Since its release in August, David Mazzucchelli's original graphic novel Asterios Polyp has been praised by critics as a masterpiece, and deservedly so. I have no doubt this book will be at or near the top of every comic reviewer's Best of 2009 list. The book tells the story of a middle-aged, pretentious, semi-successful architect and professor. Middle-aged protagonists are rare in the world of indie comics, with authors typically preferring to explore their own traumatizing high school experiences, or the struggle and poverty of the 20-something. Asterios Polyp is not only unique in its subject matter, it is also brilliant in the way the story is told. I was especially impressed with how well-developed even the most minor characters are. Adding to this is Mazzucchelli's beautiful art and the fact that Pantheon did a fantastic job designing the book. Every now and again a non-superhero comic gains enough accolades and hype to interest the masses who don't spend half their lives and income in comic shops. Like Ghost World, Blankets or Maus, I think Asterios Polyp is going to be sought after by casual comic readers for years to come.