Today is a pretty epic Wednesday at the comics shops, not just because of WEDNESDAY COMICS, but because of the debut of one of the most eagerly awaited graphic novels of recent times, David Mazzucchelli’s ASTERIOS POLYP. Over a decade in the making, and crafted with attention to every detail by one of the medium’s most nuanced storytellers, it’s a book that not only invites this level of scrutiny but lives up to it…and delivers more than you expected. Mazzucchelli has decided not to do any press for the book, preferring to let his work speak for itself…and it speaks eloquently. The reviews are already raving; here’s a few to get you started:
Paul Gravett: This is probably the single must-read on the book, with a history of Mazzucchelli’s comics and Gravett’s usual insightful analysis.
From the advance colour photocopies I’ve been privileged to read, Mazzucchelli has really thrown down the gauntlet here and produced something extraordinary, something which he wants readers to come to as fresh and unprepared as possible.
What’s best about Asterios Polyp is that it succeeds so wildly at being what it is: a great graphic novel. Mazzucchelli doesn’t seem worried about competing with “real” literature. Nor does the book read, as so many contemporary graphic novels do, like a treatment for a future movie deal. Mazzucchelli is still a cartoonist’s cartoonist, and Asterios Polyp—maybe even more than its predecessor—is a cartoonist’s cartoonist’s masterpiece.