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Graphic Novel Review

Book Cover

The Unwritten
Volume 1 - Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity


Authors: Mike Carey and Peter Gross
Artists: Mike Carey and Peter Gross
Titan Books
RRP: £7.99, US $9.99
ISBN: 978 1 84856 577 7
Available 26 February 2010

Tommy Taylor's the main character in a series of fantasy novels that have become a cultural phenomenon. Fans gather on websites and at conventions to celebrate his magical stories and hope that his missing creator, Wilson Taylor, will someday resurface to write one last adventure. But there's one dangling plot thread: the real Tom Taylor, the son Wilson abandoned. The inspiration for the magical boy wizard, Tom is now worshipped worldwide as a literary legend made flesh. As Tom's life begins to take on eerie and deadly parallels with Tommy's, he's drawn into a strange literary underworld where the power of storytelling is as strong as any spell...

The Unwritten collects together the first five issues of the acclaimed Vertigo series which was originally printed in comic book form between July and November 2009.

This is an interesting collection which starts off exploring Tom Taylor's life on the convention circuit after his father, a famous author, mysteriously disappears. Tom is a way for fans of his dad's books to connect with the inspiration of the series' main character. His father created the mega-popular Tommy Taylor boy-wizard fantasy novels. But dad modelled the fictional epic so closely on Tom's real life that fans constantly compare him to his counterpart, turning him into a lame, Z-level celebrity.

During one convention a woman asks Tom whether there is any truth in the rumour that he was illegally adopted and is therefore not in fact heir to the Taylor estate. Tom is surprised by this and wants to know more, but his publicity manager quickly has the woman silenced and tries to play everything down. However, the newspapers quickly take up the story and run with it.

This leads Tom to come into contact with a mysterious, deadly group that's secretly kept watch on him all his life. Now, to protect his life and discover the truth behind his origins, Tom will travel the world, to all the places in world history where fictions have shaped reality.

There's also an interesting story included which follows a meeting between Rudyard Kipling and Samuel Clemens (or Mark Twain, if you prefer) and goes on to link up with the Tommy Taylor story,

Also included is a look at the original ideas that were due to open the comic book series, but were eventually abandoned.


Darren Rea

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