Archive for: Asterios 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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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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Hooded Polyp: Born Again Again

“How much more basic can you get? I made up a superhero and named him ‘Power.’”—David Mazzucchelli describing the cartoons he drew as a child, from his Comics Journal #194 interview (1997). How should we evaluate David Mazzucchelli’s career? His work tends to fall neatly into three chronological periods. The first is his superhero period […]

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Hooded Polyp – Superficial Pleasures

I’ll get the obvious out of the way: Asterios Polyp is a trite, boring story with vapid characters. I more or less agreed with Noah’s assessment, so I won’t repeat what’s already been typed. And yet I was impressed by Mazzucchelli’s artistic skill, which Derik Badman discussed in some detail here. Because I’d rather not […]

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