Author/Illustrator: Mike Carey/Peter Gross & Vince Locke
Genre: Comic/Graphic Novel
Publisher: Vertigo Comics
This book collects issues 25-30 of the Eisner-nominated, New York Times Bestselling series The Unwritten.
From the blurb:
In the beginning…
Ontogenesis. It means coming into being. The start of life. An entity. A unique individual.
And whether you’re talking about a person or a story, the process is exactly the same.
At least that’s what Wilson Taylor believed. Before his mysterious disappearance and untimely death, the world-famous fantasy author helped bring two enduring creations into the world: Tommy Taylor, the fictional boy wizard who starred in his best-selling books…and Tom Taylor, his real-life son.
Both of them were created to be heroes in a struggle of good against evil. And every hero needs his origin story…
Tom Taylor’s just a daring heist away from the journals that will reveal the truth about how he came into this world. Was he born of flesh and blood, or written into existence by sheer storytelling magic?
The answers will be found in the dawn of the Golden Age of comic books, when heroes patrolled the skies – and betrayals lurked in every shadow…
I already love Mike Carey and Peter Gross’ series…and this volume just increases that feeling.
For me it’s partly because the first full issue I ever read of this comic introduced Wilson as a person and not just a name for the first time, in a way, and dropped a hint that a discovery he makes has the potential to be monumental. This volume is quite a bit about his back story…but of course, those details make up Tom’s family history. And while that’s fascinating to him, because he doesn’t know it, it’s also something we the readers want to know about. Wilson’s actions in the past shape a lot of his future actions and give us a new insight into him.
Tom and his companions Lizzie and Richie are also more active instead of reactive. They’re taking the fight to the enemy right from the first issue, together – and that’s something refreshing.
We also get to see more of Madame Rausch, a character introduced in the last volume, who is being set up as a key antagonist. And Pullman, the villain with a special power that has been present through the series, gets even more dangerous as he works on trying to get rid of Tom.
So the writing is good…and the art is top-notch. The part of the story set in the Golden Age of comics is finished by Vince Locke, and they have a completely different feel from the part in the present and done by Gross. That – and the homage to comics of the era on the cover of issue 28 and to pulp novels on the cover of issue 30, both masterfully done by series cover artist Yuko Shimizu – are touches I love.
Overall, great book and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next volume, Tommy Taylor and the War of Words, next month.