The Cartoon History of the Universe is a book series about the history of the world. It is written and illustrated by American cartoonist, professor, and mathematician Larry Gonick, who started the project in 1978. The final two volumes, published in 2007 and 2009, are named The Cartoon History of the Modern World volumes one and two. The final volume covers history from the late 18th century to early 2008.
Each book in the series explains a period of world history in a loosely chronological order. Though originally published in limited runs as comic books, the series is now published in trade paperback volumes of several hundred pages each. The books have been translated into many languages, including Portuguese, Greek, Czech and Polish.
While seeking a publisher, Gonick received early support from Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, who worked as an editor at Doubleday and championed The Cartoon History of the Universe's publication.