Review: Asterios Polyp

Asterios Polyp Cover

Asterios Polyp.  David Mazzucchelli (writer/artist).  Fiction.  Comics/Graphic Novels.

I am an idiot.  Why you ask?  Because I was not in favor of Adam buying this book.  You see, it’s thirty bucks and he’s trying to save up for a short film that he’s doing in September.  And so I was very naggy about the whole thing when he talked about how much he wanted to splurge and buy it.  Of course I never bothered to look it up.  If I had I could have saved us all a lot of naggy bitching.  Hell, I would have bought it myself and saved him the trouble.


SOOOO worth the thirty bucks.  When I think of the other worthless things I’ve wasted thirty dollars on…oh the horror.   I have a secret Mr. Mazzucchelli…I would have paid $50…maybe even $75.  It’s stunning – the perfect blend of form and function…of art and content.

You want to see a little taste of what I’m raving about?  Here ya go:

asterios page

That’s not enough?  Okay, check out the Vulture Blog’s eight page excerpt.

I feel like just dispensing with the actual “review”, but for record’s sake, let’s do it.

The Good: Mazzucchelli’s use of color, use of panel, use of white space.  His pacing and storytelling abilities – my god!  His perfect cartooning.  The heartbreaking tale of Asterios Polyp and the writing that blends seamlessly with the art…sometimes becoming the art.  A tale that flies in the face of simple and easy ideas like “karma” but also has a light of hope and redemption for our hero.  There’s a reason some pieces of literature get called “masterpieces” and there’s a reason we don’t throw that term around all willy nilly.  Asterios Polyp is a masterpiece.

ap panel 1

The Bad: Nothing.  I mean really, I can’t think of anything negative.  I read this book in one sitting, spending most of a long afternoon totally engrossed.  And I have to say, I can’t wait to go back and read it again.  I know there are still literally dozens of hidden treasures that I missed on first reading that will reveal themselves to me in each new chance I get to sit with it.   It’s a book I will enjoy my entire life.  Unfortunately it belongs to Adam.  Damnit.  If we had room for two copies on our shelves I’d get my own copy…just in case.

ap panel 2

I mean look at this!  Illustrating different people (in a relationship no less) in not only different colors, but with completely different styles and they talk with different text.  It’s brilliant and important.

The Ugly: The word ugly and this book should never be used in the same sentence.  Ever.

5.0 Stars


  1. kfugrip’s avatar

    Good review. I have been unable to read anything lately and I don’t know why. I’ve read less than half of this book and every time I see it on the coffee table I want to start reading it but I don’t. I think I want to give it my full attention, and I’m not able to do that right now.

  2. 1979semifinalist’s avatar

    Ah, you’re just busy and tired. You’ll be reading again soon enough. You should try to sit down with Asterios Polyp over the weekend though – you’ll love it.

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