A graphic novel by cartoonist David Mazzucchelli, Asterios Polyp (2009) tells the story of the eponymous Asterios Polyp, a professor from Cornell University in New York. After a sudden lightning strike destroys his apartment, Polyp takes up employment as an auto mechanic in small-town Arizona, which is the farthest place he could go on the money he had. Above all, though, the graphic novel tells the story of Polyp's life - his origins, his beliefs, and his goals in life. Along the way, he must confront some of the issues in his life and occasionally, even life -- and the nature of it -- itself.
Asterios Polyp is considered to be one of the best graphic novels to have ever been published. Now in its fourth printing, Asterios Polyp has sold well over 40,000 copies since its publication. It also won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize Graphic Novel award and was nominated for a number of Eisner Awards (which are prestigious awards in the comic book industry). The New York Times loved the book, writing that “'Asterios Polyp'” is a dazzling, expertly constructed entertainment, even as it’s maddening and even suffocating at times. It demands that its audience wrestle with it, argue with it, reread and re-examine it."