Leo Geo Drills Down Into Geology

Geek Culture

Leo Geo and His Miraculous Journey Through the Center of the Earth by Jon Chad

Jon Chad, a Vermont cartoonist who works for the Center for Cartoon Studies, has created a cool comic book that explores geology in a unique way. Leo Geo and His Miraculous Journey Through the Center of the Earth is a long, narrow book, and on the first page Leo (the scientist) instructs you to turn the book sideways, making it a long vertical frame. Then, as you turn pages, Leo drills down into the earth, through the crust, then the mantle, and into the core … and then the book flips over as he climbs his way out the other side. It’s a really fun way to represent his journey in a format that helps picture the distance traveled, even if it’s not done to scale.

Leo Geo sample pageLeo Geo sample page

Sample page spread from Leo Geo.

As Leo travels down, he encounters a lot of crazy creatures and underground beings, some fantastical and some silly. But he also describes his journey and relates a lot of facts about geology and other sciences. And he’s really gung-ho about science, as he will tell everyone he meets along the way.

Leo himself is very simply illustrated, not much more than an outline with a face. But the landscapes he travels through and the creatures he finds are incredibly meticulous, with lots of details to pore over. There’s also a good deal of text, even though at first glance it seems like just a fanciful “center of the earth” sci-fi comic.

My five-year-old was immediately hooked: I think she really liked the book’s format, but she was equally fond of Leo’s science talk and the bizarre animals. Eventually she’ll come to realize that there’s a lot of actual truth mixed in with the fiction, but for now she just enjoys the story. And maybe that’s the point.

Leo Geo is a really creative way to learn a bit about geology, and gives a nice picture of the makeup of the Earth’s center. It’s also a really amusing book and fun to read, in an eye-catching format. There were a few typos and misspellings in the version I read; hopefully those will be corrected in a future edition.

The book will be released tomorrow, and is available for order now.

Disclosure: The publisher provided a review copy of this book.

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