The Unwritten again. The people oughta know.

I don’t love reading or reviewing graphic novels series when they are in progress. I only started reading Fables after the, whatever, the eleventh? volume came out, which — while that wasn’t the end of the series — was the volume that finished up the storylines that had been set up from the beginning. The climactic battle had happened, and the eleventh (or twelfth?) volume dealt with the aftermath, and that was it. I read Sandman long after it was finished. As you know, I like reading the end. It’s much harder to read the end of a graphic novel series when there is no end.

Be that as it may, I am going to go ahead and recommend The Unwritten in the strongest possible terms to you. I reviewed the first volume with great enthusiasm and have been silent on the topic of The Unwritten since then. I would like, at this juncture, having just read the fourth volume, to tell you all that regardless of what sort of endgame Mike Carey has in mind for this series — and sometimes I entertain doubts that he has an endgame — the existing volumes are marvelously fun and well worth reading. Indeed, and this is a pretty serious statement from a girl who lives in a small New York apartment and tries to think about downsizing rather than upsizing, I am considering buying the existing Unwritten volumes even though that would mean I’d have to buy all the subsequent others in order to have a complete set.

(I would consider subscribing to it via HeavyInk again, but it turns out the president of HeavyInk is a crazy asshole. So I am not using HeavyInk anymore.)

The Unwritten is a story about stories, my fave. It features a Secret Cabal. It interrupts your regularly scheduled plot developments to give you a story about Oscar Wilde’s downfall. The protagonist has a complicated contentious relationship with his father. His ?love interest? is competent and clever but may also be all the way out of her entire damn mind. The fourth volume features a segment in which all the people who have ever been swallowed by a whale are hanging out in the whale’s stomach trying to get out (Jonah, Pinocchio, etc.). There’s an issue where we are discovering the backstory of one of the characters via a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure structure. It just — I don’t know! I don’t know! It is great!

You know what it’s like? It’s like that friend you had as a kid who would inspect all the available toys and come up with a crazy game to employ all of them to their maximum potential. The Unwritten is just like my friend Delaney when I was four (she told me I mustn’t say S E X because it was a dirty word, but she had the world’s best ever ideas for games). If you had that friend, you know how awesome it was to play with that friend, and then you know that you should go read The Unwritten.

Also, Happy New Year! I know this is not my first post of the New Year, but it’s the first post I’ve written in the New Year. I am excited about 2012!

  • Happy New Year! It’s been a week but it still feels like new! I’ll add this title to my list of things to look forward to this year 🙂

  • Haven’t read The Unwritten, but Carey’s Felix Castor series is EXCELLENT – I highly recommend them 🙂

  • Okay, okay, you made your point. I had this series on my graphic novel TBR list but I am moving it to the tippy top. Will have to wait ’til the end of the TBR Double Dare to actually read them:)

  • Happy New Year! Ok, this series sounds like crazy fun, and I can’t imagine incorporating all those elements into one book, but it seriously sounds wonderful, and I am going to take your recommendation and start reading these as soon as I can! Very, very persuasive review today, my friend! You are totally an enabler, and I love it!

  • Sounds like a fun series, Jenny! Happy new year 🙂

  • I love this series! I just bought volume 4 and pre-ordered volume 5 with my Christmas gift cards. One of my plans for the day is to read Volume 4, actually. I haven’t had a chance yet. My first priority was reading the newest Fables which I also bought after Christmas. I enjoy Fables more, but The Unwritten is fabulous, too. I can’t wait to see what happens next!

  • Lu

    I haven’t heard of this comic… I will definitely be picking it up and adding it to the TBR based on this review though. You are very convincing!

  • I love this series!! I’m with you…I normally don’t like starting series that aren’t done but with this one it’s like Christmas waiting for the next one to come out!!

  • I can’t hold out any longer. Between you and Clare, I’ve just requested the first volume from the library. Somebody has it out right now (the nerve of them!), but it looks like I should have it in hand by the end of the month.

  • Jenny

    I want to read Fables first but this’ll go on my list for sure. I’d never heard of it. Thank you, Jenny!

  • Eva

    I love your enthusiasm, but I’m still not sure this is for me. What do you think?

  • Oh, stories about stories: yes, what’s better. I’ve added this one to my TBR list: it sounds deliciously satisfying!

  • Amy

    Happy New Year! I do like stories about stories so I may have to add this one to the list.

  • Katy

    Is there any more Kipling? Because I actually bought the first installment because of the chapter about Kipling, but after that I forgot to keep up with the later installments.

  • Well alrighty then. The Unwritten has been duly added to my to-read list. I am stalled out in the middle of the Fables series at the moment because I couldn’t get the next one from my library, not even through interlibrary loan and I’m not a big book-buyer.

  • Happy New Year!