Speechless: World History Without Words

ISBN 13: 9781906523190

Speechless: World History Without Words

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9781906523190: Speechless: World History Without Words

Speechless is a never-before-attempted work of cartoon ingenuity, condensing the whole of world history into a graphic and completely wordless narrative.

Through this very simple, yet intriguing concept, the reader will experience the intensely real but often ignored political and environmental truths of our era. It's funny, poignant, and painfully true. Tracking everything from the very beginning of evolution to the industrial revolution, from the Cold War to the oil wars, no aspect of world history is too challenging for Polyp.

He draws on cartoonists' long tradition of rendering complex situations down to their essences, and adds subtle visual cues and plot structures lying below the main narrative. The viewer must engage with each episode, puzzling out what is going on down below, as if watching the Earth in miniature through a microscope.

Published in association with Friends of the Earth International, Speechless is a celebration of human resistance, ingenuity, and bravery in the face of war, greed, and environmental pillage. And the full-color cartoon novel contains a hidden internal book—a further distillation of world history into a penetrating parable.

Radical political cartoonist and activist Polyp has been working with campaigning organizations around the world for over fifteen years and is a regular cartoonist for the New Internationalist. He is the author of Big Bad World: Cartoon Molotovs in the Face of Corporate Rule. He lives and works within a large cooperative housing block in Manchester, United Kingdom.

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About the Author:

Radical political cartoonist and activist Polyp has been working with campaigning organizations around the world for over 15 years, and is the author of 'Big Bad World Cartoon molotovs in the face of corporate rule'. He lives and works within a large Co-Operative housing block in Manchester, UK.

From Booklist:

British cartoonist Polyp isn’t about to give Larry Gonick (The Cartoon History of the Universe series) a run for the money as a graphic-historian; his world history is much more condensed, especially about events predating the Crusades. Nor does he offer a different perspective; he, too, is a leftist humanist, critical of religion and strongmen. He is, however, every bit as distinctive a stylist, and years of political cartooning have honed his way with wordless narrative. On maplike landscapes, he places giant humanoid figures lacking all features except mouths and with male or female medical symbols at the crotch. With appropriate headware and accessories, these gargantuans represent the basic human classes and occupations. They’re highly active; rendered in rich, full color (not black and white, à la Gonick); and employ thought and speech balloons like regular cartoon characters, except that they pronounce and converse in pictures. Appendixes in English, French, and Spanish give word-equivalents to the picture dialogue (Polyp encourages making up your own) and advice on personally addressing present-day global challenges through grassroots activism. --Ray Olson

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