The Unwritten Vol. 3: Dead Man’s Knock

Title: The Unwritten Vol. 3: Dead Man’s Knock
Author: Mike Carey (Author), Peter Gross (Artist)
ISBN: 9781401230463

If you haven’t started reading Unwritten yet, please do so at your soonest convenience. You are missing out on a New York Times best selling, Eisner-nominated bit of brilliance.  Unwritten is a meta-fantasy in the mold of Fables, focusing on the role that stories play in our lives and culture.  The protagonist, Tommy Taylor, is the adult son of an author who penned a series of children’s books similar in scope and fame to Harry Potter. Tommy’s father disappeared under mysterious circumstances and left his son a problematic legacy.

Dead Man’s Knock pushes the envelope of self-conscious fiction, exploring the idea of a literary franchise. After years of silence, a publisher announces that Tom Taylor’s father is releasing the long awaited final volume in the Tommy Taylor series. A media and fan frenzy ensues. Questions swirl – Is the book really written by Wilson Taylor? Will it be good? Will it be what the fans expect? – but no one asks, “Will the book sell?” In omitting this question Carey and Gross emphasize the raw power of a successful series. Of course the book will sell. It doesn’t matter who wrote it or whether or not it’s good. In a world of closing book stores and declining print sales, that sort of power is rare. In fact, it’s almost magical.

Carey and Gross outdo themselves in this volume, dedicating an entire issue to Lizzie Hexam’s origins. They deliver a compelling back story for her character told in a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure format. It’s well worth the time to flip back around and follow all the story possibilities included in this Eisner Award winning issue.
Seriously people, get out and read this thing!

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