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

3.35 of 5 stars 3.35  ·  rating details  ·  500 ratings  ·  130 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 972)
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Richard
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
...more
paul
Nov 19, 2007 paul rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Librarians and Their Sympathisers
Canadian.
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
...more
Nancy
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
...more
Mike
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'
...more
Bree
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
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
Dan
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
...more
Stephanie
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)
Callie Rose Tyler
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
...more
Cynthia Varady
Cyndi
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
...more
Allison
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
...more
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" (
...more
Meaghan
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
...more
Stephanie Griffin
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
...more
Jace
Jun 27, 2008 Jace rated it 3 of 5 stars
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
...more
Judith
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."
The
...more
Jennifer
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
Mommalibrarian
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
...more
Eva
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.
Mel
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
Robert Beveridge
James Turner, Rex Libris: I, Librarian (SLG, 2007)

The first volume in Turner's much-ballyhooed series Rex Libris has finally landed on my doorstep, and I have to say, I'm not entirely sure what all the fuss is about. It's possible I read it way too soon after reading Jason Shiga's excellent Bookhunter, which covers much the same territory in a wittier way. Still, it's got a certain visual appeal, being completely computer-generated (this may be happening with increasing frequency--Dave Sim hints
...more
Maryellen
Enter the world of the Order Bibliotheca, a secret organization that works to safe guard the world. Rex Libris is one of many librarians who fights evil tyrants and retrieves overdue books. Of course I like the way librarians are portrayed in this graphic novel. It was a pleasure to read dialogue that used big words. Rex is both tough and sensitive. The female librarians are the same. There is a tongue-in-check sense of humor which includes an on going joke about turning problem patrons into pig ...more
Rachel
Probably the geekiest, most erudite graphic novel I have ever read. Rex Libris is a librarian, see - this whole book is basically about his attempts to retrieve an overdue library book. Except that it was checked out by Supreme Warlord Vaglox of Planet Benzine Five. So really, all Rex has to do is travel across the galaxy, fight his way through Vaglox's minions, and snatch the book out of the tyrant's appendages. As you might gather from all this, there's plenty of action. The geeky part comes i ...more
Miz Lizzie
A must-read for every librarian. I'm not generally a big graphic-novel fan -- largely because I am a very text and narrative based reader. Rex Libris successfully overcomes this objection by being almost excessively text-based. The computer-generated illustrations are also so uninteresting that they are easy to scan (ignore) most of the time in favor of the text. In this respect, the book may be something of a failure as a graphic novel. And, even this text-based reader found the interjections a ...more
Sue
I just could not get through this graphic novel. The story line took to long to develop and I didn't identify with any of the characters.
Evan
May 31, 2011 Evan rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Librarians who like comic books
3.5
We've all read comic books that are little more than shameless fan service to some demographic or another, with varying degrees of effectiveness or quality supporting that. I can't really claim Rex Libris is particularly different, except that its demographic is librarians and other bibliophiles. It performs this pandering pretty well and this obviously gives it mad props in my book. Everything else though, is mediocre: the plot is basic comic pulp, the humour is consistent if not extraordina
...more
Krissy
This was tongue-firmly-in-cheek fun. I enjoyed it and look forward to reading more about Rex Libris.
Rachel
This was an awesome, witty and just plain hilarious comic strip about a 2000+ yr old librarian named Rex Libris whose job is to shush people and reclaim overdue library books from creatures all over the galaxy, with force if needed. I thought the concept was brilliant. I even liked his evil genius sidekick, Simonedes, trapped in the body of a cute bird. I thought it was funny how his publisher kept trying to put girls with big boobs in his autobiography to spice things up but Rex kept telling hi ...more
Laura
Disappointing.

*caveat* A large part of my problem with it wouldn't come up for other people--I dislike large walls of text in graphic novels because of the print size. So if you, like me, have a hard time reading 6-8 pt font in large quantities, this book is going to give you a raging headache.

Other than that, though, the story was decently interesting. The art style certainly won't appeal to everyone, and the switches between back-story and main story-line were a little jerky, but it wasn't a t
...more
Rachel
Jun 25, 2008 Rachel rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Rachel by: weird lit mag I picked up at the Writer's Center
Great concept, terrible execution.

Rex Libris is a gun-toting, four-thousand-year-old librarian charged with protecting the universe from evil, recovering overdue library books from space warlords, and shushing kids in the stacks. The idea here is that he is just one of many in the secret Ordo Bibliotheca, and that *all* librarians are secretly ass-kicking crimefighters.

While I love anything that tears down the librarian's bad rap, this comic is terribly overwritten--too many words, too many bad
...more
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“Just because I'm a librarian doesn't mean I'm at all tame.” 7 likes
“Since at least the Sixth Century all librarians have received extensive combat training and are lethal with even the common toothpick.” 3 likes
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