Sunday, January 10, 2010

Asterios Polyp

I finally got around to picking up 2009's critical darling graphic novel by David, don't make me look it up*. You know who I'm talking about.

Everyone else already read and commented on this several months ago, so I don't have anything in-depth or particularly novel to add, and anyway I just finished it today so it needs time to digest. All I'll say for an immediate critical reaction is:

-YES, it's formally brilliant and a message to purveyors of "cinematic" comics that hey, there are specific storytelling devices that are only found in the medium of comics, and you should be taking advantage of them.
-YES, the characters are very broad types, and the story and plot are fairly well-worn, but the book gives you a whole lot else to think about. In fact, given the somewhat abstract nature of the ideas in it, Mr. M has couched them in a very familiar narrative to help them go down easily (the book is nothing if not easy to read).
-NO, I do not have a strong positive or negative opinion about the controversial ending yet. I did not hate it, although I was warned about it.

On a personal note, my main reaction is this: Asterios Polyp is so good it almost makes me want to start drawing comics again. But only almost.

(*-Although I can spell Bill Sienkiewicz's name without looking it up, but that's because I used to work with somebody who had the same last name.)

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