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Rex Libris, Volume I: I, Librarian (Rex Libris #1-5)

3.36  ·  Rating Details  ·  606 Ratings  ·  151 Reviews
The astonishing story of the incomparable Rex Libris, Head Librarian at Middleton Public Library, and his unending struggle against the forces of ignorance and darkness. Rex travels to the farthest reaches of the galaxy in search of overdue books. Wearing his super thick bottle glasses, and armed with an arsenal of high technology weapons, he strikes fear into recalcitrant ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published July 17th 2007 by SLG Publishing (first published June 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,248)
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Aug 13, 2008 Richard rated it did not like it
Shelves: didn-t-finish
This is my second in an unintentional series of unreadable books about the library. From now on only Jason Shiga is allowed to write library stories, especially comics.
I cannot figure out why this book is even a comic. The drawing is incredibly dull and lifeless. The book is mostly long, boring exposition. If only there were some way via cartooning to avoid long, tedious, small font descriptions of characters, plot, and action. If only those details could somehow be shown instead of endlessly de
Nov 19, 2007 paul rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Librarians and Their Sympathisers
Profoundly Canadian.
But not in a touchy-feely Carol Shields, Lynn Johnson kind of way.
Canadian in a good Mordechai Richler, Leonard Cohen kind of way.
That is, if either of those gentleman wrote comic books and were certifiably insane.
Following the interplanetary, cross-dimensional exploits of the titular Mr Libris -- pistol-packin', two-fisted, 2,000 year old head Librarian of the Middleton Public Library; square of jaw and shoulder and haircut -- and the rest of the bold bookworms of t
Julie - Book Hooked Blog
My only disappointment with this series is that it ended with no apparent plans for more issues. I loved this so much. It's hilarious and a blast to read, although, obviously, you're going to need to be able to suspend your disbelief big time. Rex Libris reminds me a bit of a noir detective version of Dr. Who with a very literary bent. I love how he's constantly fighting evil - but only because he needs those books to be returned on time. Seriously, it doesn't get any better for me than over the ...more
Feb 06, 2012 Mike rated it it was ok
This is one I really truly wanted to like, but couldn't. The book reads like a simultaneous parody of, and homage to, the classic Stan Lee stories of the 60's. Turner even goes so far as to include "Barry," the comic's publisher, who looks like Larry King, but talks in the frenetic hipster lingo of old Stan Lee editorial columns. This character is just as appalling as that description makes him sound.

Sadly, the writing on Rex Libris is just not as clever as James Turner seems to think it is. It'
Oct 02, 2008 Nancy rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
Who doesn't like the idea of a librarian super-hero? Mine would be called (um) "The Librarian!" And she would get library levies to pass -- even in difficult economic times -- and somehow (with super powers) inspire the men who sit on the computers all day to organize and run some small business that makes them feel useful and needed. She would install those new "MetroNap" chairs in the staff lounge and wash-down stations for bicycle commuters. Stuff like that.

Rex is James Turner's idea of a sup
Heidi Wiechert
The best part of this wasn't the story or artwork, which was so-so, but the description of the Ordo Bibliotheca (the page right after the final panel of book one). Here's why:

"Since at least the Sixth Century all librarians have received extensive training and are lethal with even the common toothpick."


"The veil of secrecy that has surrounded the Ordo Bibliotheca, the secret international Order of Librarians, has been so complete and well maintained that is has, unlike the cover stories of
As a librarian I endorse this book wholeheartedly, it is intelligent, funny, interesting and oh-how-i-wish-i-could-get -overdue-books-back-like-Rex-fantastic. Rex and his band of librarians protect the world from evil and will do anything to retrieve an overdue book and fine. What a great story! This hardcover version covers Comics 1-5 and the rest of the remaining 7 comics have to bought individually if you want to see if Rex ever gets the Principia Mathematic from the now destroyed Vaglox. The ...more
Andy Shuping
Sep 18, 2011 Andy Shuping rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
Rex is the Head Librarian at Middleton Public library. But Middleton...isn't your average library. And Rex isn't your average librarian. Rex is an immortal librarian, beginning his training back in the great ancient Library of Alexandria. And Middleton serves patrons from all over the universe and all manner of creatures. Rex uses every resource at his disposal to get Warlords to return their overdue books and pay their fines. Joining him in his adventures are the Head of the Library Thoth (the ...more
Jul 10, 2009 Dan rated it really liked it
This book was just flat-out fun. Rex Libris is a galaxy-traveling, dimension-jumping librarian from Middleton Public Library. Although he carries a huge gun, he often simply uses his vast knowledge of history & the universe to get out of tough scrapes.

The man has every fictional tool under his belt and works for the Egyptian god Thoth, which makes the story pretty funny.

One of the best things about this book is pure imagination behind the writing. James Turner turns on the creative jets wit
Aug 15, 2016 Emesskay rated it really liked it
This book made me laugh so much. As a librarian in another life, I so appreciated all the little touches. The graphic novel takes us into the secret hidden society of the librarian superhero (and all librarians are superheros according to this book, who am I to disagree?).

Rex Libris is the librarian at the Middleton public library, he reports to the library administrator, who happens to be Thoth. Yes, Thoth, the Ibis-headed god from ancient Egypt (in the mythology of ancient Egypt, Thoth was cre
The latest in Librarian action! This concept is a good idea, a superhero librarian fighting for public library causes, but I didn't like the density of text and competing graphics in each panel. And, well, schucks... I only saw one woman character in the book - how is that anything like the public library? (there are lots of monsters and alien creatures)
Sep 15, 2015 Majera rated it liked it
Shelves: could-not-finish
I'm sorry to say I couldn't finish this (mostly because I got distracted by more interesting stories and I gave up) especially because I'm studying to be a librarian. I found it a bit more tedious than I was expecting, however the first scene was hilarious.
John Bergeron
Feb 02, 2015 John Bergeron rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
This TPB may have read better in single issues. The text is hyper-compressed, both to highlight the characters' erudition and to create a sesquipedalian Silver Age feel to match the Kirby-quoting artwork. All of that compression, though, can make for a slow read and keep your brain so busy crunching words that the artwork becomes secondary.

Speaking of the artwork, there is craft and wit to the designs. Turner cites Jack Kirby and Hergé as influences; both can be seen, but in this first volume, t
Callie Rose Tyler
May 13, 2014 Callie Rose Tyler rated it did not like it
Wow, what a disappointment. I was expecting so much more from this, I thought a graphic novel about a librarian would be awesome, alas it was not. I have made a new year’s resolution that I would no longer waste my time with bad books. I read the first issue/chapter of this and could not bring myself to continue.

First off, my hopes were that the stories would revolve around a normal librarian dealing with supernatural patrons. As in helping them with reference questions or just dealing with the
Cynthia Varady
Jun 04, 2012 Cynthia Varady rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-books
Rex Libris: Librarian

Warning to all those in breach of library return policies, there's a new librarians in town, and he don't take kindly to overdue library materials. Rex Libris, Head Librarians of the Middleton Public does away with the old stereotype of the mousey, old maid librarian we have become accustomed to, giving us instead an ass-kicking, no nonsense, intergalactic, time traveling information professional, hell bent on keeping order in his center for public knowledge.

Rex Libris
Jun 11, 2009 Allison marked it as to-read
I read this review by Glen Weldon on NPR's culture blog Monkey See, and I just had to put it on my to-read list! Hehe, it sounds fantastic.

"Rex Libris, titular hero of James Turner's smart, stylish and breathlessly paced comic series, is a custodian of great and terrible secrets who must perforce do endless battle 'gainst those who would seek to corrupt, destroy or abscond with the collected lore of the ages.

Which is to say: He's a public librarian.

Rex has seen a lot over the years, and done a
Matti Karjalainen
- I was hoping to dispose of you quietly, you insolent bookshelving usurper!
- Book shelver? Book shelver!?! I'm an information professional, bucko! Now you gonna give me that book or does this have to get messy?

Jos sarjakuva kertoo on kirjastonhoitajasta, joka matkaa halki ajan ja kaukaisten galaksien vain periäkseen takaisin myöhässä olevia kirjoja, niin voiko siihen olla tarttumatta? Ei missään tapauksessa - ainakaan jos satut työskentelemään itsekin alalla...

No, valitettavasti "Rex Libris" (
Feb 26, 2012 Meaghan rated it did not like it
I was all excited to read a comic book about a super-powered librarian and then I opened it up to see ... a foreword by Dave Sim. Famous raging misogynist Dave Sim. I have to admit, this put me off the whole thing before I read a single word of the actual text. Then, in the context of a foreword by woman-hater Dave Sim, I started thinking about the fact that Rex Libris is about a male librarian. Why not a female librarian with superpowers? It's a female-dominated profession, after all.

So I was p
Stephanie Griffin
Nov 20, 2012 Stephanie Griffin rated it really liked it
This graphic novel collects the first five issues of the comic. Rex, a “two-fisted librarian”, will stop at nothing to maintain order in the library and get people to return overdue books. Along the way he must deal with fictional characters that come to life, old ladies lost in the aisles, and a Larry King-like publisher who likes to put his two-cents in at the beginning of every chapter.

When I first heard of REX LIBRIS being a book about a librarian who traveled to other galaxies to retrieve o
Jun 27, 2008 Jace rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
I had read a smattering a good things about REX LIBRIS on the comic book websites I frequent, so when I saw the first volume of his adventures for $.50 (plus shipping) on eBay, I jumped at the offer.

REX LIBRIS tells an entertaining story filled with sesquipedalian words, librarian jokes, and a bevy of fun mythological characters (some of Rex's co-workers include Circe the sorceress and the Egyptian god Thoth). The plot is so simple and instantly classic that it's amazing no one thought of it be
Jul 01, 2009 Judith rated it really liked it
Rex Libris Volume One: I, Librarian by Jame Turner is a compilation of issues 1-5 of Rex Libris comics, plus an unpublished story "Rex Libris vs. The Red Baron," and a few drawings by other artists. "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 absolutely loved the idea of a secret society of librarians that kicks butt in the name of knowledge. I also liked the intentional self-deprecating humor and intentional camp making fun of the Western comic industry. However, in the end, I just didn't get too into this series, and, although I enjoyed the allusions to popular culture and history that I actually got, I'm sure there were several that passed right over my head. Although I got the impression that James Turner was actually intereste ...more
Jun 10, 2012 Mommalibrarian rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, graphic
Very stylized pictures. Some sparkling dialog but mostly a shot'em up. One of the better quotes is the monologue Circe gives to the younger librarian Hypatia.

"I'm over 2000 years old. My trouble making days are long behind me. wreaking havoc and seducing adventuring heroes is for young people. These days I like to curl up with a good book and a hot cup of tea ... Destroying lives, seeking power ... it isn't very fulfilling. After the first few millennia, the sex gets a little boring. There are o
May 21, 2014 Eva rated it liked it
Eh. Some cute stuff and a few fun gags, but it never really took off. This could've been much more. Also, as much as they poke fun at over sexualized women in comics, this is clearly written from the male gaze.

While we're at it, can we get any people of color in here? Any at all?

Oh, yeah, and Rex's in-and-out tough guy accent felt grating and forced.
Nev Percy
Mar 28, 2016 Nev Percy rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic-novel
Almost the last sentence of the Afterword goes: "The book is obviously not for everyone. It revels in boundless, untrammelled silliness, of which I'm sure Graham Chapman's admonishing army officer would not approve."

The computer-drawn art is unremittingly brutalist and ugly.

I've enjoyed things in the past despite ugliness and where the silliness was properly funny, and I had reasonable hopes that the extra twist of arcane erudition would put this right up my street. But whilst the learned detail
Aug 07, 2016 Paperclippe rated it really liked it
As someone who works in a library, very much of this (maybe too much) really hit home for me (smoke screen in case the patrons get rowdy, anyone)? This is an incredibly smart and very funny little comic, and the humor was exactly my speed. Really dry and on the nose, but even better if you got the references. Also, I was encouraged to drink beverages and eat pastries while I read it. That was a big plus.
Mar 04, 2012 Mel rated it really liked it
This was quite a fun graphic novel. An invincible librarian from the library of Alexandria with superhero powers he uses in defending library and collecting overdue books. It has some wonderful jokes about libraries and librarians that I really appreciated. The comic got a little less interesting when Rex went off on his quests to obtain overdue books. It seemed kinda odd to me that the most entertaining thing they could think of the librarian to do was collect lost books and not actually anythi ...more
May 21, 2016 Sandra rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Fun but wordy. For something with so much lettering it really needs a bigger font!

The editorial interjections started to get repetitive and grinding. I wasn't big on the new Hypatia, but would really would like to see more of Circe and Thoth.
Nov 01, 2015 Michãel rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic-novel
I wanted to like this, I really did. I love the premise. I love much of the plot and dialogue. I loved the art and characters (mostly). But it dragged, often. Might have to give it a go again in the future, but for now I couldn't even finish.
Jan 06, 2016 Derek rated it did not like it
Horrible. Just plain fucking horrible. Everything about this. The shoddy art, the clusterfuck text arrangement, the vapid characters, the piss-poor attempts at racist, homophobic, and sexist humor. How could they make more of this trash?
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Other Books in the Series

Rex Libris (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • Rex Libris #1
  • Rex Libris #2: Labyrinth of Literature
  • Rex Libris #3: Leap of Faith
  • Rex Libris, Volume 1, Issue 4
  • Rex Libris #5: Tea with Vaglox
  • Rex Libris #6: Book of Monsters
  • Rex Libris #7: Merry−Go−Round−of−Monsters
  • Rex Libris #8: Escape From the Book of Monsters
  • Rex Libris #9: In the Grip of OGPU!
  • Rex Libris #10: A Cock and Bull Story

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“Just because I'm a librarian doesn't mean I'm at all tame.” 8 likes
“Since at least the Sixth Century all librarians have received extensive combat training and are lethal with even the common toothpick.” 5 likes
More quotes…