The Unwritten 9 (March 2010)

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Holy bejeezus.

I try not to give a lot away (about good stuff) on the Fondle so talking about this issue is going to be difficult.

I’m a little stunned as to what Carey just did, in terms of what he’s doing with The Unwritten–he’s introduced the triumvirate into the “real” world too, mirroring the one in the Tommy Taylor books, another sign the series isn’t intended to go on too long, which is a good thing, sure, but I hate to think he’s rushing–anyway… what was I saying?

What Carey does this issue, it’s hard to believe… I mean, it’s just so harsh, but still so good and so completely not cheap (I’ve been reading lots of cheap melodramatic comics lately, see the Marvels posts), it’s incredible.

I don’t talk about Gross enough. Here’s where Gross really comes through. He sells this whole issue.

Completely, absolutely brilliant.

CREDITS

Inside Man, Conclusion; writer, Mike Carey; artist, Peter Gross; colorist, Chris Chuckry; letterer, Todd Klein; editor, Pornsak Pichetshote; publisher, Vertigo.

The Unwritten 8 (February 2010)

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Here’s why I love Carey (and The Unwritten). This issue is an interlude issue, but very different from the last interlude issue, which was about Rudyard Kipling. Instead, it’s about the corrupt warden who’s got Tom Taylor in his jail. It’s just about him and his family. Yes, it ties into the other story, but it provides all sorts of texture (not to mention introducing three new characters) to the warden. It makes The Unwritten fuller.

One of the drawbacks to a big, complicated serial is how often the writers succumb to the “everything’s connected” mentality, taking it to the nth degree instead of just letting some of it be texture. Are the warden’s daughters being Tom Taylor fans connected to the greater narrative? Yes. Is the website shown on the iPhone at the daughters’ school somehow connected? I hope not and don’t think so. Carey’s very careful.

Brilliant stuff.

CREDITS

Inside Man, Interlude; writer, Mike Carey; artist, Peter Gross; colorists, Chris Chuckry and Jeanne McGee; letterer, Todd Klein; editor, Pornsak Pichetshote; publisher, Vertigo.

The Unwritten 7 (January 2010)

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A lot happens this issue–Lizzie goes to jail, it’s revealed she knows the flying cat, Tom’s cellmate is a reporter, the warden is corrupt–but nothing really compares to Tom’s conversation with the Frankenstein Monster.

Carey gives it all away–at least some of all of it–in the conversation, as it becomes clear Tom is Tommy, but not in a particularly special way. Tom has the ability to call fictional characters forth and the Monster implies he, Tom, has been called forth.

It’s kind of a crazy move to make this revelation, or hint at it, so early in the series. Usually, one might think it’d go in the first issue, but with The Unwritten, I’m kind of hoping Carey’s got a plan for the series past thirty issues. That’s two and a half years, right?

I feel like him giving away the secret so soon is dangerous.

CREDITS

Inside Man, The Song of Roland; writer, Mike Carey; artist, Peter Gross; colorists, Chris Chuckry and Jeanne McGee; letterer, Todd Klein; editor, Pornsak Pichetshote; publisher, Vertigo.

The Unwritten 6 (December 2009)

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Carey starts something new here, in Unwritten‘s second arc, which I didn’t expect before. Well, he actually introduces a couple things I didn’t expect. First, Lizzie Hexam, is working with someone in her quest to… do whatever… with Tom. Second, Tom can apparently bring characters forth from written works–this issue ends with Tom discovering Frankenstein’s Monster waiting for him.

Otherwise, I guess the issue is somewhat traditional. It doesn’t do anything to resolve the appearance of Tommy Taylor’s (fictive?) flying cat at the end of the last arc, for example, which is a standard continuation trick these days. It just moves Tom into the legal process and has an amusing, well-written Tom in (French) prison sequence.

While the issue–and series–is excellent, I still have some problems with Carey’s pacing. He established it the series with gradual, precise pacing. Now he’s just racing through, scene after scene.

CREDITS

Inside Man, Part One; writer, Mike Carey; artist, Peter Gross; colorists, Chris Chuckry and Jeanne McGee; letterer, Todd Klein; editor, Pornsak Pichetshote; publisher, Vertigo.

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