We attended the David Mazzucchelli/Dan Nadel conversation last night at MoCCA and the place was SRO (We mean it, even the book’s editor, Chip Kidd, had to stand in the back of the room) and the audience was chock-a-block full of present and former Mazzucchelli students, aka present and future cartooning stars. We were going to type up a few notes, but INCREDIBLY, Squally Showers has typed up THE WHOLE THING, in record time. [Link via Journalista]
The whole conversation is of great interest, but we were particularly struck by Mazzucchelli’s description of how when he drew something he didn’t like he would draw another one right next to it, and then just Photoshop in the right one.
The at show currently up at MoCCA is probably the best show ever at the museum, and easily one of the finest cartoonist’s retrospectives we’ve ever seen and if you live anywhere near New York and like comics or art or both you owe it to yourself to see it. The show closes at the end of August but may have an extension.
Anyway, looking at the art from POLYP on the walls it was fascinating to see where Mazzucchelli had rejected an element — perhaps just the number 7 or a bit of lettering — and redone them. Why these choices? The originals looked unflawed to our untrained eye, but it’s that level of perfectionism that makes POLYP a book deserving of much study and enjoyment. And the “doubles” flawed and unflawed, consciously or not, also reflect the book’s themes of duality and twins.
How much study is POLYP deserving of? Why…this much. A blogger at Stumptown Notes has gone through the entire book in the following fashion:
As Mazzucchelli does a great job of explaining several points along the way, I am limiting my notes to places where he has not explained what is happening on the page.
Page 3, Panel 1. Exterior of Asterios Polyp’s apartment. It is important to note the symmetry of both the apartment building and the lit windows.
Page 3, Panel 2. Interior of the apartment of Asterios Polyp. This panel will be repeated often throughout the book. It is important to note how this apartment looks now to compare it to the view of the apartment later in the book.
The book is endlessly open to such analysis, but we suggest reading it first, then checking the annotations to see what you missed. The story is too rich to be slowed down by analysis on first reading.
FINALLY, POLYP also comes in second on this week’s GN Bestsellers list at the Times.
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