Thursday 15 October 2009

This one took me a while to get hold of for some reason. I didn't want to show up on the tv without having read what is likely to be the 'graphic novel' of the year. I tried ordering it from my local comics shop and after five weeks sought another source. My favourite fine books outlet couldn't get hold of one quickly either. Kinokuniya books in Sydney came though with an overnight delivery. I Checked out the store while I was down there on Tuesday. It moved to central Sydney as recently as 2002 and is now the biggest outlet for new books in Australia I believe. (The international success story of this Japanese enterprise is worth reading). The thing that always impressed me about David Mazzucchelli back when he was doing the regular comic book stuff, was his sense of place. No other artist came near him in this. He gave you all the details that make one street different from every other street:

The atmospheric qualities that make an exterior different from an interior:

Andd each room different from every other room. I'm just going with what I can round up on the internet, but handily, here's a picture in which he manages to get the whole room into the frame except only for the ceiling.

I was pleased to see this interest is still with him in his new work, the masterly Asterios Polyp, particularly in the way this set piece undergoes a number of variations and transformations through the book.

Just about everything else that needs to be said about this much lauded masterpiece has been said elsewhere. (here are 7,208 words of annotations for after you've read the book)



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wondered if you'd seen this. I was bowled over by it. It sold out it's print run in a matter of a few weeks.
In the UK I think Gosh has the last few copies left.
My girlfriend has an encyclopaedic knowledge of classic design and loved this panel, she could name the designer of every piece of furniture in the room.

Ben Smith

15 October 2009 at 04:53:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Daren White said...

I wonder who tagged this as his first graphic novel. Everything else about the design seems to have Mazzucchelli all over it, and so we have to assume its his take. Inevitably, I've managed to lose the slip cover already (two days) and so can't check the source, but reckon there's a good five minute debate concerning this.

Bloody good book, either way.

15 October 2009 at 06:10:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Marcus Moore said...

The top panel is a tip of the hat to Taxi Driver. Travis Bickle walks down a similar street.

14 February 2010 at 22:33:00 GMT-5  

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