This week’s New York Magazine features a short piece called “Comics Relief: Finally, the Great New York (Graphic Novel). The novel in question is called Asterios Polyp, and it’s by David Mazzucchelli, who worked with Frank Miller on Batman: Year One and with Paul Karasik on City of Glass (1994), which was deemed the best New York graphic novel ever by a group of cartoonists in a New York magazine piece published in March.

The title character is middle-aged architect and teacher, a bit of an aesthete, and a bit of a womanizer, whose life is turned upside-down by a fire in his apartment in New York City. Asterios leaves the Big Apple for a small town in the Midwest where he reinvents himself as an auto mechanic. And apparently descends, Aeneas-like, into the underworld.

Has anyone read it yet? Mine’s on order from, and I’ll post a longer entry about it once it’s arrived. Meanwhile, you can read an excerpt here. For what it’s worth, Entertainment Weekly loved it too.