I read the prequel to the series which was released after the first few volumes in the series before reading Vol. 1. The prequel, Tommy Taylor and the Ship that Sank Twice is the set up for the fantasy novels and the persona Tom's father was setting up for his son and his wish for his son to be connected to the book. This was a good read, though I would say it is not necessary to read before reading the rest of the series.
Vol. 1 is entitled Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity. I read both of these graphic novels in one day. They were a quick and entertaining read and I am eager to get the next volumes from the library when I have a gap in my planned reading. The art in these novels is comic book style art, which I enjoyed. The first vol. was a nice set up for the rest of the series and I think the next few volumes will really pick up in action.