Scott McCloud is best known for his works Making Comics and Understanding Comics. His recent work, The Sculptor is a beautiful addition to the library. David Smith has just been fired from his short-lived career in fast food. After a dramatic rise and fall as an artist, Smith feels completely lost in life and direction. As he drinks away his sorrows, an old relative comes to try and talk him back into his art. The only problem is this relative has been dead for sometime. Death makes a deal with the young sculptor: for two hundred days he can mold anything he wants with his bare hands. After those two hundred days, David will die. With seemingly nothing to lose, David takes the deal. At a party, he meets a beautiful young actress Meg portraying an angel. She is rebellious, free-spirited and taken. David begins to create, making dramatic and beautiful artwork. He has a limited time to create his art, express his love for Meg and keep his promises, but nothing seems to be working out as he expected.
The Sculptor ‘s first few pages are beautiful, but simplistic. As the book ends, you will be heartbroken and desperately wishing that there was more to the story. McCloud’s The Sculptor is intricate, with no character seeming to have a simple backstory. These characters end up feeling like real people because of their elaborate histories. The artwork is also stunning. At one particular point, David Smith’s entire life is displayed over a couple pages as if flying before his eyes. This section brought this reviewer to tears. The coloration is simple blue, black and white, as many comics from First Second Publishing are. However, there are so many amazing creations done with this simple coloration that I wish more artist would use the medium instead of computer generated over-coloration.
The Sculptor is one of the first Graphic Novels this year that needs to be in the hands of all young artists and dreamers.
The Sculptor is available from First Second Publishing February 3, 2015.