Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sometimes the story behind the story is even more interesting

"Just a story? Tell that to the Greeks who fought at Troy...Tell the women burned as witches. The Rosenbergs. Sacco and Vanzetti. Tell the martyrs of all the religions and the millions who fell in all the wars since time began. Stories are the only thing worth dying for."
That speech, made by a man consumed by a story, eloquently sums up the beginning of an amazing new series from Vertigo, The Unwritten Volume 1 by Mike Carey, illustrated by Peter Gross. 

Tom Taylor can't help who his father was. Wilson Taylor created the world-wide phenomenon of the Timmy Taylor book series. He completed 13 books centered around this character before his mysterious disappearance, leaving his own son Tommy behind.

Fast-forward a decade or so, and Tom hasn't done all that much with his life. Really, besides money from his father's estate, he mostly just trolls the convention circuit signing his father's books and doing Q&A sessions for fans who have a dubious grasp of reality.

His whole life begins to unravel at London Tommy Con. As Lizzie Hexan brings light to the inconsistencies in Tommy's childhood, more and more of his life stops making sense. Finally, after he survives a kidnapping by a fan (with a little bit of help from Lizzie) he's hailed as a messiah, begged to lay hands on the sick and heal the crippled. And as he continues to track down figures from his childhood, it looks like there are outside forces determined to keep the past firmly in the past.

With a debut including Sandman and Hellblazer, Vertigo has been known from the beginning for bringing high-quality, innovative series to the comic store. With a current lineup including the hit 'Fables' along with this title, Vertigo is continuing this trend today. While this title could go in many different directions, history has shown that it won't lack for quality storytelling.

Highs:  The 'torture porn' version of Tommy Taylor make me giggle out loud.

Lows:  The the switch to the past in the last chapter was a bit jarring.

Verdict:  An extremely promising opening to the series, with some of the best lines about the importance of stories I've ever read.

Further Reading:  Fables, Y - The Last Man

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