Cartoonist Scott McCloud wrote the book on the graphic novel. Seriously, his theoretical texts make up the foundation for any critical understanding of the comic form. McCloud’s seminal Understanding Comics, Reinventing Comics, and Making Comics are an essential part of the curriculum for any self-respecting class on graphic novels. But the celebrated cartoonist also forayed into the world of fiction, countering the grim ’n’ gritty superheroes of the ’80s with the defiantly cheery Zot!, a hero who battles galactic threats with his rocket-boots and trusty laser gun. It ran for 36 glorious issues, ending its run in 1991. McCloud hadn’t written any fiction since—up until the beginning of this month, when he released his latest graphic novel, The Sculptor.
The Hollywood Reporter noted today that Scott Rudin and Paramount have now officially secured the right to McCloud’s newest effort, and will begin production on a film adaptation as soon as possible. As the result of a big bidding war, this represents a key acquisition for Paramount. The graphic novel has been well-received across the board, and sounds tantalizingly fantastical from a plot synopsis provided by Amazon:
“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! This is a story of desire taken to the edge of reason and beyond; of the frantic, clumsy dance steps of young love; and a gorgeous, street-level portrait of the world's greatest city. It's about the small, warm, human moments of everyday life…and the great surging forces that lie just under the surface. Scott McCloud wrote the book on how comics work; now he vaults into great fiction with a breathtaking, funny, and unforgettable new work.”
I haven’t yet had the chance to sit down with The Sculptor, but McCloud’s track record and that summary both have me sold. The creative team attached will make or break this project, however. Edgar Wright’s off Ant-Man, right? What’s he up to?