The Sculptor by Scott McCloud
(First Second, 2015, 487 pages)
If you’re a fan of graphic novels and comics you’re probably familiar with Scott McCloud and his classic book Understanding Comics. When it was revealed that he had a new graphic novel coming out this year people got pretty excited. After I finished reading it this weekend it was easy to see why. Despite it’s size this was a book I got through in just a couple days and I really enjoyed my time in the story McCloud crafted.
David Smith is a young sculptor in New York. He made a name for himself early but then lost favor in the art world after making the poor decision of bad-mouthing his patron. Struggling to make ends meet David isn’t sure how he’s going to survive and it’s at this point that he expresses he’d be willing to give his life for his art. “Luckily” for him, this is a deal he’s able to make. Now he has 200 days and the ability to mold any material with his bare hands to create and display his art. Once the 200 days are up, so is David’s time on this earth.
After making this agreement David meets a young woman named Meg. Her outlook on life is open and inspiring and David falls in love with her almost instantly. Now he is faced with the dilemma of how best to spend the days he has left – creating the art he feels called to create or relishing in the presence of the woman who has changed his life.
The Sculptor grabbed me quickly. Not only did I appreciate the story but I appreciated McCloud’s artistic approach with this graphic novel. Knowing how he approaches his craft really encourages you to pay that much more attention to the graphic elements in the book.