Lawrence Watt Evans is a grossly under-appreciated writer. Primarily a fantasy writer, his books usually (though not always) center on average people caught up in situations out of their depth, rather than on the more normal prophesied hero/ heir to the throne/ unstoppable warrior/ powerful wizards so common in fantasy. A Young Man Without Magic follows a young man, Anrel, recently graduated from college in his nation’s capital, who becomes a hunted fugitive when he gives an inflammatory speech following his friend’s death at the hands of a local lord. Following a up and coming demagogue who uses political discourse and public speeches to fight his battles? That’s something I wouldn’t mind seeing more of in fantasy.
I’ve owned this graphic novel for less than two weeks, and I’ve already read it three times, and cried at the end each time. (Of course, because I’m clearly just so manly, I had to physically force the tears out of the ducts, and there were only one or two tears. Yeah. Totally.) Each time I’ve read it it just gets better and better.
Scott McCloud’s art does play second fiddle to the story, but the story couldn’t have worked without it- this is one of the definite examples of a story that wouldn’t be possible as prose, and I have doubts about whether it would really work in any other medium.
The Sculptor follows a young, down on his luck sculptor, David Smith (not that David Smith), who is trying to make it big in New York. With nothing going his way, he makes a deal with Death, gaining the ability to easily sculpt anything he wants with his bare hands- in exchange, however, he only has two hundred days to live.