REPORT :: Asterios Polyp Discussion Group

September 1, 2009 at 10:40 am By:


On Saturday afternoon, the Heroes Discussion Group met for the lucky thirteenth time to discuss David Mazzucchelli’s new book, Asterios Polyp.

Because of the number of participants–there were over 20 in attendance!!—we held the meeting across the street at Jack’s.  We decided to sit outside.  This created a variety of obstacles: the length of the table, the oppressive August heat and the growing number of cars racing loudly up and down Seventh Avenue.

But we prevailed and the two and a half hour conversation proved to be well worth the effort. Here is a just brief list of what we covered:

The subtext of narrative: Mazzucchelli‘s use of Greco-Roman myths (Orpheus and Odysseus), literary allusions (The Secret Sharer and others) and classic comics (Krazy Kat, Dick Tracy and Sandman). We examined the role of the numbers 3 and 2 within the story.

We discussed the importance of the characters Asterios encountered and how they helped the hero on his journey.

We spent a good deal of time discussing Mazzucchelli’s artistic technique.  The book’s use of page layout, panel placement, word balloon and color choice to portray character, show emotion, illustrate change and enhance subtext.


Finally, we discussed the final scenes in the book.  There were many ways to analyze the end of our hero’s journey and to Mazzucchelli’s credit, each hypothesis was valid and especially worthwhile.

There were several topics we barely touched on: the role of Noguchi the cat, faith versus logic, the role of architecture in daily life. If you have not read the book yet, we strongly urge you to pick up a copy.  You will not be disappointed!

We want to publicly thank everyone who attended.  I felt as though we could have talked about Asterios for another few hours.

If any of you want to discuss any of these topics now, please do so.

Watch this space for upcoming announcements regarding our next Discussion group! 


Filed Under: DISCUSS, Discussion Group, EVENTS

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