Because I am so very far down the list for the latest issue of Saga (currently #91 for 30 copies in the system), I asked not long ago for suggestions to keep me occupied while I wait my turn and also to fill the void until the unknown future date when volume 7 comes out. And you all gave me a wonderful long list! Thank you!

cover artI had already decided to get all caught up on Ms Marvel and won’t have too long to catch up with this one. I just finished volume three, Crushed. I enjoyed it but not as much as the first two. This one felt like most of it was set up. It is a bit scattered as a number of new characters are introduced with new threats and future encounters promised but not that much happening now. Kamala, aka Ms Marvel, is introduced to a nice young man who her parents hope might be future husband material. Kamala wants nothing to do with it until the nice young man shows up and is super hunky and expresses similar interests to hers. Of course it is too good to be true but Kamala is crushing so hard she misses all warning signs that the nice young man is someone other that he appears to be.

Since it won’t take me very long to get caught up on all the Ms. Marvels, I also borrowed volume one of The Unwritten, Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity. Oh my goodness, I loved it! It is a very bookish story because it is all about storytelling.

cover artThe basics. Tom Taylor has spent his life trying to be his own person instead of Tommy Taylor the genius boy wizard his father created in stories that have echoes of another boy wizard we are all familiar with. Tom’s father mysteriously disappeared and everyone assumes he is dead. However, this may not be the case. And as much as Tom wants to separate himself from the fictional Tommy, he has an agent and he attends cons and other events in order to make some money because his father’s estate is all tied up in the courts due to his disappearnce and unknown dead or alive status.

Events conspire to suggest that Tom might really be Tommy and something weird and dangerous and magical is going on. Tom, of course, refuses to be Tommy, but yet…

The super fun of this story is how many characters from all of its parts talk about how important a story is. We have Sue, who may or may not be Sue from Tom’s father’s stories, who tells Tom “nothing matters more than the stories we tell ourselves to explain the world.” We have fans as events unfold saying “Tommy stopped being a story and started being real.” There is the evil villain from the Tommy story, the Count, who captures Tom and ties him up and tells him, “stories are the only thing worth dying for.” But the Count turns out to have a different story than we think he does. It goes on and on with Tom struggling to hold onto his own story while everyone else is trying to thrust other stories upon him.

Then the last chapter is not even Tom. It is a curious story of its own with Rudyard Kipling talking to Mark Twain. Kipling is tells Twain about how he became a famous writer. He was recruited by a Mr. Locke who suggested Kipling write stories supporting the British Empire and as long as he did he would be taken care of. Kipling did not set out to be a rah-rah Emprie man, but as support from Mr. Locke and his mysterious colleagues grew and propelled Kipling’s succes, he found himself toeing the line. But just before World War I, he is told to move to America and turn his writing eye elsewhere, he refuses. He begins writing stories about under dogs winning against the big bads. His popularity sinks, family members begin to die.

It turns out Twain had been approached by this group too but refused to play ball. In the end, Kipling writes down what happened. The notebook ends up in an antique book shop and who should come upon it but a young Wilson Taylor, Tom Taylor’s father. He believes Kipling’s story and, well I guess I will find out more as The Unwritten progresses.

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