Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Unwritten Volume 1: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity by Mike Carey Illustrated by Peter Gross YP FIC CAREY

Tommy Taylor is a Harry Potteresque Boy Wizard (but Tommy’s even more popular than Harry!) that fights the evil vampire Count Ambrosio in a fantastically popular series of books, movies, videogames, comic books, and a slew of merchandise. Tom Taylor is the son of the author of said books, Wilson Taylor who mysteriously vanished years ago. Unfortunately, vanished does not equal dead and the vast Tommy Taylor fortune does not belong to Tom Taylor, so he must go to book signings and conventions for a series he despises to make a living. When an investigative reporter claims that Tom is not really the son of Wilson he becomes an object of hatred for Tommy Taylor fans and marked for death by someone claiming to eb the real Count Ambrosio. After surviving an explosion set by the count, Tom is hailed as the Real Tommy made flesh and worshipped by overzealous fans. Worse yet, they may be right as a shadowy group pursues Tom and attempts to write him out of existence.

This is a mind bending treat. A comic book looking at the very fabric of reality versus fiction written in the style of an espionage adventure, Tommy Taylor is a bold and exciting first volume. The art by Peter Gross really works for this book. It has a simple appeal with realistic proportioned characters drawn with real skill. The art has a nice understated quality that pushes the story forward and keeps you interested even when characters are just talking. The real star is the writing by Mike Carey. He’s made an intriguing first volume about a world in which fiction can bleed into reality. The book ends with Tom coming face to face with evidence that reality and fiction are closer than he imagined and leaves the reader wanting to know what happens next. It seems like the fantasy elements that are at the edges will become more and more prevalent in future volumes. For comic fans that also love literature, this book is a real winner. The book is filled with illusions to literary classics, including a supplemental comic reimagining the secret histories of famous authors that builds some back story to the secret society that is hunting Tom. I recommend this to comic fans that want something new, I also think that fans of books like Harry Potter and The Lightning Thief will enjoy it too, because it’s a fresh look at the genre and what those stories mean to fans.

No comments: