Created by Mike Carey and Peter Gross, THE UNWRITTEN has been called “a roller-coaster ride through a library, weaving famous authors and characters into a tale of mystery that is, at once, oddly familiar yet highly original,” by USA TODAY.
Some of the most talked about issues have been the fabulous one-offs—from the Willowbank Tales of Mr. Bun to the Pick-A-Story origin of Lizzie Hexam. In the vein of those amazing issues, Vertigo will publish a series of 5 interconnected issues that will enhance the reading experience of the ongoing series.
Starting this November, THE UNWRITTEN will be published twice-monthly--with issue #31, followed by #31.5 followed by issue #32, followed by issue #32.5, and so on, through issue 36.
Issue #31 begins Tommy Taylor and the War of the Words, a game-changing story event. Tom Taylor goes to war against the cabal that has tormented, imprisoned and tried to destroy him - and it's far more than just a war of words! To have a hope of winning, Tom must use every weapon he can get hold of, but even storybook magic carries its own risks.
In the special .5 issues, Tom's crusade plays out against the backdrop of the cabal's sinister secret history and delves deep into the dark past of some of the series' major players. When it's all over, very little will remain Unwritten.
Written by Mike Carey, each of these issues will feature artistic contributions from some of the most talented artists in the industry, including ongoing series artist and co-plotter, Peter Gross. Yuko Shimizu will continue her gorgeous work on covers for each issue.
Check out the Cover to issue #31:
The nominees for the 2011 British Fantasy Awards have been announced and Vertigo’s THE UNWRITTEN Volumes 1 & 2 have been nominated in the Best Comic/Graphic Novel category. The winners will be announced during FantasyCon in September.
For the full list of nominees click here.
Congratulations to Mike Carey and Peter Gross.
Story by Mike Carey
Art by Peter Gross
Father’s Day was a major institution in the yearly round at the Villa Diodati, and had been ever since Tom Taylor reached the age of five.
Preparations would begin early, with one of Tom’s tutors – or, if he had no tutor at the time, Madame Venner – coaching and supervising him in making a card or gift for his father. Tom wasn’t adept at craft work, and often the design and manufacture of the thing would be taken out of his hands. He would sit and watch the adults carefully forging a child’s clumsy virtuosity, applying a carefully measured mixture of inspiration and glue-smeared fingerprints. Sometimes he would offer to help, and be rebuffed.
The day itself was dominated by the photo shoots: endless variations of Wilson posing with his son in his lap, grinning broadly, while he held aloft the card or the bookmark or the pen holder or whatever so that the cameras could get a clear shot of it.
Afterwards, the interviews. “What did you think of the last book, Tom?” “What’s the one thing you’d like to say to Tommy Taylor fans around the world?” and always, always “How much do you love your dad, Tom?”
From age 5 to age 13, he gave the approved answer to this: usually some variation on “As much as all the world.”
In the year he turned 14, he said “I don’t know. I never met him.”
Whereupon the PR people descended in a swarm to claim him, the official answer was supplied in a hand-out sheet, and Tom was hustled away out of the reach of the cameras. His words were edited out of all the media accounts, of course, but he was glad, afterwards, that he had said it: because that was the year when his father disappeared, and his childhood officially ended.
It was such a small rebellion. But he took it with him when he walked out of that poisoned Eden into the world, and it helped him not to look back.
The hammer goes down, the auction begins, and lot number 100 is . . . Tom Taylor. Who's going to be bidding, and what do they want him for? Tom hopes he never finds out - but he's out of options, in the hands of his enemies, and locked in a sensory deprivation tank that's terrifyingly familiar...
Mike Carey and Peter Gross continue to amaze in THE UNWRITTEN #26 on sale today.
Tom Taylor returns as the two-part storyline “Citizen Taylor” begins. Wilson Taylor’s belongings are up for auction and Lizzie and Savoy have a plan to get hold of lot 57. But Tom’s memories are sparked when he spots a different item up for auction.
THE UNWRITTEN #25 is in stores today.
FABLES Vol. 14: Witches and THE UNWRITTEN Vol. 2: Inside Man were nominated for the 2011 Hugo Awards in the Best Graphic Story category. This mark’s the third time in the history of the long running series that FABLES has been nominated.
The winners will be announced at a ceremony this August at the 69th World Science Fiction Convention, to be held in Reno, Nevada, where FABLES writer Bill Willingham will be a guest. The Hugo Awards have been presented annually since 1955 and are considered science fiction's most prestigious award.
Here’s the link to the official list of nominees.
And The ASSOCIATED PRESS featured a story on the series with quotes from Mike Carey and artist Peter Gross.
So, if you haven’t picked up Volumes 1, 2, or 3 yet, now’s a great time to start. And for those of you who already know the power of THE UNWRITTEN and are picking up a copy every month, thanks. Yesterday, Graphic Content posted a process piece by artist Al Davison on issue #24. Who doesn’t love Mr. Bun? Enjoy.
As Peter Gross mentioned in THE UNWRITTEN METHOD, he sometimes gets a little help. In issue #24 of THE UNWRITTEN (on sale this today) Al Davison is the artist on finishes. Below, Al gives us a look at his process. Enjoy.
Mike Carey and I have known each other for many years, and we have been looking for an opportunity to work together ever since we met. I've also been a fan of Peter's work since first reading Lucifer. So when Mike introduced me to Pornsak at the Birmingham International comics show, and suggested the idea of my providing finishes for an issue of THE UNWRITTEN I jumped at the chance.
The issue I was to work on turned out to be a sequel to the wonderful Willowbank Tales from issue #12, with gorgeous finishes by Kurt Huggins and Zelda Devon.
When I read Mike's script it was clear things were going to get even darker and more twisted. Pornsak knew that I was a bit of a chameleon art wise, so asked me to come up with some sample styles that would suit the nature of the story, but keep an element of 'the cute'.To my amazement the first sample I submitted did the trick. Kurt and Zelda's work was kind of Beatrix Potter via Ivan Biliban, this was more Arthur Rackam via Ralph Steadman!
The next step was getting to grips with Peter's layouts... I 'd never done finishes over someone else's layouts before, and wasn't sure what to expect, how much detail they'd have, or how tight they'd be. We had already discussed my preferred approach, so Peter sent me digital files that I could print out on to an art paper that suited the techniques I'd be using (acrylic ink. watercolor and lots of splatter!) When the pages started arriving I couldn't have been happier. There was enough detail for me to be clear on the emotions and body language that Peter had in mind for the main characters, but they were loose enough to give me room to play as well. On page 2 in particular, Peter’s layout suggested certain characters, but allowed me to research and draw most of the characters myself.
After adding detail with pencil where needed, I then took out my trusty Waverly dip pen and started inking the line work. This pen has been in my family since the late 1890's, and I'm still using the original nib and holder! I inked the stronger outlines first and let them dry, then I inked in the detail, but before the ink had fully dried I add washes using lamp black watercolor, this allowed line work within the main outline to bleed, and helped give a more modeled look. After it had dried I went back and added in sharper lines where needed.
The next stage was to produce a series of encaustic paintings, these were created by applying pigmented waxes to a hot iron and applying this to smooth card, the melted wax creates various organic textures depending how you lift the iron off the card, that are great for rocks and other organic forms.
These paintings were then scanned along with the line and wash art. I then applied these textures to the line art in Photoshop, along with other textures and patterns (in this case wallpaper mostly). The textures were kept on a separate layer, to allow the colorist more flexibility and the art was then saved as a grey-scale file.
Pornsak, Joe, Mike and Peter would then check the pages for errors (Mr bun's sword in the wrong hand, oops!) And suggest revisions until we were all happy with the result. It was then the turn of Chris Chuckry and Todd Klein to work their magic on the colors and lettering respectively.
It's been great fun working on this book, as well as an honour. I couldn't wish for a better team of collaborators. Thanks again for giving me the chance to work on one of the most thought-provoking and intriguing books out there.