>> Friday, August 17, 2012
The Unwritten: Inside Man by Mike Carey & Peter Gross
Genre: Fantasy (Graphic Novel)
Series: #2 in the Unwritten Series
Publisher: Vertigo Comics
Publication Date: 2010
The Short Version:
Tom Taylor’s shares his name and possibly more with the main character of a megaselling series about a boy wizard written by his father, but his immediate problem is that he’s suspected of a brutal mass murder that he didn’t commit.
Why I Read It:
After a discussion of graphic novels on Twitter led me to the first book in this series I couldn’t stop at just one. Fortunately my library has an excellent collection of graphic novels.
This volume 2 is a compilation of issues 6-12 of the comic series.
From the back cover:
Story time's over. Hard time's just beginning . . .
Tom Taylor has spent his entire life a prisoner of his father's literary legacy-- and the famous, fictional boy wizard, Tommy Taylor, whose name he shares. But now he's a prisoner of an entirely different kind.
Framed for the murder of a houseful of famous authors by forces he's only beginning to comprehend, Tom finds himself behind bars in a foreign land. Prison walls may keep him inside, but they won't keep out his powerful enemies-- who want him as dead as his supposed victioms.
Tom's about to discover that his father's escapist stories may be his only hope of escaping. But as the wall between fact and fiction becomed weaker, woe to those who find themselves in the way when it collapses. After all, not every story has a happy ending—
This is not your kid’s comics. There are most definitely adult issues and some pretty intense violence in these stories. However there is also a fascinating ongoing story that weaves literary history in and out of the story. I love the way that it brings in familiar literary reverences and history as well as things with which I was unfamiliar. From the heroic poem The Song of Roland, one of the oldest works of French literature to Jud Suss, a novel written by a Jew that Joseph Goebbels managed to turn into an anti-Semitic Nazi propaganda film.
As with the first volume in this series the final issue included in the volume is a story that does not include Tom Taylor and the characters in the primary story arc. It also features art by a different team (Kurt Huggins and Zelda DAvon). This one is a twisted little mix of Beatrix Potter and A.A, Milne. It features a rabbit named Mr. Bun who insists he’s a man trapped in the fictional Willowbank Wood because he tried to steal Wilson Taylor’s map (the same map that Tom and Lizzie are using in the main story). It’s a delightfully twisted and disturbing little tale.
It would be difficult to leap into the middle of this series but they are not only quick reads but because of the nature of the graphic novel format and the outstanding artwork they’re easy and fun to re-read in order to catch the subtleties in both the art and text that you breezed through the first time.
I definitely recommend this series and I’m already part of the way through volume 3.