David Mazzucchelli has created a masterpiece. A shining example of what a Graphic Novel can accomplish and convey. Although combining words and pictures has been a successful medium for many years, recently the art form has received the attention it deserves. Asterios Polyp is one Graphic Novel that has garnered awards and accolades and it is all well deserved.
Asterios Polyp, at its core, is a simple story. It chronicles a man’s journey to find himself as his world falls apart. He remembers his past and contemplates his place in the world. You discover who Asterios really is, almost at the same time he does.
Mazzucchelli uses clean lines, various drawing styles and specific colors to represent different characters, but what I loved was his use of negative space .In a story full of heavy philosophical ideas, the white space helps to clarify–to target what is important. The use of recurring visual cues to emphasize the character’s insecurities and feelings is brilliant and helps to deepen your connection to them.
Out of the many themes discussed in the novel–duality and faith seem to be the two that stayed with me. Mazzucchelli’s simple style is only a another example of duality–because it is deceiving…it hides the immense complexities that tie the characters together.
I loved Asterios Polyp. I feel like I will have to read it again to discover what else it is trying to tell me. A novel that reveals itself to you, is a novel you will revisit over and over. And that’s cool!