For those joining me on the 15/15/15 Project, book 6 was the graphic novel collection Unwritten by Mike Carey, illustrated by Peter Gross.
Unwritten: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity is the first collection of a new comic-book series, recommended by C and my friend Blogenheimer on a recent trip to the comic shop. As Bill Willingham, the author of Fables, writes in his laudatory introduction, it’s part of a relatively newish movement in comics to something he calls the LAF triumvirate: Literature-based, Animal, and Fairy Tale fantasy. This new book sits squarely in the company of Willingham’s own Fables, as well as Neil Gaiman’s Sandman and Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. For this geek, that’s a good thing.
Tom Taylor is the son of a famous fantasy writer, Wilson Taylor. Wilson wrote 13 books about a magical kid named Tommy Taylor. (All similarities to Harry Potter are deliberate.) Most fans assume that Tom was the model for Tommy, and it’s he who makes the fantasy convention circuit, as Wilson disappeared, or perhaps deserted Tom, many years ago. Tom wants to be a regular guy, but the shadow cast from his father’s book is long. It gets longer when Tom’s identity as Wilson’s son is called into question. Things get stranger when he’s kidnapped by someone claiming to be Tommy’s nemesis from the books.
Unwritten explores the boundary between what is story and what is real, and the relation of writers to their stories. There’s fascinating stuff going on here–postmodern literature, fantasy, and horror. This first volume lays the foundation for what feels to be a big, complex, sprawling story. I look forward to the next installment, and am not sure I’m going to wait for the collection; I may need to buy the individual issues.
As for the 15/15/15 project, it’s turning out to be harder than I’d hoped it would be to read and blog each day. I enjoy it, but it’s requiring some creative prioritizing as I go.
What did you read, and what did you think of it?