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The Sculptor Hardcover – February 3, 2015
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“*The fluidity of McCloud's visual narrative carries us along with a sweep impossible to duplicate in prose, and, through it its climax, the story's commitment to its harsh, inevitable, but ultimately sublime outcome qualifies this as a work of stunning, timeless graphic literature.” ―Booklist, STARRED REVIEW
“Scott McCloud's The Sculptor is the best graphic novel I've read in years. It's about art and love and why we keep on trying. It will break your heart.” ―Neil Gaiman
About the Author
Scott McCloud is the award-winning author of Understanding Comics, Making Comics, Zot!, The Sculptor, and many other fiction and non-fiction comics spanning 30 years. An internationally-recognized authority on comics and visual communication, technology, and the power of storytelling, McCloud has lectured at Google, Pixar, Sony, and the Smithsonian Institution.
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McCloud being the great sequential art theoretician that he is, produces a mind-bogging effective and gripping narration. It will keep comic lovers on the edge of their seats, and will provide an anthology of all the precepts that he teaches in Understanding Comics, and Making Comics, to the students of the Nineth Art. But do not expect laser blasts, men in tights, flying machines, or cosmic scenery. The characters may not be all well grounded, but they are true to form New Yorkers. And McCloud masterfully weaves the mundane and the supernatural to powerful dramatic effects.
Just read it, but once you start, don't expect to put it down before you reach the last page.
Scott McCloud is best known for his classic Understanding Comics, itself in comic-book form, where he shows and tells us how the comic medium uses words and pictures to tell a story. Those familiar with that book and its sequels will enjoy seeing these techniques put into action. Some of the techniques he employs are from the Japanese manga, but he does so in a way that is unobtrusive and never seems like something from a foreign land.
The tale is realistic except for a single fantastic element. The hero is a sculptor, David Smith (no, not THAT David Smith) who lives and works in New York. The details of the art world seem authentic. McCloud’s earlier career was with superhero comics, and The Sculptor is also about a man with a super power: makes a Faustian bargain with Death to become a “Super Sculptor.” However, he is given only 200 days to live and complete his work.
Things become complicated when he meets Meg and falls in love. Their love relationship shows a psychological complexity and a realism one rarely sees in a comic book. No romcom cliches here, the lovers are flawed and vulnerable. That David’s future is so short make it more poignant.
McCloud’s drawings don’t call attention to themselves but serve the story. In a close-up of the characters’ faces we can read their expressions. A more distant shot lets us see the posturing of the bodies as if on a stage, equally expressive. The book is printed in two colors, black and kind of a blue-gray, which creates a softer, easier-on-the-eyes look than black-and-white but not as distracting as a full-color comic. David’s bizarre sculptures make up the most ostentatious visual element.
Highly recommended to anybody who likes comic books with grown-up themes.
All in all, I liked the book. I liked it a lot. It was funny and sad and inspiring all at the same time. I understand that it might seem like a bit of an undertaking, but I think the destination is worth the journey.
Most recent customer reviews
Title: The Sculptor
Author: Scott McCloud
Genre: Graphic novel
Review: The first thing I noticed about the Sculptor was it is...Read more