Tag: James Turner

Comics for Grownups Episode 21

by on Aug.21, 2013, under Comics

Comics for Grownups Episode 21 with Alex Rothman is now out on iTunes. Direct RSS link for Android users here. In this episode we briefly discuss the upcoming Comic Arts Brooklyn show in November, and then review: 

Beach Girls and Dweeb by Box Brown and James Kochalka

Trillium #1 by Jeff Lemire

Lose #5 by Michael DeForge

A33 by Josh Burggraf

The Outliers by Erik T. Johnson

It Will All Hurt by Farel Dalrymple (available online at Study Group, but you should buy it anyway)

As You Were: A Punk Comix Anthology #1by Silver Sprocket Bicycle Club

Todd, The Ugliest Kid on Earth vol. 1 by Ken Kristensen and M. K. Perker

Rex Libris by James Turner

Alan’s War by Emmanuel Guibert

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Rex Libris Vol. II: Book of Monsters

by on Aug.23, 2009, under Comics


Rex Libris Vol. I: I, Librarian is one of my absolute favorite finds of the last few years. Rex is a 2,000-year-old librarian at the Middleton Public Library, the greatest library since the the burning of the Library of Alexandria, where Rex started his career. He is a member of Ordo Biblioteca, the secret international order of librarians charged with guarding human civilization, and Rex Libris the comic is his autobiography, published by minor comic magnate B. Barry Horst of Hermeneutic Press. Barry makes frequent appearances to kibitz about the lack of realism and audience-friendliness in Rex’s telling of the story. (“Do you know what the most important thing in comics and film is, Rex? Do you?” “Uh, plot? characterization?” “No! Boobs!”)

The first volume largely concerns Rex’s mission to retrieve an overdue copy of Principia Mathematica (along with $7.00 in fines) from the frozen-world tyrant Vaglox, accompanied only by Simonides the telekinetic bird, who used to be a philosopher until he was transformed by Circe (now mistress of the circulation desk) and who dreams of world conquest (“Take what you wish, my minions, but the bird seed is mine!”). How many comics do you know that throw in the word “floccinaucinihilipilification” just because?

It’s all drawn in a blocky, black-and-white style that looks simultaneously very familiar and totally fresh. I’ve spent a long time trying to figure out what it reminds me of and failing. Constructivist posters, maybe? Take a look and judge for yourself.

Anyway, I was really psyched to pick up Vol. II: Book of Monsters, which collects issues 6 through 13 of the comic, sadly the last of them James Turner has decided to do. The storyline in issues 6 through 8 about Rex fighting his way through a compendium of monsters is a bit of a letdown, with too much action and not enough silliness (even if there are zombie Nazis so evil they smoke cigarettes), but issue 9 (a flashback to Rex vs. the OGPU) is more like it, and finally we get to issue 10, where James Turner wins my everlasting adoration by making one absurd Tristram Shandy reference after another. It even ends with a story of a Cock and a Bull. Then for the last three issues Turner takes on H.P. Lovecraft in a convoluted storyline I won’t even try to describe.

It’s not quite as good as Vol. I, but what sequel ever is? Still highly recommended. Preview here.

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