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The Sculptor

Scott McCloud (Author and Illustrator), First Second Books (Publisher)

> Review by Emil J. Novak Sr.

I love a great big, 500-plus-page graphic novel. I mean an authentic graphic novel, one created exclusively for that book. McCloud is the author of some key books in the lexicon of comic book fandom. His masterpiece, Zot!, ran 36 issues over the course of five years (1987-91). McCloud is also known for landmark classics such as Understanding Comics and Making Comics—astute tools for incisive understanding of what make a comic book tick. Over the last decade or so, as the mainstream success of graphic novels has taken over the land, his work has been nearly invisible on retailer shelves. Intrepid publisher First Second’s announcement of its release of McCloud’s The Sculptor has created a stir amongst older fans of his work, and rightly so, to some extent. I was excited to see that he was tackling a full narrative graphic novel, figuring his approach and insights would lend themselves to a level unseen in this form. The character development is dead-on perfection, and I especially appreciate its personal feel. However, the actual story is not as powerful as I had expected. I came out of this a bit underwhelmed, and how this whole chronicle resolves its saga felt more like a standard comic book fare and less a masterful graphic novel. Release date Feb 2015.

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