Scott McCloud describes his forthcoming graphic novel "The Sculptor"

As I noted in April, Scott McCloud, the titan of comics who brought us Understanding Comics and Zot!, has a new graphic novel title coming from Firstsecond next Feburary, called The Sculptor, which was more than five years in the making. In an interview with USA Today McCloud discusses the process of creating the book:

Arriving in February, The Sculptor (First Second Books) stars a once-promising artist named David, who's already washed up at 25. He makes a deal with Death to be remembered, and David's given 200 days of being able to sculpt anything with his bare hands.

However, he then tumbles headlong into a romance forcing him to question what he wants from his life as well as his art.

"It's big, loud and operatic at times, but also grounded in a lot of small, funny, human moments," McCloud says. "Most of all, I just want it to be an engrossing read — a page-turner from beginning to end."

The cover of The Sculptor, revealed here for the first time by USA TODAY, went through "a million variations," but had to communicate three things, McCloud says: the supernatural way David shapes the world around him, the love story that forms the book's emotional center of the book, and their surroundings in New York City. ,p> "By having David's lover, Meg, emerge from the brick itself, we were able to combine the second and third elements into one hopefully unforgettable image."

McCloud's 'The Sculptor' gets a supernatural cover [Brian Truitt/USA Today]