Asterios Polyp is one of the those books that I expected to read over the course of a week, and when I finally cracked it open, I didn’t stop reading until I had finished the story. That’s as fine as any compliment you can give a writer, but writer-artist David Mazzucchelli deserves so much more with this graphic novel because what he accomplishes in less than 350 pages is sublime. It’s been a long time since I read a graphic novel that made me as happy as this one.
The story of professor Asterios Polyp, as narrated by his stillborn twin brother, works on so many different levels it’s exhilarating, and in lesser hands, it would have fallen apart from the weight of its own ambition. But Mazzucchelli makes it look so easy with art that keeps the eyes moving and writing that knows when to let the pictures do the talking.
I’ve struggled to find just one page to give this book justice, and it’s impossible, as every page carries something amazing. I finally settled for this page, not only for its art, but because I like its message:
Sorry to keep it short this week, but there’s nothing I can add here that hasn’t been said a thousand times already. Asterios Polyp is everything a comic book can be and more. If you haven’t read it yet, I implore you to give it a chance.