Title: Asterios Polyp
Writer: David Mazzucchelli
Artist: David Mazzucchelli
Have I Read It?: No.
Suggested For: btothed
[via Amazon.com] The triumphant return of one of comics’ greatest talents, with an engrossing story of one man’s search for love, meaning, sanity, and perfect architectural proportions. An epic story long awaited, and well worth the wait.
Meet Asterios Polyp: middle-aged, meagerly successful architect and teacher, aesthete and womanizer, whose life is wholly upended when his New York City apartment goes up in flames. In a tenacious daze, he leaves the city and relocates to a small town in the American heartland. But what is this “escape” really about?
As the story unfolds, moving between the present and the past, we begin to understand this confounding yet fascinating character, and how he’s gotten to where he is. And isn’t. And we meet Hana: a sweet, smart, first-generation Japanese American artist with whom he had made a blissful life. But now she’s gone. Did Asterios do something to drive her away? What has happened to her? Is she even alive? All the questions will be answered, eventually.
In the meantime, we are enthralled by Mazzucchelli’s extraordinarily imagined world of brilliantly conceived eccentrics, sharply observed social mores, and deftly depicted asides on everything from design theory to the nature of human perception.
Asterios Polyp is David Mazzucchelli’s masterpiece: a great American graphic novel.
I don’t have too much to say about this book because, well, I haven’t read it. But about 2 years ago it was the darling of the “literary” comic book industry receiving countless accolades including 3 Eisner Awards. I can’t say specifically why I chose to recommend this particular book to Bruce, (I don’t even know if there are any puns in it!) but he was the one I thought of immediately. As with any of these recommendations, the best scenario is that the person finds the summary intriguing and in line with their tastes and decides to give it a shot. If not…..no harm done. And maybe it’s flashed across someone else’s radar too…