Comics · Opinion · Pleasure Studies

Sculptor

Writer/Artist: Scott McCloud

Look, we’re only human and within that complex web of biology, psychology and need to own every shiny new thing also rests a dark core. And that dark core burns hard when someone who has previously written the industry’s best how-to books such as Understanding Comics, Making Comics, and Reinventing Comics actually comes out with a new 488-page graphic novel.

A small part of us wants it to be really bad. We’ve seen the pride…now we’re waiting for the fall. This is the reptilian brain speaking, the secret TMZ voice that talks to us when we’re alone and vulnerable, reading Robert McKee’s Story and wondering why we’ve never seen his name come up on Oscar night.

Well, with Sculptor, that voice is left more than disappointed…it packs its bitter, lonely bag and heads to Utah, never to be heard of again.

From page 1 to page 488, this book is a joy.

The artwork is the simple, clean kind that is actually really hard to pull off (combined occasionally with that complicated, heavily detailed kind that you can stare at for minutes at a time and still feel like you’re not taking it all in); the story (a Faustian tale of a sculptor who never quite made it in the way he’d regard as being a success) is told with skill and so much heart…and the ending is perfect (I think…I need to read it again because, from about the three-quarter mark, I was racing to the end because I needed to know who lived, who died, and how everything came together…or unravelled).

With stories as with the balance beam, landings are hard. And, for me, McCloud finishes as he started: perfectly.

 

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