Scott McCloud, cartoonist and author of the acclaimed trilogy on the nature of comics storytelling that includes Understanding Comics, Reinventing Comics, and Making Comics, announced plans to publish The Sculptor, his first major release in six years, in February 2015, to be released by First Second Books. The Sculptor is McCloud’s first work of original fiction since the 1990s.

In the book, a sculptor by the name of David Smith makes a deal with Death to exchange his life for the ability to create anything he can imagine with his bare hands. Smith gets his part of the deal but now he has only 200 days to live and figure out what to create with his awesome new creative power. At the same time, he discovers the love of his life, just as that life is about to end.

After years of creating nonfiction comics works on the theory and structure of creating comics, McCloud is publishing his first work of original fiction in many years. McCloud says The Sculptor looks at the small everyday events that give life meaning and the powerful forces of imagination, ambition and affection that run just below the surface of those moments.

First Second editorial director Mark Siegel, who also edited the book, said, “To work with Scott McCloud on any project of his choosing was a long held hope of mine. But to join him as he sheds the theorist and embraces ambitious, adult fiction—that's a dream come true.”

McCloud, an Eisner and Harvey Awards-winner, said he’s wanted to tell the story of The Sculptor ever since he produced Understanding Comics, his signature work, in 1993. The Sculptor took him five years to create. “The book's creation has turned into an incredible learning experience for me and, I hope, an exciting reading experience for comics-lovers,” McCloud said. “It took me five years to write and draw, and I promise I used every single minute to make it the best book I can.”

Here's a two page excerpt from "The Sculptor."