate and metanarrative exploration of her life as an artist desperately piecing it together. Reading it feels like a direct confrontation, a book calling out its creator, and it's an enthralling experience that I thoroughly enjoyed.

What truly captivated me was Zoe's ability to convey her state of mind through diverse art styles and her ingenious manipulation of text and format. It's as if her brain is unravelling with each page, resulting in beautifully distorted storytelling. The art is exceptional, the writing is compelling, and the overall execution is masterful. If you're looking for a thought-provoking and artistically rich narrative, I highly recommend giving this book a read. My thanks go to Netgalley and Image Comics for providing the eBook copy that allowed me to explore this remarkable work.

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This was very interesting, funny, and very introspective. Liked how it is a meta narrative can have different storytelling perspectives about mundane life! She's being vulnerable but she makes her struggles relatable. She takes her words and molds it into visual art. It is pretty more graphic and visceral in the colors. This graphic novel is autobiographical has some very raw dialogue between flashback scenes. It is for adults though...It's a very good novel that is short yet has a lot of depth to it.

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As someone who has battled with depression for most of my life, this book hit very close to home. Zoe Thorogood's struggles are so relatable (haha, sorry to the author to use that word) and the way that everything is depicted is so REAL. I love that she was able to turn six months of her life that she struggled into a book that could speak to so many people. I was honestly rooting for her the whole book and still am. The artwork was beautiful, I found her physical depiction of the versions of her and her depression monster to be so, SO interesting too. I'm grateful to NetGalley for being able to read this free copy and the publisher as well. I will be reading her other works in the future and will be buying a physical copy of this as well.

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**Disclaimer: I recieved a free eARC of this through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for this opportunity.  This was definitely an emotional read.  It's always challenging to read about someone struggling with their mental health.  It was illustrated in a interesting way, and it made the storyline of the memoir really stand out from other graphic novel memoirs that I have read.  I would be interested in reading more of Zoe's work.

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This is a graphic novel following 6 months in the author’s life as she struggles with depression and suicidal ideation. It’s creative and I liked the artwork and themes explored, although sometimes it was a little hard to follow the narrative. The art was stronger than the captions for me. The author uses imagery to explore depression, self-image and discovery, pain and more. The book sometimes breaks the fourth wall, adding to the meta feel.

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An insight into the life of Zoe Thorogood as she deals with anxieties and life complexities. It may take readers a bit to figure out there are multiple representations of Zoe. Each is beautiful and part of her development. Zoe artfully addresses impostor syndrome. Fab addition to an adult library.

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Wild, chaotic, exhilarating to read. I adored Zoe Thorogood's auto-bio-graphic novel and its various mismatched art styles, some which reminded me of Tuca & Bertie meets Junji Ito. It was hilarious and relatable – Zoe spends a period of the book living very close to where I grew up – and I immediately felt at ease with Zoe as though I knew her as I knew myself.

Breaking the fourth wall can often come across as very gimmicky or cringey in books, but here it is used sparingly and it is instead striking and jarring. A reminder that while Zoe fears being perceived and understood, she is pushing herself, and grappling with what it means to put so much of yourself into your work.

While it treads some very heavy territory such as depression and suicide (read with caution), it was an incredibly moving and memorable reading experience which I'm grateful for, and I only hope to learn more about Thorogood and read more of her work.

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"It's Lonely at the Centre of the Earth" is a deep and profound examination of the author, Zoe Thorogood's, struggles with serious mental health issues while pursuing a generally successful and creative career as an artist. This book is full of dark sequences, suicidal ideation, a good amount of angst ridden self-examination and even self-hatred.

However, the result is not dismal and even during the book's darkest moments Thorogood's artistic brilliance shines through as does her subtle and often self effacing sense of humor. Perhaps the best example of this is the frequent appearance of the personification of her depression which takes the form of a large looming monster that seems to be a hybrid of Ingmar Bergman's Death and a Teletubby.

Thorogood's representations of herself are also striking. Thus, she portrays herself visually in about half a dozen different ways, with multiple versions of herself often interacting, arguing and competing for attention. The result is a riotous and often confusing explosion of her thoughts and feelings that leap out at the reader.

Finally, in what is an important step for any book about depression, Thorogood begins her book with a warning about its content and ends it with some thoughts on how she has found some peace for herself. All in all, this is a challenging book to read that is well worth the effort and significantly less heavy and intense than the content would imply. This book is strongly recommended to anyone who enjoys the graphic arts and is ready and comfortable to read it.

Thank you to NetGalley, Zoe Thorogood and the publisher, Image Comics, for providing me with an eARC in exchange for my honest feedback.

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC in exchange for an honest review!

tw for this book: mention of suicide, self harm, depression, anxiety, panic attacks

This book was so unexpected. So different from anything I’ve ever read before!! the most creative and profound graphic novel yet also humorous in its own way

The author manages to depict dark themes of depression through beautiful and humorous illustrations. The author also uses fourth wall in such a unique yet authentically way where the reader is able to connect with the author. Like the book is so self aware of itself that it’s so funny.

i'm so mesmerized by the art! the detail of it all and the author has so many different art styles like THE RANGE

The main character is such a tragic mess and she’s so real for that bc who isn’t a tragic mess

I’m buying this immediately once it comes out

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Although I've never read Zoe's other works before, I have a lot of artist friends and basically camped out at anime/comic conventions' artists alleys when I was younger, and I immediately felt connected to Zoe not only on that front, but also the themes that were discussed here. Anxiety, depression, thoughts of suicide, expectations vs. reality,, life in general, putting yourself out there and not knowing how people will react to work and words and art is absolutely something that is thoroughly discussed here in an effective way.

I loved the art style, and the different mediums that Zoe also includes in this. I loved the way Zoe framed the six months together, and I really connected with Zoe as she was going through this period of life. Some parts didn't resonate with me as much, but that's the beauty of different people's experiences. I'm glad this work exists and that Image Comics released this. I'm glad that these themes are talked about, and I hope more works that explore the ups and downs of life. The ending was perfect! I'm absolutely going to look into Zoe's other titles now.

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This was a super cool book. The illustrations are scary, cool, and edgy. I love the mix of black and white vs. colored drawing and those that fall in-between. The collage like illustrations are my favorite. The story itself is also spooky and engaging. Loved reading this!

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This was a fantastic look at the inner struggle of a working artist. At times the content may be distressing to readers as the content deals with suicidal thoughts and depression. Still a highly recommended work.

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I really enjoyed It's Lonely at the Centre of the Earth. I love the different styles Zoe uses, it's very visually beautiful and the way it all collides is all over the place but perfect at the same time. Overall an excellent book and I just loved it

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A biographical look at life, including issues of depression and suicidal thoughts. Well put together in its content, format and artwork. Something different in structure which is always welcome. An insight into the life of someone dealing with things, into the creative processes whilst this goes on. No real 'finale' in terms of lessons other than life continues and it's how you deal with things, what you make of it. The artwork is interesting, engaging and varied throughout and full of ideas.

One star off (or half a star if I could) - strangely (or perhaps not) for a book to a large degree about isolation, I found the section in America with two people trying and mostly failing to connect a bit hard to engage with. Compared to the rest this section seemed to lose a spark and meander.

An excellent, creative and thoughful book.

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TW: Suicidal ideation, depression, self-harm

I know this published a while ago, but I saw it here and based on this cover, I just really wanted to read it. Ironically, I had no idea what it was about. It sat in my shelf for a little bit though because I didn't have a deadline with this one.

I read it today in one sitting. I find the timing neat because I myself the week before last had spiraled into a really bad depression and something I've dealt with since I was about 15 years-old is recurring suicidal ideation.

It feels weird to give a star rating to something auto biographical, but honestly, I had to give a five-star rating because of my experience reading this book.

I absolutely will be reading more of Zoe's comics/graphic novels in the future. I absolutely loved her art style, but also reading this book felt validating. My own mind, when set free of the millions of holds I put on it daily, feels very similar to this stream of consciousness vibe of this book. Which is weird to think about in itself because like Zoe mentions, there are so many moments of not feeling human or not feeling real and spiraling into a philosophical black hole that doesn't have and end in the hopes that you're tethered somewhere and can reel back.

This method of processing life and being human is absolutely intriguing to me and I am so grateful I chose to read this.

This is one of the very few books I've read on Netgalley that I know without a doubt that I need a physical copy of.

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I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review - all opinions are my own.

I thought this was a really beautiful and provoking graphic novel. Right from the start I was drawn in by Thorogood's honesty and unique art style. The disregard of the 4th wall meant I felt immediately connected with the author and her story.
Watching the shift over the course of the novel, over which I felt I got to know Zoe and her struggles, was very emotive and beautiful.
The art style was also beautiful and interesting, with a clear variety that showed talent as well as highlighting her inner thoughts and struggles throughout.

This was a beautiful graphic novel which I recommend to anyone who has struggled with their own place in the world.

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“Zoe was really, really small. And that felt good. An inconsequential tiny piece of a much larger picture. It was a beautiful thought.”

As someone who has struggled with depression and suicidal ideation from a very young age, this book portrayed so many thoughts that I’ve had over the years. The guilt, the feelings of selfishness, the questioning every single thought and emotion running through your body at any given time.

This isn’t a book about hopelessness. It’s a book about perseverance. It’s a glimpse into the world that we have to create in order to exist in this ridiculous and painful reality we inhabit. This was all portrayed in such a unique and captivating art style. I want to run and buy a physical copy right this minute just to see the art on a larger scale.

I’ll be thinking about this one for a long time.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book!

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It’s Lonely at the Centre of the Earth is a raw, vulnerable, intense glimpse into the inner world of artist Zoe Thorogood, unsanitised and unflinching in its depiction of depression.

In stark contrast to the decidedly unglamorous realities of mental illness is Thorogood’s art, which is as gorgeous as graphic memoirs get - by turns clean and messy, monochromatic and colourful, realistic and stylised, experimental and always unique. While Thorogood’s writing at times fell flat for me, I loved her art so much, and will absolutely be checking out her other work.

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I didn't know what to expect from this Graphic novel. I'm not familiar with Zoe Thorogood, and trigger warnings are usually a sign that I will either be irritated at the softness of today's youth or upset because...well heck, life should come with trigger warnings if I'm honest.
First, the art. Ms. Thorogood is an exceptional artist who gets everything across in her drawings. From the cartoonish drawings to the hyper-realistic drawings of herself, I was amazed at her talent.
The story was heartbreaking in its honesty and familiarity. This is a place many of us have found ourselves at one time or another, and some of us spend way too much time here doubting, hating, or regretting our lives.

Very well written, and though it is an over-used word...relatable.

Highly recommended. And yeah I guess you should read the trigger warnings if thoughts of suicide, talks about depression, sex, or anything else human bother you.

Thanks to @netgalley for allowing me to read this eArc in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.



@

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Heartfelt and original. A recommended purchase for collections where memoirs and adult graphic novels are popular.

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As a creative who also feels like they can’t see past that void at times this hit a spot way more visceral than I thought when I started reading. It doesn’t sugarcoat and it shows you all the truth and darkness of someone struggling to see that bigger picture. This dark graphic novel memoir follows 6 months of Zoe’s life as it’s falling part. The predominately monochromatic design and varying art styles gives this story more depth and gravitas as we get t0 understand Zoe more as a character, from her past experiences and current perceptions of self.

It’s Lonely at the Centre of the Earth… but you don’t always have to be there.

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"It's Lonely At The Center of The Earth" by Zoe Thorogood is a raw and relatable journey into the life of an artist facing the challenges of anxiety, depression, and imposter syndrome. Thorogood's graphic memoir captures the struggle of a young woman striving to find her place in the world while pursuing a career in sequential art. The book is an intimate, meta-narrative exploration of mental health and self-discovery. Thorogood's honesty and vulnerability make it easy for young readers to connect with her experiences. Her artistry is a powerful vehicle for conveying the emotional rollercoaster of life's ups and downs. I found this memoir to be a poignant and genuine reflection of the battles many of us face as we navigate the complexities of mental health and personal growth. Thorogood's work is a testament to the power of art as a means of survival and self-expression. I recommend this to anyone seeking a relatable and heartfelt narrative about the pursuit of creativity and self-acceptance.

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Thank you Netgalley and the publishing house for sending me this e-arc to read and review. This was a great book, I read it here a few months ago and liked it. The words were hard to read on the pages though, I had times when I'd have to zoom in since the words were so small. The book also looks like it's very small but there are so many words, so if you think this is a quick read it's not. Its so sad to hear what the author has gone through and I wish her all the best of luck.

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Voted my favorite book of 2022.

I’ve never been particularly drawn to the black-and-white cartoon memoir genre of comics. So I am shocked that two of them top my list for best of the year. The cartoon autobioraphy has a rich heritage. Thorogood’s raw honesty, her abandonment of comics “formalism,” is right at home alongside Harvey Pekar, despite the wildly different worlds the two inhabited. One, a disgruntled middle aged man, the other a 23 year old woman struggling with mental illness. But this is a book that seeks to illuminate the mundane complexity of human life and experience, just as American Splendor did, in its own way.

Lonely at the Centre of the Earth sees Thorogood, hot off the critical success of her first book, The Impending Blindness of Billie Scott, trapped by the pressures of industry expectation and her own insecurities. She decides to document a six month period in her life following a suicidal episode, her first forays back into the world after pandemic quarantine.


What follows is an emotionally resonant and wildly creative book that literally invites readers to join Zoe in creating the book’s meaning and purpose. Thorogood’s supporting cast consists of various versions of herself, a chibi anime version that encourages her to live her artistic dream, the harsh realist, her childhood self, and even the embodiment of her own depression–the Void Creature. The depression avatar looms over Zoe throughout the book, a towering amorphous blob with a haunting grin that is sometimes adorable, sometimes comfort, and sometimes horrific.

Throughout the book, Thorogood plays with the unique nature of comics storytelling, the structure of the page itself, the artifice of narrative the control over time and image. She engages in thrilling mixed media to represent how her own struggles with mental illness feel disocciative. She falls through the air, her body broken into a dozen different styles and media. A grid of nine panels where she asserts her own confidence is interspersed with harsh black panels with LIAR written in large white paint.

Every page is a profound celebration of the power of art, of the potential of comics to tell unique stories in unpredictable ways. Zoe Thorogood has made a profoundly beautiful work of art.

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In "It's Lonely at the Centre of the Earth" creator Zoe Thorogood provides a raw and messy look at depression and the effects it has on her day to day life.

The way the art styles throughout mirrored the artists feelings and emotions are that moment in time, really drives home how deeply personal and emotional this autobiography graphic novel is, This is a frank and real look at how it feels to experience depression, even during what others would feel like should be highs in ones life. It's raw and relatable and will definitely make readers feel less alone.

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Very interesting introspective story. Fascinating to follow her life and make sense of everything she is going through. Very deep for a comic book!

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This was quite unique and I struggle to rate it as it was so personal. I felt her anguish and I enjoyed the artwork. Made me think. I would recommend it.

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I loved this so so much.

I laughed and I cried, just so many of my feelings laid out so imperfectly that it was perfect 🫶🏿.

Love Izzy so so much 🥹.

The guy that I'm calling Mr America, really didn't like him. I would pull UP and FIGHT 🤣🤣😭😭.

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Zoe Thorogood records a difficult six months of her life in graphic novel form in <i>It’s Lonely at the Centre of the Earth</i>. I loved the way she different styles of drawing different versions of herself and that she bared herself so openly for everyone to see. I, like many people, can see parts of myself in Zoe, and I like that her work helps us to know that we are not alone. I recommend checking this book out!

Many thanks to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this book.

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The author/artist shares six months of her life with us in a well-illustrated, quirky, and inventive graphic memoir. She is not a happy young woman, and this book delves heavily into depression and thoughts of suicide. Though it held my interest, I can't say I enjoyed it.

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want to thank Netgalley and Zoe for granting me this comic. This autobio comic was a real life view into what depression can truly be for some people. Although the little things bring us joy in life our depression is always with us. I loved the quote “I am not my depression but sometimes it’s comforting to believe that’s all I am.” This comic also takes place during the pandemic in 2020 and was a rough patch for all of us. Again I recommend this book for everyone whether they can relate to the depression or not, she put a comedic spin on it which I relate to because I also use dark humor to mask my mental health as well.

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Although I did not enjoy reading this via ebook I think the art was beautiful. I would want a physical version of this book.

Although this book is about anxiety and depression it truly makes you feel seen and not alone. Many of the thoughts that were placed to paper are relatable and I'm sure other people have felt. The art invokes so many emotions and you can't help but admire the madness and the sadness of this book. It is really amazing to see someone so talented to not only make art but to write about their life in such a way.

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I’m at a loss for the right words. This book is very intense and very, well, “relatable”. I wanted to write this long profound review of the book, but now I just can’t seem to do that so I’ll leave you with a long word to take up space. supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

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beautiful, emotional, and funny at times. zoe is an incredible storyteller and i’m excited to read her future works.

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This books deals with heavy content & I'm going to say the dreaded relatable word but this book certainly felt it at times. There may not have been a potato in my version but there was a couple situations in the book that were pretty identical alongside the general themes and thoughts.

As the book covers a 6 month time period alongside snippets of the past, the art helps complement this with the different styles used to portray various thoughts & times. The mixed media as well and use of colour really helped certain panels have a bigger impact.

Definitely make sure you're in the right head space to read this but it's well worth a read for the content & art.

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*I received an e-arc of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

This was the first thing I've read by Zoe Thorogood, which made it interesting to read about her artistic process and perception of herself as an artist. It reminded me a lot of Marbles by Ellen Forney - if you like that style of editorialized mostly-memoir graphic novel. The art was super cool - but it didn't load great on an iPad, at least as an e-arc, which made it a little difficult to read. I overall enjoyed it however.

3.5 Stars

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This art!! I love Zoe’s art — the mix of styles, the different color palettes, the animal heads. I just loved it all.

Now on to the heavy stuff. It was hard reading a book about a young person who has frequent thoughts of suicide. Mental illness, depression, social anxiety.. it’s all so (wait for it) relatable. I appreciate when a writer shares real experiences.

This depression monster is one of my favorite depictions of depression that I’ve seen yet.

Thank you NetGalley and Image Comics!

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This was a very interesting reading experience. I never totally felt like I knew what direction the narrative was taking, and at multiple points, the metanarrative took a very unexpected turn. That is not to say I didn't enjoy the book; I was hooked, unable to step away despite how painful some of the experiences were to stay with. This is a masterfully innovative take on a subgenre that can often become very blase and self-congratulatory.

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This was a unique graphic novel. I appreciate the difficult discussion of mental health it presented. The art was engaging and fit the themes of the book well.

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A raw, unfiltered look at depression and low self-esteem. Zoe Thorogood decides to record what it's like to be her for six months. This isn't really a memoir. At 23, she hasn't lived much of a life yet. It's more what's it's like to be in her head for a time. Where this excels is the art. She uses a variety of ways to portray herself and others, sometimes all in the same panel. Sometimes there's 5 or 6 different versions of herself in a panel. Often she gives herself a bald, cartoony head as that's how she feels. Don't expect this to go anywhere or to have some kind of resolution. These are the kinds of issues people struggle with their whole life. This is more about seeing someone else's point of view and what it's like for things to not always come easy, but to struggle every day.

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This is the first graphic novel I have read it a while and it was a great one to pick up! I love the meme style of some of the panels and the story was very deep. Thorogood is very honest about their deepest fears, issues and the things that torment them. It is a refreshing autobiography that does not hide the ugly, but embraces it instead.

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Holy hot damn. I read this while listening to the Into the Trees album by Zoë Keating and it might have nearly been a religious experience. There's something just so excruciating about the relatability of this memoir/story

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Stunning art and deeply engrossing story. Zoe Thorogood has mastered personal storytelling. Thank you to NetGalley for allowing me to read and enjoy this beautiful and touching piece of art.

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Oh, my goodness, if this book was present present before the pandemic happened, I would have jumped on this and soaked it up. Well, I soaked it up and remembered how I felt during the start of 2020. Anyways, kudos to the author, artist of this graphic/comic book. This is a great show of how we must all felt during the pandemic.

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I love a good memoir. Give me a good GRAPHIC memoir?? I'm in absolute heaven and will read about just about anyone's life. I was pleasantly surprised that this author's life just so happened to be interesting enough to keep me captivated throughout the entire book! Loved the illustrations as well. Stunning piece of work.

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"you're not selfish or evil by the way"

Thanks to NetGalley for a DRC in exchange for my honest review.

This was such a raw, real, and creative way to portray six months of a life with depression through an array of art styles ranging from silly, little memes to horrific, lurking monsters. Since this is an autobiography, naturally it conveys human emotions, and I love that it didn't stray away from how much of a rollercoaster depression can be. I also appreciated that the ending had merely a semblance of a good, learned ending, but didn't try to make it seem like the depression went away and everything is all good now because it's the end of the book. Furthermore, it was nearly impossible to choose a favorite quote from this.

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A ridiculously talented artist. Thorogood’s story is intensely personal, and it must have taken a lot to put this out there for the world. Her characterisation of depression is masterful, and overall I think this is an incredibly important piece of work. Thank you to NetGalley and ImageComics for the privilege.

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This was a thought provoking read. I enjoyed the stream of consciousness throughout the book, I felt it helped the story flow well. I liked the stylised illustrations.

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It's Lonely at the Centre of the Earth is a stirring and creative meditation on depression, creativity, and life itself. Thoroughgood's work is both intensely personal and yet incredibly familiar to those who have fought with their own giant depression demon. Her illustrations are beautiful and the sheer creative force behind this book is stunning, to say the least. Definitely worth reading (and re-reading)!

Thanks to Netgalley and Image Comics for the free ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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I am really glad I got the opportunity to read this book through NetGalley.

This book is an amazing piece of art. The author shows you depression feels like. She clearly has a case imposter syndrome (not sure if this name is correct tbh). It is amazing how you can feel everything through the pages and the way it the storyline is presented is quite original.

In the beginning I was a bit apprehensive but as I got into it and understood a little bit better the point of it sit was a really good read.

I would recommend picking this one up for sure. You won’t be wasting your time ☺️

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"Maybe I’d be dead if not for this. But instead I’m going to make something that didn’t exist before. And I think that’s beautiful."

This was a beautiful, unflinching (and at many times self-deprecating) look inside of the mind of the author/illustrator and her journey with mental health/depression.

As a fellow writer, it was particularly poignant reading about how Covid cancelled her first book tour and threw her into the pits of isolation.

It's Lonely at the Centre of the Earth is certainly a heavy read, but also hopeful and powerful. I will definitely be on the lookout for more of Zoe's work!

"Someone, somewhere, right now is being impacted by your existence—whether good or bad. That’s what I choose to believe this is all about. Not connection—but how we affect each other. Even at a distance."

---------
CW: depression, suicidal ideation

Arc received by the Publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
#ItsLonelyattheCentreoftheEarth #NetGalley

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Wow! This graphic novel was incredibly raw and explores relatable themes of depression, lonliness and self-worth. Zoe is very open, unapologetic, and direct in how she approaches her narrative and speaks about her own journey with crippling depression. Readers please be aware, this has many direct references to su*c*de so check the trigger warnings and read with care.

Zoe's illustrative style is beautiful and abstract, and she is a master at using the pen to visually express emotion. I was captivated for the whole book and invested in her story and relationships explored along the way.

I'll absolutely be checking out Zoe's other works! Also she plays The Binding of Isaac? I'm an instant fan <3

As an aside, I felt some similarities with the story telling in Allie Brosh's 'Hyperbole and a Half' and think that readers who enjoyed her books will love this one also.

Thank you NetGalley and Image Comics for sending this book for review consideration. All opinions are my own.

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This was excellently done. As someone who has struggled with mental illness of my own, this was “relatable” and allowed me to feel seen. I feel like Zoe may have a touch of ADHD as well cuz this totally gave ADHD vibes. Absolutely loved it.

I’m glad you wrote this, Zoe Thorogood.

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A fascinating insight into the depressive plight of a creative. Told in shifting realities and perspectives from within the singular individual, I was taken on a journey through the mind and life of Zoe as she navigates the everyday and the successes of being a comics artist. I loved the art, the different ways she represented herself in her different moods and life stages. It was melancholy, silly and self aware.

Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC.

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Thank you NetGalley for this ARC.

I found this book to very beautiful and was surprised with how much I enjoyed it. It deals with heavy subjects incredibly sincerely and honestly. I related so much to the story and would heavily recommend this book to others. 4 Stars!

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*** Thank you NetGalley and Image Comics for the arc in exchange for an honest review! I’m incredibly grateful! ***

Interesting. Shocking. Relatable. Dark. Funny. Brilliant!

Stylistically: this is one of the best graphic novels I’d had the pleasure of reading. Content-wise: I feel seen.

Reviewing this fully won’t even do it justice. Just read it!

TW: suicidal thoughts, depression, mental illness, drugs, alcohol, bullying, swearing, grief, vomit, toxic relationship

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I loved the art styles and the way the author utilized it to present their story. This memoir was enjoyable from the perspective of a depressed person (ie. me). I would definitely read more of her works in the future.

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It's tough to get through this one. As the author says, there are aspects of mental illness that make you feel narcissistic, and unable to get out of your own head. I was lucky to have some cautionary people in my life with some of my same issues, and I knew very clearly who I refused to be because of them. Seeing my worst qualities reflected in others can be sobering.

So, yes, it's tough to read about someone who doesn't discuss treatment, because it's hard at times not to agree with someone who keeps telling you they are a collection of negative qualities and then doesn't have a growing collection of coping mechanisms to improve their quality of life. But it's also important to recognize how many people, especially in their teens and twenties, do feel this way, and it DOES feel too overwhelming to even begin to try to cope with.

Anyway, it was an interesting read, with interesting art.

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Dear Zoe Thorogood,
In general I hope you don't read your reviews because nobody should read the reviews of their work. But I hope you read my review because I want you to know how much your book made me feel in places that I thought could no longer feel.

Your book makes me wish I could give it 6 stars. It makes me wish there was some way to put my review in illuminated gold leaf lettering with tiny birds and curious monsters all creeping around the edges of the words, to underscore just how important this book has suddenly become to me. In the last twelve hours I have gone from never having heard of you or this book, to gobbling down your book in one extended sitting - a sort of fever dream, to now loving it so much that I want it to hurry up and come out in physical copy so that I can buy it, already.

I don't often wax this lyrical about books, but this one touched something inside me. Actually, it reached in and got its claws caught on something and then, suddenly afraid of what it had done, it yanked back which only made me feel more suddenly interconnected with it and terrified that it would run away, so then we wrapped our arms around one another and comforted both each other and ourselves in regards to how big and empty and scary the world is, but also how small and delicate that this book and I could have come across one another in this moment when I needed it most.

P.S. To other people reading this review: If this all sounds like I'm still in that fever dream, that's because I am, a bit. This book makes you think this way. I can't explain it. Just read it, or fall into it and swim through it, as I did.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the eARC.

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"It's Lonely at the Centre of the Earth" is a memoir by British artist/cartoonist Zoe Thorogood about six months of her life as she grapples with her depression and self sabotage. Really incredible art, combining multiple art styles within her meta-narrative and she excels at all of them. I don't want to say it's relatable, a term that the author has heard so many times it no longer means anything, but I feel empathy towards her as someone who can see what it's like to live through depression in the 21st century. Thorogood is an immense talent and this was really good

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I’ve been sitting with this for about an hour since I’ve read it. Normally I would go straight into a review immediately after I read something, but this comic had me needing some time for introspection. This comic is so good in a way that it hurts. I can fangirl over the art and how unique the layouts and the creativity of how Zoe uses her art to show her perspective of the world, but after reading I feel it cuts so much deeper.

A big part of my life I have had an issue with not going through with my goals and sticking with them the way I want to. Worried that I won’t succeed even if I try, but I can’t succeed if I never try at all. My depression and anxiety stopped me along the way many times. However, Zoe has the depression even with her success. Her depression doesn’t go away and that’s scary to me. Its scary to me that I can possibly become successful and realize I’m still just sad old me.

Reading this comic feels like looking into an alternate universe and looking at myself and seeing that it’s not the outside stuff that is the problem all the time making me sad, but maybe the problem is me. That makes me very uncomfortable.

What’s even crazier to me is Zoe is basically the same age as me. She suffers a similar introspective anxiety and self-depreciation that I also feels and yet she already has experienced so much success. Success that doesn’t even feel like it reaches her as being real, because she doesn’t feel real. I want to be happy for her and root for her and yet the more I think about it the more I realize I am pretty bummed about my own mental situation and this was too real for me.

Zoe shared feelings and personal stories that are so personal to her and simply are what they are. It sucks to feel like she feels and I’ve been there myself. I get scared that I’ll never leave that state of mind. Yet I do know I can be happy and have been happy. This comic it just reminded me of what a thought spiral for me is like. I understand why this has a trigger warning.

All in all, this is a comic that I could see myself returning to again and again. Even if it’s just to sit in that headspace and see something I’ve felt be shared in art form. I hope that Zoe improves and finds her own definition of what happiness would be for her. I hope I also do the same for myself.

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Wow I really loved this art style. I'm not sure what it is, but it fell close to my heart and more raw than some other more polished styles. The writing is deep and touching and I feel for the character/author and can relate in some aspects. The "story" itself isn't always linear and I feel like that makes more sense for this telling. It makes fun of itself while also being real and impactful. The changes of the character's design depending upon the scene/forced perception makes sense to me and is something I've never seen before. It's like masking within a graphic novel. I really enjoyed this!

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Unflinching look at depression and suicidal ideation that is frequently a challenging read. Despite that, Thorogood's art and its varying styles are so compelling I found myself rereading parts over and over again. I like that the book also anticipates and pushes back against the stereotypical responses to those with depression.

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