I’ve just finished Vol. 6 of The Unwritten written by Mike Cary with art by Peter Gross. It’s an ongoing series from DC Comics about Tom/Tommy Taylor, a real life person who was the inspiration for a series of books in the vein of Harry Potter. At a certain point in the series, the line between reality and fiction becomes blurred and the real life Tom Taylor is able to use the magical powers of his fictional counterpart, Tommy Taylor.
I’ve been on a Mythic Fiction kick lately. Think Bill Willingham’s Fables or ABC’s pseudo rip-off Once Upon A Time. And even, Neil Gaiman’s work on American Gods and Anansi Boys. Mythic Fiction draws heavily from myth, folklore, and fairy tales. There’s something about the timelessness of these stories and how they’re used in a modern context that resonates with me. If you’re interested in the genre, I recommend reading Adrienne’s entry about Fables on her blog.
In The Unwritten, stories have life because society chooses to believe in them and, in some cases, the stories have a life beyond the page because society pushes the story to become bigger than the original source. We see this with recent global phenomenons like the Harry Potter series or The Hunger Games. The source material is trumped by the fandom and how they interact with the material.
I’m fascinated by the interplay between society and stories. We’ve used myth, folklore, and fairy tales to teach our society morals since before recorded time (that might be an exaggeration, but you get the point). The Unwritten explores this interplay through a quick paced adventure and I give it a big thumbs up.