And Then I Read: THE SCULPTOR by Scott McCloud

SculptorImage © Scott McCloud

Scott has come a long way since we worked together in the DC Comics production department decades ago, and I admire all he’s accomplished. His new book is a massive effort in every way: hundreds of pages beautifully written and drawn full of heartfelt emotion, real people, a fine ticking-clock plot, and just enough fantasy to make full use of the comics medium brilliantly.

David Smith is a struggling sculptor with undeniable talent, but he keeps messing up his own best chances through poor people skills. When his Uncle Harry shows up in David’s life, he seems to know all about David’s frustrations and problems, and it soon becomes clear the person he’s talking to is not really Uncle Harry, but someone much more primal and sinister. Uncle Harry offers David a deal: a special talent that will help with his sculpture, in exchange for… well, I’ll let Scott tell it to you, he does it better, but you can probably sense where this is going.

Despite his new, amazing (and improbable) skill, David keeps on self-sabotaging his career, and now he has a deadline for success that can’t be denied. Then something happens that changes everything: David meets an angel. At first he’s dazzled by theatrical tricks, but when he gets to know the real woman, Meg, she becomes the most important person in his life, even though Meg has her own issues, and tries to push him away.

Beneath all the everyday trials and conflicts, the struggle for both David and Meg to find meaning in their lives and worth in their skills, the humor and commentary on the fine art world and surviving in the big city, this book is, at its center, a love story, and one you won’t forget. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

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