Friday, August 14, 2009
Nil: A World Beyond Belief
At comic con I went to the SLG booth looking for more of the Rex Libris comics by James Turner that I bought there last year. Unfortunately they didn't have any loose-leaf comics, they only had a second bound collection. I would have bought this, but I had already bought over 2/3 of the comics in this collection in loose-leaf form at comic con the previous year, so I couldn't justify it to myself. Thankfully this lead me to buying another graphic novel by James Turner, Nil: A World Beyond Belief.
As much as I love Rex Libris (come on, what's not to love about a librarian who travels to other planets and dimensions in search of overdue library books?) I loved Nil even more. From the moment I checked the back and saw that it was a satire I was excited because nothing makes me happier than a good satire. When I bought the book and the cashier asked if I was an English major, I knew it was another good sign (My English major roommate testified that I was an honorary English major even if I got my degree in Theatre). By the time I started reading the book and a character responded to someone asking how he was with "We are surrounded by fools and incompetents! They are everywhere. Considering their ubiquitous nature it is a wonder society has not already collapsed." I was in love. Oh James Turner, you know how I like it!
Nil is about a man living in a society of nihilists who becomes a fugitive and ends up on the front lines in the war against optimists. It's ridiculous and fantastical and that's why I love it. My favorite part is Turner's attention to detail. He populates the land with political posters and the like that lends an amusing sense of reality to this shamelessly unrealistic land. My favorite was a poster that read:
"The Way of Nature: Nature evolves through extermination, but our modern technological society, with its tradition of tolerance, liberty, and diversity helps keep millions of stupid, incompetent people alive. Help us restore the balance of nature and kill a stupid person. Return to nature. Eat your neighbor."
It had a giant smiley face on it. Delightful! If you found that poster as hilarious as I do, then this is certainly the book for you.