Creative Team: Mike Carey (W) and Peter Gross (A) Yuko Shimizu (C)
Vertigo. It is near the top of my read pile every single month (normally only behind “Tiny Titans”). I have enjoyed it so much I am picking up the trade, even though I have all the floppies. The series has received Eisner Nominations for Best Single Issue (#5, included in this collection), Best Continuing Series, and Best New Series.
Tom Taylor doesn’t have a lot going for him. His father, who has disappeared, wrote a supremely popular book series about a young boy wizard named…Tommy Taylor (in the same way that A.A. Milne wrote about his son Christopher Robin in the Winnie-the-Pooh stories). The character very closely resembles Tom and, as his other ventures fail, he reluctantly rides the coattails of his father creation, attending book signings and making convention appearances.
During a convention panel a girl in the audience questions Tom’s actual identity, claiming that records pertaining to his birth and childhood have been falsified. The public is outraged and fraud accusations abound. Tom just wants to lie low until things die down and go back to his normal life. But if the mysterious group involved in a conspiracy spanning all of literature gets their way, Tom’s life will never be normal again.
You might be thinking this is some sort of Harry Potter rip off, but I’d have to remind you that the Harry Potter idea itself wasn’t new. Magic has always been a draw for people, and the exploits of young witches or wizards has been a popular way to present magic to people. I for one loved the movie “The Worst Witch” when I was a child. I won’t say that parallels can’t be draw between Harry Potter and the Tommy Taylor story, but “The Unwritten” is about so much more than just the Tommy Taylor books. Also, this is a more mature title with cursing, violence, and death with a darker tone than Harry Potter. The fairest comparison is probably that the two are drawing from the same inspirations and working in the same ideaspace.
If you’ve been waiting on this one I hope that you will pick it up now and enjoy it. I envy that you won’t have to endure the wait through the many surprising cliff hanger endings as I did (although the last one is a dozy!). And as its only $10, what have you got to lose?
Volume 2 Inside Man comes out August 11th and will cost you $12.99. It includes 2 more issues than the first volume, hence the price hike. And it’s still worth every penny.