The Fellowship was fortunate enough to obtain a copy of THE LITTLE BOOK OF KNOWLEDGE: HEAVY METAL from IDW Publishing. Jacques de Pierpont writes, Herve Bourhis draws, and Edward Gauvin translates.

There is a lot of discussion (to put it politely) about the origins of metal, but a graphic novel about this oft-maligned form of rock music has to start somewhere. The creators chose to start it in the very late 1960s, and they give us a breakdown of the major influences. Then they go further, showing us how the metal tree has branched over the years, going into detail and showing examples of bands in those branches.

This book packs a whole lot of history into 76 pages, doing a very nice job of presenting an overview while still providing some detailed examples. The material is structured in a way that maintains clarity (even when the lines between subgenres get a little blurry). The European creators clearly know their stuff, and the translation from French is practically seamless.

This is a must read for metalhead comics fans everywhere. And even if you’re not, it’s an interesting history of a style of music (or several styles, if you like) that people often don’t think about critically. So check it out.

THE LITTLE BOOK OF KNOWLEDGE: HEAVY METAL is available now from your local comic shop, or online at idwpublishing.com.

~Mike ( @MikeyGeek )