Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Unwritten #1

Written by Mike Carey
Art by Peter Gross

Ultimately, I'm uncertain about this book, which is odd, because all the reviews I've seen seem to be unanimously positive. I did enjoy reading it, but I sort of feel like I'm on familiar ground here. I'm not talking about the obvious similarities to Harry Potter or the Books of Magic - those get addressed directly in the story.

Instead, I feel a little like Carey and Gross are bringing us into territories previously explored by Alan Moore in Promethea, only with a less explicit understanding of the power of stories. Similarly, I feel like this book perhaps owes a bit to Fables, and Bill Willingham's work.

Which, ultimately, makes it the ideal Vertigo book. It's by the creative team of Lucifer (which I've somehow never read), and it does fit very comfortably into the Vertigo oeuvre. Perhaps that's why I'm uncertain - I feel like Vertigo has moved on to other, more experimental (and admittedly, less commercially successful) things.

All that said, this is a good comic. It's an extra-sized book for a dollar, so that is a huge bonus right off the back, but it is also very well-written and drawn. I can't shake my reservations, but I have a lot of respect for Carey and Gross, and so they've definitely got me for the first arc, and I'll make up my mind about this title after that.

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