I keep harping about beauty and truth and whatever bullshit is synonymous with this vague, arguably impossible attempt at finding joy that exists outside of a series of ephemeral moments, and sometimes, it's discouraging. Pseudophilosophical rantings (especially during really, really late Facebook chats) and cranky, profane soapbox standings spouted through a haze of Dayquil and disappointment (sorry about all of the F words, Claire) get no one nowhere.
And then Asterios Polyp came into my life.
I've been a bit too busy/distracted lately to read many comics; Clint Eastwood, my own writing, and Sons of Anarchy have taken up what time I do actually have. Comics are my favorite medium (none of this pretentious "graphic novel" bullshit: they're comics and we all know it), but for the most part, superheroes have gotten put on the backburner (few exceptions: Morrison's Superman books, any Ditko Spider-Man, and Moore's run on Swamp Thing) in place of Fables and Preacher. But this book has reawakened my passions for them all in a single afternoon.
Asterios Polyp, written and illustrated by David Mazzuchelli, famed Frank Miller collaborator and influential Daredevil penciller, is the purest distillation of the medium's potential: the juxtaposition and resulting dissonance between visual style and written content, the ways in which seemingly minimal visual cues can throw everything into an entirely different context, and the ability of images to strike so much deeper at us than words (and even deeper when used in conjunction with them).
It's also a prime example of what art should do and what great art does: instigating self-reflection, encouraging self-realization, and taking you out of your own goddamn head long enough to see that we're all people and we all need each other. We're a flock animal, People.
Click here to read an eight-page preview in the New York Magazine. Click here for the NYM review.
It's rare to find art that says more about yourself than you could ever dream of attempting.