The Sculptor by Scott McCloud

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Sculptor by Scott McCloudThe Sculptor by Scott McCloud
Published by First Second on February 3, 2015
Genres: Magical Realism, Romance
Pages: 496
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
AmazonThe Book Depository

David Smith is giving his life for his art—literally. Thanks to a deal with Death, the young sculptor gets his childhood wish: to sculpt anything he can imagine with his bare hands. But now that he only has 200 days to live, deciding  what  to create is harder than he thought, and discovering the love of his life at the 11th hour isn't making it any easier!

This is a story of desire taken to the edge of reason and beyond; of the frantic, clumsy dance steps of young love; and a gorgeous, street-level portrait of the world's greatest city. It's about the small, warm, human moments of everyday life…and the great surging forces that lie just under the surface. Scott McCloud wrote the book on how comics work; now he vaults into great fiction with a breathtaking, funny, and unforgettable new work.

Ouch. My body was not ready. When I pick up graphic novels, I expect something kinda fluffy. I mean, I first got into them with manga and my favorites are shoujo romances. The Sculptor has a couple kissing on the cover and it’s tagged a romance on GR. However, it’s also really sad, so be prepared for that. The fact that I’ve just been destroyed aside, it’s really fucking good.

The Sculptor is about this guy David who’s a painter. Haha, just kidding. He’s a sculptor. Ever since he was a kid, sculpting has been his dream. Now 26, David’s dreams are all but crushed. His family, who he loved, have all died by this point and he’s down to just one friend. His art career had a brief surge of popularity followed by crushing ignominy when his patron dropped him hard. David doesn’t have any money left and the lease is almost up on his apartment. He feels hopeless.

This is why, when his dead Uncle Harry shows up in a diner to offer him a deal, David accepts. David trades all of the rest of his life for one year of sculpting, in which he’ll be able to truly live his dream. Though he didn’t realize it, the true dream was to be able to sculpt metal and stone with his bare hands. David basically becomes a superhero and it’s so cool, though he actually doesn’t use his powers that way at all.

Everything for David is about his art. Though I’m not an artist, I love stories about people with the compulsion. David sees promise in everything and remembers things in artful statues in his mind. One thing I thought was so cool was that all of the sculptures, even the ones that looked like nothing were a clear, particular event for David. He’s a bit like Hercules, in that he trades his future for fame. When he can’t get popular even with his new ability, he becomes a rogue sculpturer, leaving creations around the city.

He also, of course, falls in love while doomed to die in a year. His love interest, Meg, is awesome. She starts out sort of MPDG-ish, I think, but she’s actually manic depressive. I just love the way their romance evolves, from him declaring himself in love with her the third time they meet and how adorable their first time was. I became very very attached to these people. They’re funny and real and I was rooting for them.

The one thing I’m not as sure about is actually the premise. I love it, but I also feel like there was something more I wanted to know about Harry’s character. Why does death get involved like this? What’s the point? It stands alone without that, but I was left with questions and curiosity.

The Sculptor surprised me utterly, made me fall in love, and broke my heart. Just so good.

Favorite Quote:

“Having bad dreams again?”

“Yeah. There’s this one where I’m walking from one end of Manhattan to the other and somehow I know, I just know, that everyone I pass on the street is a would-be artist like me. Businessmen, bartenders, cab drivers—doesn’t matter. Everyone is secretly a dancer, an actor, a writer, a painter…. A million of us with the same dream, to create, to connect, to be remembered. but it’s winter; the sidewalks are slippery , covered in ice…. And the city begins tilting. And we’re sliding, all of us. Sliding down this horrible giant ramp into nothing. Into the void….like….”

“So help me God, if you say the conveyor belt scene from Toy Story 3—”

“It…it was on Starz…”

“Dammit, I TOLD you not to watch that.”

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

gif sobbing
The sculpture is sad and so am I.

2 responses to “The Sculptor by Scott McCloud”

  1. Meg says:

    I was already sold on this and then I see the love interest is named Meg so obviously I am in.
    Meg recently posted…Perpetual Page Turner End of the Year SurveyMy Profile

  2. Maddy E says:

    Graphic novels aren’t really my thing, but this story sounds pretty unique, I might give it a try.

    The cover kinds gives me the creeps though. I’m going to be terrified of brick walls for weeks.
    Maddy E recently posted…Review: Mortal Heart by Robin LaFeversMy Profile

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