8 Pages back this was, my fault really for reviewing so late. But thanks to mailorder comics here is my belated review, thanks for your patience:
The Unwritten #1
Written by Mike Carey
Art by Peter Gross
When I first noticed the preview of this in the previews catalogue, I merely flicked straight past it. I can never find myself getting excited about a comic from a 3-page preview, it never does the book any justice. But upon reading the product description, I knew I had to have this book, and do you know what sealed the deal; 40 pages for a $1.
In this first issue Mike Carey and co. deliver a story about Tom Taylor the son of an Author who wrote a series of books about a boy magician (sound familiar) named Tommy Taylor. The Tommy Taylor in his books is fashioned after his son Tom in both name and characterization. Tom Taylor now makes money off his father’s books after his disappearance, by doing the convention circuits and various book signing tours. During one of these conventions a question is raised as to his true identity and whether he is, in fact the son of Wilson Taylor, the author of the books. The journey in issue #1 takes us to a place where we start to question that he may not be from the real world at all, and may in fact be Tommy Taylor from the fictional stories.
Now what struck me was the more realistic tone to some of this book. When the question is raised to Tom Taylor “Who are you?” The Public; via the internet goes crazy and literally breaks in half. This to me really showed how fast rumour and gossip can spread thanks to the many internet based networking sites.
The page in the comic dedicated to Tom Taylor’s love of the Geography in England and what it pertains to the literary world were great and fun to read but I can’t help but thinking this will have a great deal more to do with the series at it progresses.
Now as far as I’m aware this is my first encounter of Peter Gross on art. What really struck out to me was not just the stellar art but the visual progression of Tom Taylor’s character. Tom starts out neat and presentable and throughout the book as his life becomes unhinged and he encounters various stresses little changes are used. The character looks more tired, his hair becomes out of place, he looks messy and looks genuinely stressed. Now I can’t draw to save my life, and I admire artists that can make a character look the same from panel-to-panel but this just made the comic a lot more enjoyable and real to me.
This was a great first issue setting up a lot of mysteries, and what seems to be one hell of a ride coming up. I don’t have enough good things to say about this book. The upcoming world of the Tommy Taylor mystery is one that I definitely want to be a part of.
Story – 8.5
Art – 7.5
Overall - 8
I’ve read it three times already and if I didn’t have a no-vertigo-monthly-except-for-fables rule I’d be on this every month so fast, but alas I have to keep costs down somehow.