Comics legend Scott McCloud returns to fiction with The Sculptor, the exceptional story of a struggling sculptor who makes a deal with Death for incredible artistic ability at the cost of his life in 200 days. The story is long and sprawling and details those last days as David tries to leave his mark on the art world. It's epic and heartbreaking and sure to leave a lasting impression when you're done.
McCloud has been a frontrunner of online publishing since releasing Reinventing Comics in 2000. It's interesting then that his newest work is something I feel has to be experienced in print. The book is THICK, and on some level almost feels sculpted; the design of the thing from jacket to cover to page is presented as a complete work of art. This has to be important when you name your book The Sculptor. The book is beautifully built, and I actually prefer the blue hardcover illustrations of David and Meg over the full color dust jacket. Pages are colored mostly in blue, which is unique and serves to make the drawings look almost like a blueprint or an artistic sketch at times, underscoring the sculpting/art element of the story in a cool way. McCloud's drawing is top notch; he uses the full power of comics, sometimes going for pages without a word of dialogue, letting the pictures tell the story. On several occasions I paused to study pages for longer than I normally would, just because there is so much going on in each panel. There is not a wasted image among them, every little expression and detail is used to tell the story. It's great to see an artist putting so much effort into every aspect of their work, and having the full weight of it in hand elevates the experience. – Alex Strine