Saturday, January 29, 2011

began reading The Unwritten

In my post "Meta," I mentioned an interest in the comic book/graphic novel series called The Unwritten by Mike Carey. I've read vol 1 and am still interested.  There was a lot to like.

The introduction is by Bill Willingham, who wrote the comic series Fables. He talks about comics since the golden age of superheroes.  Then he describes a new type of comic, literary comics. I like comics like Hush and Superman/Batman with my favorite superhero, Batman, but I felt like Willingham addressed craving for literary. So I'm happy to hear about this new wave of comics. The introduction was a good note to start with.

The comic itself parodies Harry Potter and even states the similarity in a comic con scene. haha. There are depictions of fans from causal fan to online debater to the obsessed and delusional. Along with the commentary on fans, the main character stumbles upon a horror writers workshop where each contemporary type critiques the other. I laughed at and admired this setup.  There are also allusions to existing writers and a side story depicting Rudyard Kipling's career as a writer. This comic is packed with literary and commentary.

The main element is the boundary between fantasy and reality. The comic is certainly meta (metanarrative and metafiction I think).  There is a note stating that the author, Carey, had wanted to use prose format somehow with a book actually inside of another book to understand the boundary being crossed.

All these aspects I enjoyed in vol 1.  Before I reached the Kipling side story at the end, I had satisfied my crave for literary.  My taste buds for had a taste of many flavors. So by the time I finished the book, I felt I had just been through a workshop or had enrolled in a genre/author class.  I had gained more than I had craved. And this satisfaction was just from vol 1.

I recommend The Unwritten and hope you get a kick out it too.

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