Friday, July 31, 2009

Asterios Polyp

A few weeks ago I received David Mazzucchelli's new amazing graphic novel, Asterios Polyp, here at my store, but somehow, until now, I haven't actually raved about how fantastic it is. Years ago, David Mazzucchelli, the cartoonist of Asterios Polyp, was most known for being the artist of Frank Miller's Batman Year One and Daredevil Born Again. Mazzuchelli could have continued doing super hero comics and named his own price tag from publishers, but he soon grew tired of that genre and went on to create the very eclectic comic magazine Rubber Blanket (it was probably too eclectic for most) and then he adapted Paul Auster's City Of Glass into graphic novel form (which is strangely out of print presently).
Rubber Blanket came out about sixteen years ago and Mazzucchelli's City Of Glass was first published about fifteen years ago, so Mazzucchelli can't be considered a prolific comic artist at all, but of course it's not about quantity, it's all about quality. Artistically Mazzucchelli's Rubber Blanket and City Of Glass was completely different from his super hero work, and now with Asterios Polyp, he's re-invented his art style again. As I mentioned in my blog entry yesterday about Jerry Moriarty's Jack Survives, the art style that David Mazzucchelli employs in Asterios Polyp is as different as anything being done in comics today, but at the same time it's not inaccessible. Hopefully the images I've included here from Asterios Polyp give people who haven't looked at this book yet, an idea of some of what Mazzucchelli is doing with his art in this book (and the color scheme is wonderful - the first thing I thought while reading Asterios Polyp is that reading this graphic novel in this form is not going to be something that can be replicated on a computer).
Asterious Polyp is the name of the central character of this graphic novel and Asterious is an architect but other than that, I don't really have any good description of what Asterious Polyp is about, other than stating that this is one of those rich multi-layered graphic novels from which the reader will discover new aspects of what Mazzucchelli had created upon revisiting this book. This will probably be the graphic novel that most gives Darwyn Cooke's The Hunter the biggest contest at next years Eisners for graphic novel of the year (unless The Hunter, being a novel adaptation gets put into a different category and they both win, which would be the way I'd play things if I got to call the shots).


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