I’ve been a fan of “The Unwritten” since its first issue back in 2009. I only paid a dollar for the issue and had no idea what I would be investing in. Now, close to three years later I am still enchanted by this masterpiece of graphic fiction.
The story follows Tommy Taylor who is forced to live a life of celebrity as a result of his father (Wilson Taylor) composing a fantasy series featuring his son as a boy wizard with the status of Harry Potter. At the zenith of Wilson’s career he disappears leaving the world longing for next chapter in series and leaving Tommy to answer for his father’s absence. Having reached no personal achievemnts himself Tommy builds his career by attending comic book conventions. His life is suddenly turned upside when a character from the series appears to kid nap Tommy. Not like a crazed fan, but the the legit character whom some how escapes the confines of this literary prison. From there, Tommy and new companions begin a quest to unlock what separates fiction from non-fiction and if such a separation exists..
This series examines the importance of stories and how they have existed in the human conscious and subconscious since the beginning of time. Why do we need stories? How do they define a culture or generation and how do they link us together? What if the stories themselves have their own conscious and subconscious?
Recently, the Vertigo imprint has been releasing issues in between the story (if that makes any sense) to enrich the history or back story of the main narrative of the series.
Last Wednesday, creators Mike Carey and Peter Gross gave us issue 33.5. Which, at first I was disappointed to find on the shelf, only because issue 32 ended with a pretty intense cliff hanger. Rather than carrying on Tommy Taylor’s adventure in present day we are thrown into 18th century Prussia where we see the lives of a solider on the verge of war and a child whose pain is deeper than any could imagine. Together they form the single issue tale “From the Many Lives of the Marionettes”.
This an amazing single story arch that explains the origins of one of the supporting characters from the series. I’d even go as far as to say that you could read just this issue with out knowing anything of Tommy Taylor and still appreciate the value of this story. But don’t, you’d be depriving yourself from some amazing story telling whether you’re a fan of comics, fiction or non fiction; a good story is a good story. That’s always worth sharing.