The March of Time

Trump Sculpture

When I finished the script and layouts for The Sculptor a few years back, there were parts of the story that meant one thing at the time, but would change meaning by the time it was published; and keep changing meaning in one case.

One of David’s night sculptures, above, is a case in point. When I included it among his many crazy bits of urban vandalism, it was just a jab at a rich demented celebrity with just a little power. Obviously, that power multiplied considerably this year. Now, the thing looks purely political but it really wasn’t so much at the time.

Another was the scene where David and Meg are walking down 5th Avenue and see several naked women on the steps of St. Patricks Cathedral, engaged in some kind of protest. David’s explanation: “Somebody must have said something in Rome again,” which made perfect sense with the hyper-conservative Pope Benedict, but seems almost to have the reverse meaning with his successor; as if the new Pope might’ve somehow encouraged it!

Finally, there was a line late in the book about Ukraine, written before the Russian annexation of Crimea. It still makes sense, but the meaning definitely got way darker. Note the spelling error in panel 5; caught before it went to press, I’m happy to say.

Any book is bound to change meaning over time, usually after they’re published. But I guess a little in-process change is inevitable when you’re as slow as I am!

Discussion (12)¬

  1. Fayez Fawzi says:

    just wanted to say that i discovered your work recently through randomly picking up a copy of”Reinventing Comics”and loving it. i am far more of a Manga fan than comics,but i loved your thoughts and the way you wrote and drew your work. i am curious about your thoughts about manga and why do you think that the main audience for comics in the US is still children while it is teenagers and adults in japan,and why comics are still considered “nerdy” in the us even though they have been mainstream for decades there. hoping to hear your thoughts. thanks 🙂

    • Scott says:

      Actually, I have a long-standing fascination (starting way back in the early ’80s before much had been commercially translated) with several storytelling techniques I found in Manga.

      Check out the second-to-last chapter of my book Making Comics for a bit on how Manga, American, and European comics differ in their storytelling priorities.

  2. Markus says:

    Reading ‘The Sculptor’ kept me from going to sleep until dawn and I read it without a break. At the end I was crying like a child. The following day at work was quite difficult. Thank you for that.

    • Scott says:

      Thank you reading—and enduring the next day! 🙂

      • Markus says:

        If you ever come to Düsseldorf in Germany, my family and I invite you to our home. I offer to pay back my debt and keep you from sleep all night, by talking after dinner in the kitchen about anything or visiting local bars, tasting german beer. Seriously, you have my email. (Maybe this sounds odd from a stranger, but having read all most of your books, I regard you as a kind of one-way friend).

  3. Will Kirwan says:

    Wow, it has been a while since you posted anything here.
    Anyway it’s pretty interesting that there was that scene in The Sculptor even before Mr Guacamole* became president. Did he do something at the time you didn’t agree with or was it just the easiest target?
    *I’m trying to avoid saying his name for the sake of my sanity.

    • Scott says:

      The Birther stuff was well in the public record, of course, by then so I had nothing but contempt for the man. But no one seriously thought he would get far in politics when I drew my book. Never sadder to be wrong.

      • Will Kirwan says:

        Oh yeah forgot about that amongst the madness. By the way, any reason you aren’t posting here as often as before?

        • Scott says:

          Lack of time, generally, and a recognition of the shift from individual blogs to social media (Twitter for me; I never could stomach Facebook for long).