This comic made me cranky. I thoroughly enjoyed the art, which has a clean open feeling and lovely line work, and thought the story was sweet and rather sad, if a bit rote, and then….
I read the ending.
‘Rocks fall, everybody dies’ is a phrase sometimes used in manga circles to describe a long running manga that the artist, for some reason (usually boredom) hates and cannot figure out how to end. So they put the characters somewhere, dump a bunch of boulders on them, and there’s your insta ending.
This comic took a story about small character changes and growth and slammed a big artistic fist down on it. I’m sure I’m supposed to think Deep and Meaningful thoughts about why it’s an asteriod and whether Asterios is related to asteroid and whether personal changes have any effect compared to outside forces, but the story is not strong enough. I don’t care anymore. The artist took a boring subject that was drawn beautifully and poured a big can of paint on it (or insert your artistic edginess metaphor here). I no longer care because the weird ending just made the whole story immaterial. I’m sure someone, somewhere, could make it an interesting artistic statement, but this is not that comic.
And yeah, I appreciated, vaguely, the double layers everywhere. The man with confidence who dreams but never creates, the woman who builds but has no confidence, the two forms of design, the car, all of it, but I don’t care anymore. Not in a hateful way, but just in a bored way. Ah well.
Update by Noah: The whole Asterios Polyp roundtable is here.