Hooded Polyp

Hooded Polyp: Beyond the Binary

Much has been said, this past week—not to mention and this past year or so—about David Mazzucchelli’s Asterios Polyp, and I feel I don’t have much to add to the discussion of the work itself that I haven’t already said in my earlier examination of the book. However, I think much of the discussion in […]

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Hooded Polyp: Earthy Anecdotes

In Caro’s recent post she argues that Asterios Polyp fails to deliver a kind of literary complexity. The result is the reiteration – on the level of performance if not assertion – of a hierarchical division between “the literary” and the “graphical”: a dichotomy that is aggressive and dismissive in precisely the same way as […]

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Inchoate thoughts on Asterios Polyp

(Before I begin, I would like to note that I had some personal dealings with David Mazzucchelli in my aspiring-cartoonist days. He was very generous with his time and opinions, which I will always appreciate. I hope that if he reads the following, he won’t take the more polemical bits personally. As I think he […]

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Hooded Polyp: Parallax Review

Following links from Noah’s kickoff post through Matthias’ earlier essay on Asterios Polyp and on into the plethora of reviews gives a tour de force of puzzle-book annotation: Hellenistic references, astronomy, symmetry, architecture and fine art, the metaphorical/symbolic use of color and styles of linework, the yin-yang, and so forth. All of this clever, creative, […]

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Talking Polyps

I thought we’d take a pause in the middle of our Asterios Polyp roundtable to highlight some of the points that have come up in comments. Craig Fischer had a fascinating comment on Mazzucchelli’s use of word balloons: You can see how appealing and effective Mazzucchelli’s word balloons are by comparing them to the balloons […]

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Hooded Polyp: Smart Cardboard?

David Mazzucchelli’s formal innovations in Asterios Polyp are almost sixty years old. The image above shows two 1953 “Pogo” newspaper comic strips by Walt Kelly (as published in Pogo, volume 10 – Fantagraphics Books). Sarcophagus Macabre, the vulture, “talks” in courier font (June 10) while the Deacon Mushrat speaks in Gothic Blackletter (June 11). Plus: […]

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Rocks fall, everybody dies: Asterios Polyp

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 […]

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