Asterios Polyp by David Mazzucchelli from Pantheon
How do I even begin to review this graphic novel? I could go on and on about it, but I'll try my best to stick with my usual style of brief reviews (although my typical two - three sentence review is out the window for this one). Simply put, David Mazzuchelli has created a Graphic Novel masterpiece.
Asterios Polyp works on three levels: One, the book features the absolute perfect compound of words and pictures; neither works as well without the other. Two, Asterios Polyp is an excellent story which focuses on the humbling transformation of the title character. Mazzuchelli presents a witty, poignant, and philosophical tale full of oddball characters and oddball moments. Three— the art; Mazzuchelli is a superb draftsman and cartoonist. Also, his use of limited colors in the book is both simple and complex. Sounds weird, but it’s true.
This book is awe-inspiring to those of us that have studied the graphic novel format due to Mazzuchelli's complete mastery of sequential storytelling. This book will inspire some to new heights and disillusion others who will feel that they will never be able to compete. Asterios Polyp will be “the” textbook for sequential art classes for years to come— this book is THAT good.
A few examples that really caught me from the book are below. The last example is just one panel—but it's such a beautiful panel!