Written and Illustrated By
Self Made Hero
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!
Self Made Hero is a company that is very well known for their quality releases that stretch across pretty much any genre that you could possibly imagine. The one constant amongst them all is the fact that not one of them seems to stick to any of the cliches that the world of the graphic novel can sometimes fall in to.
With a name like Scott McCloud at the helm, The Sculptor has some pretty big boots to fit in to and walk the walk as well as talking the talk. With years behind him of telling all of us wannabe writers and artists just how to learn the craft and learn it well, it's a great surprise to see his name on a graphic novel that he has created himself but with that comes some massive expectations.
Not only does this one match those expectations, it leaves them trailing in the dust.
Here McCloud has crafted not only a good graphic novel, it's a great one. I would even go so far as to say it ranks up with the best that the extremely talented folks at Self Made Hero have released over the years.
The story itself is very well paced in that it takes a slow but deliberate route so that the reader is not only given a chance to get to know the characters but to also create an emotional link with them. One of the things that makes that the most powerful is the simple fact that every action has a reason behind it. There's no filler here. Each scene feels like it is playing out in a classic movie on the big screen and I loved every moment of that.
The characters themselves are brilliantly written and really come across as people that you would meet in your everyday life. That really helps to make the emotion of the story get straight to the heart of the reader. If you combine that with the stunning beautiful and sometimes stark art work here, you have a recipe for an emotional roller coaster of a read.
I must admit that the one thing that worried me about The Sculptor was the simple fact that I thought there was a big risk of it falling in to little more than a melodrama, almost like a soap opera episode. That doesn't happen here, instead it grips you to such a point that you keep reading page after page and before you know it, you have read the whole thing. That's one of the great things about this one, it stays with you long after you have closed the cover.
I don't often give out such high scores here at Curiosity of a Social Misft but I was absolutely blown away by McCloud's work here. I honestly think this is as perfect a story that I have seen come from Self Made Hero and I can't recommend it high enough. Get your wallet out, get to the shops and get this story on your read list. It really is that good!
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a very good contender for one of the best books of the year!