Let me save some 10 minutes of your time and say it out aloud – Go buy this book . Period! This is quite possibly the next big thing to come from vertigo since “Fables”.
Still not convinced? Very well then, lets talk about the first collection of the ongoing series from Vertigo : The Unwritten , by Mike Carey and Peter Gross.
Beware though, some spoilers ahead ..
Tommy Taylor the protagonist of Tommy Taylor series of novels, is a beloved fantasy character and a cultural phenomenon. (Think Harry Potter!). The author of said series – Wilson Taylor – disappeared some years ago leaving behind his son Tom Taylor , the inspiration for the beloved creation. Now an adult, Tom does the convention rounds and signings to make a living. He failed to get a part in the movie franchise , failed as an actor, failed as a novelist , failed as a trumpeter. Consequently , he has nothing else to sustain himself but the convention circuit and he is not too happy about it – Living off a father’s legacy that left him when he was a child.
A father who had bequeathed not a cent of his million dollar estate to him, save a knowledge of arcane Literary Geography. Yes Tom can tell you which author wrote which book where and when. He can also tell you which actual locations were inspirations for fictional places.
While his literary geography might be top notch, it doesn’t help him to earn money does it?
And soon his reality would come crashing down and he would begin to question everything around him.
At a convention, an innocuous looking fan shows some pictures and documents which makes it seem that the identity of Tom Taylor is suspect, he might not be who he think he is. And soon enough a Bosnian refugee family claims him as their own! They claim Tom was loaned to Wilson Taylor to act out the part of his son Tom Taylor for publicity!
To make matters worse, he is soon kidnapped by someone who claims to be Count Ambrosia ( Tommy Taylor’s arch nemesis), and from there on all hell breaks loose! Has fiction become real? Who is Tommy Taylor and Who is Tom Taylor?
In unwritten , a story that starts out as a “day in life” memoir, goes on to become a conspiracy spanning generations, encompassing such literary stalwarts as Oscar Wilde and Rudyard Kipling and from the looks of it, just might go on to become a comment on the nature of stories themselves!
We have the bogus identity of Tom Taylor, angry fans out for blood , a cult who thinks he is the returned messiah, an assassin on his trail, a world map with locations of all the important stories to hit the world, and a secret society who seems to be controlling the living world through the fictional !
and all of this in just five issues collected here!
So join me in walking with Tom Taylor as he digs deeper into all the mysteries surrounding him and tries to uncover why his father wanted him to be acquainted with the geography related to literature.
As the book says- Only stories are worth dying for! Is Tom prepared to die for his story?
Mike Carey is at the top of his game, sculpting words flawlessly together. The art by Peter Gross is an apt fit.
In short , there is simply no reason why you shouldn’t be reading this!
Go out and get yourself a copy now. Thank me later.