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Carey's *The Unwritten* - Input Junkie
March 5th, 2012
11:04 am


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Carey's *The Unwritten*
I've read the first two volumes of The Unwritten, a series of graphic novels about a man whose claim to fame was that his father based a wildly popular fantasy series on him. Nothing is going on in his life-- he's making a bare living doing appearances at conventions-- and then all hell breaks lose. The fantasy world is braking into his life. He seems to be adopted, and the fans hate him for it. He's falsely accused of multiple murder. The Song of Roland (I hope that's an unusually bad translation) gets involved, too.

Two questions for fans: Is the number of volumes likely to complete the story known? Does the plot seem to be converging toward anything in particular, or does it continue as an engaging phantasmagorica?

And it is engaging-- the events and writing are interesting, and I like the art work a lot except that the cat is too stiff. I'm also not sure whether the reporter has a personality, or just gives the impression of being interesting because he has a weird beard.

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[User Picture]
Date:March 5th, 2012 04:42 pm (UTC)
Mike said a couple of years ago that. sales permitting, he hopes to finish it in 60-75 issues.

There is a definite if rather slow convergence and forward progression in the next three collections; the story currently in the monthly issues (#34 as of February) is impressively plot-climactic in ways that I can see could be made workable as an ending if need be, and I am utterly intrigued as to where he is going next. (The elaboration of the world and ideas is more of what draws me to the series than the plot, for what that's worth.)
[User Picture]
Date:March 5th, 2012 07:01 pm (UTC)
I'm also thoroughly enjoying it - and got TPB 5 a few days ago. Looking forward to the next one a lot already.

I'm glad he has an ending point in mind, and I hope he makes it there. It's not grabbing me as much as his last big series (Lucifer), but then few things have.
[User Picture]
Date:March 5th, 2012 07:34 pm (UTC)
Lucifer hits a couple of my personal sweet spots in ways that make it next to impossible for me to say anything coherent about how good it is; I do think that Unwritten is better crafted at some levels, though - there are some places in Lucifer where it feels like there is a tension between the imperatives of the monthly-issue format (in having some degree of hook to have the reader pick up the next one) and the smooth flow of the story in a collected edition, and I can't think of a single instance of that in Unwritten thus far. (I had the good fortune to meet Mike Carey at a festival in Ottawa a couple of years back, and he was at that point talking about failure to balance that correctly as the reason why Crossing Midnight got cancelled, at issue #13 I think; too much focus on a smooth collected story, not enough issue-by-issue hooks.)

The thought of trying to tell a story in that format, with that much of it being set in stone as it is generated, gives me screaming nightmares.
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