Mike, my friendly neighborhood comic book store guy, strongly recommended The Unwritten to me as something he was confident I would love. I immediately noted that it’s a book from Vertigo, which does indeed instantly increase its chances of being something I’d go for. Some of my favorite comics are from their imprint, including Fables, Sandman, Air, and Y the Last Man.
The book opens in a world that looks a lot like, well, Harry Potter. There’s a boy hero named Tommy Taylor who wears glasses, and he has two friends – a boy and a girl – who help him in his battle against a dark…something or other. The scene shifts to a comic convention, where a young man named Tom Taylor – the son of the author, who disappeared years ago – is signing books. Tom obviously resents having to rely on his father’s work to make a living, but it’s the only thing that seems to stick (he’s tried being a musician, a writer, all sorts of things).
Things get weird at the convention when a woman in the audience suggests that Tom might not have been the writer’s son after all, and soon he’s accused of faking it to get the writer’s money. Oddly, though, what we find out instead is that Tom in fact seems to be the real Tommy – and that his nemesis is real as well as his childhood friends. A nice element of the art is that Tom undergoes some changes in appearance through issue #1 – and by the end he really does look like a grown-up Tommy.
It’s all a pretty strong setup for a series, and I look forward to seeing where it goes. The art is quite solid (and reminds me of Fables, really). I’ll be getting the next issues (we’re already up to #5) so I can see what happens next.