David Mazzucchelli’s Asterios Polyop was a fun read, with clever writing and an interesting style. What drew me to the comic initially was the graphic feel of the main character – the way his whole head is one simple shape and his body is all just simplified drawing. I like that that style is kept consistent with other characters in the book. It makes the introduction of new characters an adventure because it almost allows you to guess how their design will represent their personality. The writing felt very minimal in the beginning, but eventually grew as the asterios and the other characters began to show their personalities. It never felt excessive though. Even the more abstract sections where the narration started to take over didn’t feel too verbose or indulgent.
The style the characters are drawn in works well for the story not because their designs fit well, but because their facial expressions are always very minimal. It helps the novel feel composed, even when it gets to sections that are more extreme. I was reminded of “The Dreamer” by Will Eisner, who’s drawings were always over the top, even for less important story points. I like that Mazzucchelli doesn’t go big with his expressions unless the situation really warrants it.