The Unwritten again. The people oughta know.

I don’t love reading or reviewing graphic novels series when they are in progress. I only started reading Fables after the, whatever, the eleventh? volume came out, which — while that wasn’t the end of the series — was the volume that finished up the storylines that had been set up from the beginning. The climactic battle had happened, and the eleventh (or twelfth?) volume dealt with the aftermath, and that was it. I read Sandman long after it was finished. As you know, I like reading the end. It’s much harder to read the end of a graphic novel series when there is no end.

Be that as it may, I am going to go ahead and recommend The Unwritten in the strongest possible terms to you. I reviewed the first volume with great enthusiasm and have been silent on the topic of The Unwritten since then. I would like, at this juncture, having just read the fourth volume, to tell you all that regardless of what sort of endgame Mike Carey has in mind for this series — and sometimes I entertain doubts that he has an endgame — the existing volumes are marvelously fun and well worth reading. Indeed, and this is a pretty serious statement from a girl who lives in a small New York apartment and tries to think about downsizing rather than upsizing, I am considering buying the existing Unwritten volumes even though that would mean I’d have to buy all the subsequent others in order to have a complete set.

(I would consider subscribing to it via HeavyInk again, but it turns out the president of HeavyInk is a crazy asshole. So I am not using HeavyInk anymore.)

The Unwritten is a story about stories, my fave. It features a Secret Cabal. It interrupts your regularly scheduled plot developments to give you a story about Oscar Wilde’s downfall. The protagonist has a complicated contentious relationship with his father. His ?love interest? is competent and clever but may also be all the way out of her entire damn mind. The fourth volume features a segment in which all the people who have ever been swallowed by a whale are hanging out in the whale’s stomach trying to get out (Jonah, Pinocchio, etc.). There’s an issue where we are discovering the backstory of one of the characters via a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure structure. It just — I don’t know! I don’t know! It is great!

You know what it’s like? It’s like that friend you had as a kid who would inspect all the available toys and come up with a crazy game to employ all of them to their maximum potential. The Unwritten is just like my friend Delaney when I was four (she told me I mustn’t say S E X because it was a dirty word, but she had the world’s best ever ideas for games). If you had that friend, you know how awesome it was to play with that friend, and then you know that you should go read The Unwritten.

Also, Happy New Year! I know this is not my first post of the New Year, but it’s the first post I’ve written in the New Year. I am excited about 2012!

Review: The Unwritten, Vol. 1, Mike Carey and Peter Goss

For the Graphic Novel Challenge!

The Unwritten is about a guy called Tom whose father – long since disappeared without a trace – wrote an incredibly popular series of books about a character with Tom’s same name: Tommy Taylor.  However, it turns out that all the paperwork proving Tom is his father’s son has been forged.  At first it is theorized that he is a fraud, the son of Romanian peasants; then people begin to believe that he is, in fact, Tommy Taylor, brought into existence by the stories themselves.  The word made flesh.

The Unwritten is set in London, a place with whose literary history Tom is very familiar.  His father was always telling him stories about the places in England and how they connect to books and authors – this plays into the unfolding of the plot and will, I expect, do so more and more as the series goes on.  There is one scene that is set at the Globe, the Globe that I love, you don’t even know and words cannot express how much I love the Globe Theatre.  It is like Mike Carey wants to say, “I love literature and I know that you do too!”  If fiction is going to be meta, it should be meta exactly like this.

The final issue included in this first volume of the graphic novel is all about Rudyard Kipling and Oscar Wilde.  While not closely connected to the main plotline, it does give us a glimpse into the means and methods employed by the villains and how it relates to stories and literature.  Also?  It has Oscar Wilde in it.  Oscar Wilde!  I love him so!  He was such a dear darling when he wasn’t being awful!

Two things that I like a lot are Oscar Wilde and London.  And metafiction – three things.  The three things that I like a lot are Oscar Wilde, and London and metafiction, and fictional characters coming to life.  Four – no.  Amongst the things that I like are such elements as Oscar Wilde, London – I’ll come in again.  (Sorry, XKCD.  I know you don’t like it when people do that.)

I have given in to temptation and subscribed to this comic on HeavyInk.  I know I shouldn’t be spending money on single issue comics, given that I will probably end up buying the collected volumes as proper books when they are released, but I cannot resist the alluring notion of getting comics each month, all wrapped up in crinkly brown paper.  Oh, HeavyInk, you seduce me with your sexy packaging.

Other reviews:

things mean a lot
The Literary Omnivore
Adventures with Words

Tell me if I missed yours!