The Unwritten, Vol. 9: The Unwritten Fables by Mike Carey et al.

The Unwritten, Vol. 9: The Unwritten Fables written by Mike Carey and Bill Willingham with art by Peter Gross and Mark Buckingham

Genre: Fantasy (Graphic Novel)
Series: #9 in the Unwritten series
Publisher: Vertigo Comics
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 144
Source: copy provided by the publisher

The Short Version:
Tom Taylor still seeking answers lands in the world of Fables and it’s impressive.

Why I Read It:
These are two of my favorite comic series that I have been reading in the collected editions. When I heard that there was going to be a crossover edition I could not wait to get my hands on it.

The Book:
This volume 9 is a compilation of issues 50 – 54 of the comic series The Unwritten.

From the publisher

The worlds of FABLES and THE UNWRITTEN collide in the epic comic event by Mike Carey and Bill Willingham!

Tommy Taylor is thrust into the world of Vertigo’s hit series Fables! But a dark and terrible foe has seized the fairy-tale homelands and our world. In desperation, the witches of Fabletown gather to summon the greatest mage the worlds have ever seen. But they are in for an unpleasant surprise.

My Thoughts:
I expected this to be a fairly self contained spinoff from both series and that’s exactly what it felt like. I thoroughly enjoyed this blending of two of my favorite comics series. Both of them are full of literary references so it feels natural to have them intersect at some point.

While I have read all of the previous issues of The Unwritten I’m not anywhere near up to current releases with Fables. Because of that I’m sure that there were pieces of the Fables storyline revealed in this that I’ll be reading at some point as I continue with the series. It really didn’t bother me at all. I had enough familiarity with the characters and pieces of the history to not be baffled.

I think my favorite part was the discussion about how the world of Fables is a story in the reality of the Unwritten characters and vice versa.

It turns out that Tom Taylor ended up in the world of Fables because some of the Fables have summoned help in their war between good and evil. They are nearly as surprised as Tom Taylor when he (and his friends) turn out to be the help that arrives.

This is a departure from both series and while I don’t know about the more recent Fables storylines I do know that in terms of The Unwritten this doesn’t do a lot to advance the original story but it is a thoroughly enjoyable detour to a place where two of my comic worlds collide. I am guessing that the same is true from the Fables side.

The artwork is a lovely blend of the styles of both series. Peter Gross and Mark Buckingham have done a great job of staying true to each series and making it work together. Both series have a history of rich and complex artwork so they intertwine well.

As a fan of both series I liked it. If you only know Fables you might be a bit lost on the Unwritten side of things and the reverse is also true. If you are familiar with both series, I think you’ll enjoy this one even though it’s more of a joint side trip than a continuation of either journey.

4 stars Rating 4/5