The first thing one notices about Scott McCloud‘s graphic novel from SelfMadeHero The Sculptor is its size. Before one even begins to comprehend its spellbinding content, the bulky size of the novel itself looks as if it could pack a punch as powerful as what lies inside the novel itself.
The Sculptor tells the story of 20-something sculptor David Smith, who’s recently lost his day job flipping burgers and has no plan b as to how he’ll make it as an artist living in New York City. He lets all his frustrations loose on his Uncle Harry via s surprise visit from him, but its only after his ranting that David remembers his uncle to be dead…
David now finds himself having made a deal with death itself where he literally gives his life for his art. Armed with only 200 days left to live and given incredible sculpting skills, David then has to contend with falling in love with Meg. Its only a matter of time before David’s life will flash before his eyes, and his artistic frustrations aren’t helping him to slow down the process whatsoever.
The Sculptor is, to be blunt, beautiful. McCloud draws the novel in a warm, rich, sketch-like manner of blue and white, his characters are heartbreakingly funny and the story is boundless in its style. The Sculptor also as an impressive scale to it, suggested by its hearty appearance. The Sculptor manages to wrap questions of why and how one should live out one’s life and its many difficult options in a spellbinding package of love, anger, hatred and joy.
Spanning almost 500 pages, strangely, the novel is no chore to read as its characters and story are so full of passion and adventure. The real magic of The Sculptor however is its deft balance of everything it offers – philosophical questions, beguiling story, identifiable characters (just about anyone in any creative profession can surely find something of themselves in the plainly named David Smith) and damn fine artwork compliment each other from page to page, offering a graphic novel experience that has the ability to leave one stunned when reading.
You really ought to brace yourself before reading this novel, because The Sculptor is going take more than your breath away. Thoroughly recommended