Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Unwritten: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity by Mike Carey

I read relatively few graphic novels, but The Unwritten: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity by Mike Carey and Peter Gross sounded like one that I might enjoy.

Tom Taylor is a minor celebrity -- not because of anything he did, but because his father wrote an enormously popular series of novels featuring boy wizard Tommy Taylor. Then, at the height of the series' popularity, Tom's father disappeared. Now Tom, a disenfranchised young adult, makes a living traveling around to conventions and such. He resents his inability to disassociate himself from the fictional character his father created, as well as the fact that his father disappeared and yet left his estate tied up so that Tom can't access the money. Then, one day, a young woman stands up at a routine Q&A session and alleges that Tom Taylor is not who he says he is. This results in mobs of angry fans rioting outside Tom's hotel room . . . but the real danger for Tom may not be from obsessive fans, but from some dark characters that seem to spring from the novels that Tom has always believed were entirely fictional. The problem is, the lines between reality and fiction are starting to become a little blurry. . . .

So, interesting premise. I have to say, I think I would like this better if it were an ordinary book, rather than a graphic novel. The concept of Tom Taylor as a sort of cross between Harry Potter, Christopher Robin Milne, and the group of washed-up actors from the beginning of GalaxyQuest appealed to me -- the execution of the story, not so much. I think it's my usual impatience/difficulty with the graphic format, rather than some failing in the graphic novel itself. If you enjoy graphic novels and literary fantasy (and don't mind a touch of gore), this might be perfect for you. As for me, I didn't hate it, but I probably won't read the rest of the series.

(Reviewed from a copy borrowed through my library system.)

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