Finally got around to the next trade of my favourite comic – The Unwritten. For those who are unfamiliar, here’s my standard introduction:
Imagine if J.K. Rowling based Harry Potter after her son of the same name and then disappeared before the last book had been finished, and her son then grew into his 20s as a bitter Harry Potter Con regular living off his fame as a muse. That’s essentially how this series began – Wilson Tayler based his incredibly popular series on his son Tom Tayler, and Tom was drifting through life on that fame until the stories around him started coming to life.
Since that first issue, a lot has happened. Tom now travels with his two companions, a reporter turned Vampire and a woman trained by Tom’s father at a young age to help him through this struggle. It’s hard to really summarize what that struggle is, but it’s essentially the idea that stories have power, in this case literally, and they’re trying to stop the wrong people from gaining that power.
I’ve read some complaints that this comic has been a bit too convoluted and that it wasn’t getting any clearer, but this volume definitely starts to answer some questions. Or at least provide the backstory that will lead to answers. The gang has found Wilson Tayler’s journals and have started to pick through them, so we start to learn about his early life.
The premise of this series is one that allows a lot of room for booknerdery to happen. The characters interact with classic stories and fictional figures, and Carey even experiments with literary styles. The focus of this collection wasn’t a particular novel, as it was in some previous volumes, but instead Carey used an invented superhero as a sort of tribute to the golden age of comics.
I loved this series, and I loved this volume. It’s just a joy to read. Two more trades are out now, so I’ll have to catch up later this summer.