Rex Libris Vol 1: I, Librarian (SLG Publishing – James Turner)
The astonishing story of the imcomparable Rex Libris, Head Librarian at Middleton Public Library. From ancient Egypt, where his beloved Hypatia was murdered, to the farthest reaches of the galaxy in search of overdue books, rex upholds his vow to fight the forces of ignorance and darkness. Wearing his super thick bottle glasses and armed with an arsenal of high technology weapons, he strikes fear into recalcitrant borrowers, and can take on virtually any foe from zombies to renegade literary characters. In this first collection of librarian adventures, rex must confront the powerful Space Warlord Vaglox and retrieve the overdue Principia Mathematica while his fellow librarians attempt to fend off a manifestation of blood-thirsty Vandals set on burning down the Middleton Library to the ground.
I found this gem this week at the “new arrivals” section at my local library. While I hadn’t heard of Rex before, the noir-ish cover convinced me there might be something good in between the pages. I am pleased that the call of the cover did not disappoint me.
Rex Libris is a book that you should not pass up either. The story is deeply rooted in pulp, with enough action and wit to astound and amaze even the most bibliophobic reader (what a concept – he he he). The reader learns about Rex’s history, his adventures getting overdue book and defending the library as Rex tells his tale to his publicist. You see, Rex is trying to get his story out in comic form… once again classic schtick! Rex Libris walks the edge of being incredibly smart and sassy without crossing over into the “I must offend everyone and will try to be funny by being dumb” category. I can imagine seeing an animated version of this soon on Adult Swim.
The art of the book is at parts very sketchy and line-driven and is only “fleshed” out in certain parts. But that’s ok, because the spartan scenes help characterize the over-the-top, black and white, pulp heroics of our media center specialist protagonist. Rex is very story driven, and is almost more of an illustrated story rather than a comic book.
Grade: Big A