Making Passion, Making Life – A Review of Scott McCloud’s The Sculptor

Scott McCloud's The Sculptor

Simply incredible.

Whenever a book moves me so thoroughly that it becomes an instant favourite the moment I close the back cover, I am compelled to sit down and write a review to sing its praises. With the Sculptor, I’d initially just sat here speechless, absorbing how remarkable of a read-in-a-single-sitting book it is. But now I know how to explain how positively it affected me.

Ruminate

Ruminate

I was fortunate enough to see Scott McCloud give a keynote address at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival in 2015. I don’t attend much public speaking (I should change that) but I can fervently say Scott is one of, if not, the best I’ve ever seen. I can still recall many of the intricacies of his 40-some-odd minutes–how he championed the medium of comics, how it’s changed modern media and how it isn’t just about men in tights–but mostly I want to say I remember walking away that day feeling like I met a man who truly understood passion. Not only that, but a man who helped me understand my own passion better, as well.

Scott talked about the craft, but mostly he talked about what the craft meant: what it could do, how it could do it and where it could take you. There are things in life that are worth devoting yourself to whether or not they get you any farther along in the end, because without them you might not feel the need to make it to the end anyway. The Sculptor is a book that conveys that sentiment, in all the touching, serious, sad, tragic and real ways imaginable.

Life flashing before your eyes.

Life flashing before your eyes.

That is to say, in the only ways that are worth living for.

-B.W. Gladney

Benign

I have been dead a very long, long, long time.
Yet surges of vermillion burst to my

idea-struggled hands.
It is routinely terminal.

My veins are electric and the
fever coursing through

me is akin to a sheltered virus.
With no hope for camaraderie,

dusk comes to my mind.
I am a lonely patient zero.

-B.W. Gladney

Tattered Shelves

And here I am running out of ink.

My study does well to confine me
with its oaken, tattered shelves;
I’ve come to scribble, leaving the rain alone outside
And it’s gone and got itself lost.

I never let a coin drop without
it having first been flipped.
I often choose the inveterate echo
over either shiny side.

My thinking cap is brisk and knowing
full-well of its poisonous nature
I don it daily.
It is a bit tight, but

It suits me.

-B.W. Gladney

Morpheus

I am the daydream.
A mind slip-up of the daytime hour.
Bring me deeper—I will teach you to write of Midsummer Nights.
Dust pouch, a shattered ruby
(for I know dreams are worth more than rubies),
A sigil mask of power.
I do not trip over trembling void.
My possibilities exist only within yours.
What memories have you for me today?
My crown can serve all men of Continue reading

Soaking Ambition

In the mind there is a border-

The brave may cross, the cowards may lean, but

This is not an excuse to stay idle.

The word of the day is manacle

It is something to avoid, or, if you can’t,

To break.

It is harsh here.

The rubble stairs are inviting,

The oil-slick coasts are full of moors

And every candle burns at both ends.

We are all of us Sisyphus.

-B.W. Gladney