by Scott McCloud
What is it about:
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!
What did I think of it:
This is a beautiful and sad story.
The artwork in this graphic novel is pretty straight forward. It's good, but it doesn't challenge, or draw your attention. It is purely the medium used to tell this story, and if this hadn't been a great story the way it looks would not be memorable.
But luckily the story is gripping and draws you in in a way the drawings could not on their own.
The fears, hopes and passion of David are very recognizable for anyone who has a creative spark and dreams of doing something with that spark that will be remembered. The way David's hopes keeps getting bashed was recognizable as well. Seeing the popular guy with crappy art get praise. Being ignored because you don't know the right people. Some scenes were painful just because they are so true to life.
And then David meets a girl and falls in love.
The relationship between him and Meg was a difficult one, and almost felt like it deserved its own story, but McCloud made it work. Meg did seem a little bit too special at times, but from the afterword I understand that she's based on McCloud's wife, so perhaps I should give him some slack.
David's struggles to be recognized as a great artist, to leave something people will remember him by, continue, while he also struggles with his feelings for Meg. The closer he gets to the end of his 200 days, the more drastic he gets.
I can't tell too much about the ending, but it was a fitting end for this beautiful, yet also sad story. I think I will give other works by McCloud a try if I run into them.
Why should you read it:
It's a nicely drawn, beautiful story.