Think of what it must have been like for those creators taking the very first steps into the brave new format of the graphic novel. Not Will Eisner who’s generally acknowledged as the progenitor of the format, but a little later on, think of Chris Claremont and Brett Anderson, writer and artist respectively on the X-Men graphic novel, God Loves, Man Kills which would eventually become the basis for the 2003 hit, X2: X-Men United.
Back when the idea of the graphic novel was new and fresh, and perhaps even still today, the promise of the new format might have been the gearing up of production values. On the one hand there’s the proverbial daily grind of the monthly book. A daily grind that comes replete with its own limitations and conventions, and myriad innocuous surrenders and negotiations. All of Hamlet’s “slings and arrows.” But taking a beloved group of characters, like the X-Men in God Loves, Man Kills or Batman in the Dark Knight Returns, into a higher order format, where those limitations no longer evidence must have been nothing short of magical.
One week after the release of Tommy Taylor and the Ship that Sank Twice, the first standalone graphic novel in the oeuvre of the Unwritten, creators Mike Carey and Peter Gross, return to the proverbial daily grind of the monthly comicbook. But in doing so, they simply blast away any idea of the monthly comic being subject to any of the limitations and surrenders and negotiations we always hear of. In short, issue #53 of the Unwritten, the penultimate chapter of “the Unwritten Fables” proves that, if anything, the monthly book has been magic from the get-go. Add into the mix the notion that this particular storyarc blends the magic of the Unwritten with the longstanding wonder of Bill Willingham’s Fables, and you begin to have a sense of encountering something profound.
Please enjoy our exclusive preview of the Unwritten #53.