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The Sculptor

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  15,134 ratings  ·  2,245 reviews
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! 

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Hardcover, 488 pages
Published February 3rd 2015 by First Second
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
Rating details
 ·  15,134 ratings  ·  2,245 reviews

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Jesse (JesseTheReader)
Aug 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Completely blown away by this graphic novel. The best graphic novel I've read all year and I've read some pretty great ones.
Wil Wheaton
Jun 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
This book ripped out my heart and showed it to me. Several times.
Feb 14, 2015 rated it it was ok
I had high hopes for this book, since I loved Scott McCloud's Zot series, and think Understanding Comics is brilliant. But it was really disappointing.

My main complaints:

1) It fails the Bechdel test -- Meg never talks with any other women.

2) Meg is totally a manic (depressive) pixie dream girl -- David falls in love with her on sight. And then she becomes a madonna. She never gets to be a person.

3) In the real world, almost no straight women have a circle of friends consisting largely of their e
Jul 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic-novels
David Smith is giving his life for his art—literally. Thanks to a deal with his death grand uncle Harry, the young sculptor gets his childhood wish: to sculpt anything he can imagine with his bare hands.



I just want to mention that the art in this was stunningly beautiful. And not only that but Scott McCloud’s take on fate was very powerful.

Death gives our main character 200 days to live in exchange for the power to sculpt anything he can imagine.



But complications set in whe
Scotto Moore
Jan 27, 2015 rated it it was ok
this book is maddening - on the one hand, its handling of artistic frustration and the desire to excel as an artist is intelligent and well-considered, but on the other hand, this story is just another in a long line of "loser male protagonist is rescued by manic pixie dream girl" stories. literally - dream girl is initially presented as an actual angel sweeping down from heaven, & male protagonist professes to dream girl "i love you" after having had a grand total of one full conversation with ...more
Sam Quixote
David Smith is a New York sculptor who’s in a bad way: he’s broke, and his patron’s dropped him. He meets Death, in the form of his dead uncle Harry, and makes a deal: David’s life in exchange for the ability to sculpt anything with his bare hands in any material for 200 days. David is literally giving his life to his art. Then David falls for Meg, an actor, and tries to undo his pledge.

The Sculptor was one of the most pretentious, self-important, twee, annoying, and bloated comics I’ve ever had
David Schaafsma
10/21/18 Three people in the last year have read this review and asked me if I was "all right in my head," given how wrong I was in my review. You know, this happens, that we disagree and like snowflakes, we sometimes disagree (wait, is that a mixed metaphor?!). My initial response was clearly somewhat affected by hearing McCloud on his book tour for the book, being impressed by his presentation, and also affected by my having used his classic Understanding Comics in my graphic novels and comics ...more
Whitney Atkinson
Aug 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
WOW this took a dark twist I was not expecting! I'm just a huge fan of graphic novels that are LONG because it's so nice to see character growth and to have time to explore bigger plot arcs and intricacies that are lost on you in littler series, or shorter stand-alones. This stands alongside Blankets as one of my new favs, even though I didn't find myself going WOW at the end of this one. The art and dialogue and everything was just mediocre, but it's the characters and the story that really dro ...more
Lindsey Rey
Feb 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wow...damn...just wow.
First Second Books
Feb 11, 2015 marked it as first-second-publications
We're so proud to have published this graphic novel!

Scott McCloud is one of the most thoughtful people in the comics industry we know -- he literally wrote the book on comics, after all! And with THE SCULPTOR, he takes all that knowledge abotu how comics works and fuses it seamlessly into a wonderful, engaging, magical narrative.

You guys should definitely check this one out!
Sarah Churchill
Favourite. graphic novel. ever.

I'll come back and write more soon, but that should give you an idea for now ;)
Booooooooo, what a bloated, saccharine, cloying, uninspiring book. Total, total letdown.

Scott McCloud is a comics heavyweight, and he's a big deal to Jugs & Capes -- his Understanding Comics was our very first book! So given his masterful status, we all had really high hopes for this one.


One of the brilliant ladies in my brilliant book club worked for his publisher when this book was getting made, and she told us that this is much improved from when the book first started, which, good lo
Oct 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I need more stars.

Five are not nearly enough.
Holy shitballs. I haven't felt this emotionally wrung out by a graphic novel since I read Blankets, but I liked this one soooo much more. I'm not sure The Sculptor is going to be for everyone, but oh man, if it hits you, it's going to straight up MURDER YOU.

The main character is David, a frustrated sculptor. It's more complicated and lovely than this, but essentially he makes a deal with Death. He will trade his life for the ability to create the art he can see in his mind and the chance to be r
Book Roast
Mar 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was NOT expecting this to be real. Do you have any insecurities about your existence? Well, this will illustrate those and will make sure to make it painful al over again! Haha. Loved it. But THE FEELS !!!
Nov 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It may have a couple clichés too many and you may even call it cheesy, but I absolutely fell for it for a second time two years after the first read. In a nutshell, it gave the softer, lovey-dovey side of me the most delicate of touches. Whether that's an easy or a hard-as-hell task, it's yet to be decided.
One of my favorite books read this year. This book is intense and personal and inventive and artistic and entertaining.

I love the art and I love the characters and being able to see into the brutal art world. David makes a deal with death. To make it and be recognized he will give his life for his art. He has 200 days to live. He is assured he will be famous. Not a deal with the devil, but a deal with death.

I love his sculptures. They are amazing. I love the end of this book. Scott ripped my emo
Karima chermiti

2018 has been the year I discovered that I actually like me some graphic novels from time to time. Since that discovery the sculptor has been on my radar, the idea of this graphic novel seemed too good for me to miss.

The sculptor revolves around David Smith, a struggling artist who is trying to make a name for himself as a talented sculptor and who is willing to do anything for the recognition his art deserves. It’s no wonder he doesn’t hesitate to make a deal that allows him to sculpt with his
Elizabeth A
Feb 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphix, 2015
There are many reviews on the "brickness" of this graphic novel, and I for one would have loved the heft if the story was any good. I'm a fan of the author's non-fiction, but am not impressed with his foray into fiction.

This is a story about a "stubborn, self-absorbed, and aggravating young man" - and that's what his love interest calls him! I'd add immature, whiny, and narcissistic. Is this what the emerging adults of today look like? I sure as hell hope not! The premise is an interesting one:
Stuff I Read - The Sculptor by Scott McCloud Review

I will say that this book does a lot of interesting things, and plays with some old ideas in ways that a lot of people will probably like. The art, certainly, is well done and I enjoyed the depictions of art, especially how his powers work and how he goes around creating art, how he uses materials in interesting ways. And I really liked the idea that a great part about art is the care and detail that goes into things that no one is going to see.
Mar 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Scott McCloud's The Sculptor is a weighty read. And I don't just mean the actual physical weight of the book (though it is a thick, heavy book). I'm talking about the story, it's implications and how it's stuck with me even though I finished the last page months ago.

David Smith is a struggling artist. He's visited by the ghost of his dead uncle and given a choice -- give up art and live a long life with marriage, children, etc. or live two hundred more days and be able to create as much art as h
Kayla (BOOKadoodles)
I don't know what to feel. No one touch me.
Jun 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
What a cool story this is! I remember The Sculptor got a lot of buzz when it came out, and I've been meaning to read it for a while. (The blurb quote on the front cover is: "The best graphic novel I've read in years." -- Neil Gaiman)

The story follows David, a young artist who is willing to trade his life to be a successful sculptor. He makes a deal with the devil and gets magic powers to manipulate materials and create impossible works of art. He enjoys his powers, but after falling in love, he
Mar 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
7/28/15 Edit: This is the best thing I have read and will read in this lifetime.

This book elicited an emotional response from me. Watch my full review here:

Immediate reactions upon finishing: Holy shit.

I feel very confident in saying this will probably be my favorite book of the year. Review video to come. I just can't articulate words right now.
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
For more reviews, gifs, Cover Snark and more, visit A Reader of Fictions.

Actual rating: 4.5 stars

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 th
May 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic read! The story of a young sculptor in NYC who's experienced success and now is hitting rock bottom. Death appears to him and offers him a trade. Death will give him the power to sculpt any material with his hands but he'll die in 200 days. This is the story of what David does during those days. Scott McCloud's art in the book is wonderful. His characters are so expressive and realistic. I also like how he captures the loneliness that occurs even when you are surrounded by 10 million ...more
Feb 29, 2016 rated it liked it
I know a ton of people who adore this, so I was a little worried about what I would do if I ended up not liking this. Luckily, I did like it. It's not my favourite art style, I personally prefer full colour/black and white but the blue tone is the highlight colour for this and it works well enough.

This is the story of a struggling artist. He's not having any success and his life seems to be crumbling to pieces around him. He's lonely, sad and depressed, and doesn't know how to get out of his 'f
Sep 18, 2015 rated it really liked it

I have to thank Charlotte for the awesome Christmas present. It was wonderful and sooo unexpected, I loved it.

Right after reading the ending: I'M A SOBBING MESS RIGHT NOW T___T

A modern Faust.
A tale about art and the way it can fuel our desire to matter and be remembered.

What is our biggest fear if not oblivion? Don't we all want to leave an imprint, a scar on this world?

We want to matter, to live beyond death throughout our works. It's because of the same, unsatisfied desire that David makes
Feb 17, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Review Updated!

It took me a while to figure out why I was so unhappy with this book. (view spoiler)
Apr 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
This new graphic novel by Scott McCloud was a masterclass in sequential storytelling. I liked how each panel told a story but was a tapestry when taken all together.

The book was as advertised, it indeed had a sad ending.

I really liked how McCloud eschewed stock imagery of New York City and instead gave us a side of the city where real people lived. The city was as much as a character as the titular character.

This was a pretty good graphic novel. Not insanely great but really good.
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Eclectic Readers: Episode 11: The Sculptor 17 21 Jan 28, 2016 04:44AM  
Eclectic Readers: The Sculptor 3 16 Jan 17, 2016 06:02PM  

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Scott McCloud (born Scott McLeod) is an American cartoonist and theorist on comics as a distinct literary and artistic medium.

News & Interviews

You’d think that with, well, everything this year has had in store for us, readers would flock to sweet stories with happy endings. But as...
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“> First, move out of that big Manhattan loft and head upstate. You'll find a little place you can afford and start a new life. Maybe get a job teaching at a community college. Maybe meet a girl at Best Buy, start dating. She'll put up with your crazy habits. You'll put up with her musical tastes.

> I don't understand. What's going on here?

> Time will pass. You'll make it official. You'll settle down, get a starter house. Two boys. Yellow Lab. Minivan.

> That. . . That isn't me.

> Why not? It could be. You'll make art in the basement for yourself for a while. The boys'll get married. Have kids of their own. Maybe y'get divorced. Meet someone new. And yeah, you'll wonder what could have been. But less, as the years go by. "Just wasn't meant to be," you'll say. And there'll be good times along the way. Sweet memories. Until it starts to wind down. Until your body fails. Until you don't recognize the world around you. Until it's time to go.

> That. . . isn't me. It can't be.

> Why not? It's a decent life. Food, sex, running water, a roof. Not to mention love and family. Those aren't small things.

> But it's not enough.

> You kids, you're so spoiled! Y'know billions would kill for a life like that. So what if the art thing didn't work out? Is it really that important?

> It's all I have.”
“To be a "thing" that thinks and moves and wants...that's MIRACULOUS.” 1 likes
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