Comicsphere: Asterios Polyp by David Mazzuchelli
I suppose that recognising something of yourself in a character is nothing new … In fact I know it’s not, and the degree to which the writer / artist pulls you into the heart of that magic can be the difference between liking and loving a book.
It is interesting to learn something about yourself through the mirror a story holds up to your life; it is invaluable to learn a lesson about something like divorce, and to see in the characters failings mistakes that you yourself have made.
I read to be entertained but also to illuminate myself … And if a book lifts itself from entertainment into the realm of art, then you know it’s a keeper. Asterios Polyp is a keeper. Each of the characters is given their time in the spotlight, and their reality … Their humanity is given life and warmth.
This book makes you think and feel, and while the last thing we see in the book is packed with irony, it isn’t what I am going to take away from the book, and seems almost unnecessary. The growth of the character, the journey he makes is the thing. I don’t look for morals in stories, and it isn’t presented like that here, but it can be taken that way if one so desires. I think this book will bear up to repeated readings, and it is always nice to find something that doesn’t seem throwaway.