The Unwritten Vol. 1: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity by Mike Carey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Collecting issues 1-5. Tom Taylor's life was screwed from go. His father created the Tommy Taylor fantasy series, boy-wizard novels with popularity on par with Harry Potter. The problem is Dad modeled the fictional epic so closely to Tom's real life that fans are constantly comparing him to his counterpart, turning him into the lamest variety of Z-level celebrity. In the final novel, it's even implied that the fictional Tommy will crossover into the real world, giving delusional fans more excuses to harass Tom.
When an enormous scandal reveals that Tom might really be a boy-wizard made flesh, Tom comes into contact with a very mysterious, very deadly group that's secretly kept tabs on him all his life. Now, to protect his own life and discover the truth behind his origins, Tom will travel the world, eventually finding himself at locations all featured on a very special map -- one kept by the deadly group that charts places throughout world history where fictions have impacted and tangibly shaped reality, those stories ranging from famous literary works to folktales to pop culture. And in the process of figuring out what it all means, Tom will find himself having to figure out a huge conspiracy mystery that spans the entirety of the history of fiction.
This will be the second time I have read the book, simply because I discovered there are more books in the series and picked up the next two. When I read it the first time, I had no idea it was a series - I just happened to be in a comic book store while waiting for my train, and could not leave without at least purchasing something.
We meet Tom (or Tommy) Taylor, the son of a writer who has vanished and who is named after the main character within those books. He is unhappy with his life as he follows in both his fathers' fame, and that of a fictional character. Later it is discovered he may not be who he claims, and we find out there is a lot more going on in the background than originally thought.
It's an interesting story told in a different way, and embraces both the comic form as well as prose. It is very easy to follow, and there is much to "take in". The backgrounds are well done, and there's often something to see in them - like an inappropriately-name-movie poster, to name one. There's a lot going on here, and I'll definitely be checking out the next volumes.
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