Wednesday, May 07, 2014
Reader's Diary #1120- James Turner: Rex Libris/ I, Librarian
I, Librarian is the first in James Turner's Rex Libris graphic novel series. Though set in modern times, Rex has been a librarian since the days of ancient Egypt. As were many of the other immortal characters in the book.
It's eccentric as hell, though the main plot really isn't more complicated than Rex tracking down an overdue book. It's on the other side of the galaxy sure, but that doesn't pose much of a problem for Rex. Nor do the weird robot/alien/snowmen he encounters. In all honesty, I kind of wish there had been more difficult-to-overcome obstacles in the book. There was a lot of build up for some pretty mild action.
That being said, I did appreciate Turner's brand of quirk. A talking, sarcastic, trouble-making songbird as a mascot is always a nice touch. As are frequent breaks of the fourth wall courtesy of Rex's editor, Barry, who Rex debates with about certain unreliable and questionable details.
The toying with librarian stereotypes (they all wear thick-rimmed glasses, of course) may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I think it's all harmless and clearly in jest. Plus, the real library trivia (Ranganathan's 5 Laws of Library Science, anyone?) should be enough to satisfy at least some in the profession.
The artwork is also not run of the mill. The pictures are blocky, highly stylized, thickly inked, and it reminded me of 1940s propaganda art. I don't have any art background, so I'm sure I'm doing a poor job of explaining it, but you might get a sense of what I mean by checking out Turner's website.