Pimo And Rex
The first Blank Slate joint release with Rotopol is a cracker; Thomas Wellman’s exquisitely mannered yet utterly mad Pimo and Rex come dashing across the pages as gallant knights errant, with Wellman’s artwork delighting and engrossing with its multi-coloured and playful look.
Wellman’s work just looks like fun from the minute you catch sight of it, the cover alone may well sell you on this, all bright and breezy, organic shapes of weird characters against that crisp white backdrop. But it’s certainly not limited to the cover, the fun carries on inside, with two stories here all bursting with fun and colourful exuberance, a comic you’ll read with a smile on your face, as you enter the world of Pimo (yellow, pointy nosed chap) and Rex (orange, more rounded facial features).
The first tale follows these rather grand couple of chaps as they ride out in the woods, time uncertain, place uncertain, a fairytale existence with no reference:
It’s the sort of comic you end up adopting a voice to read along with, and that voice is weirdly something very English, something to describe these very dapper and gallant gents, and lets face it, anyone delivering the line “what a splendid place, lets fish here” really does deserve to have Stephen Fry do their voice.
This voice doesn’t carry through though, we get a real contrast between the effete horseback duo we meet early on and the couple declaring themselves “wasted” later on. Indeed, our heroes are remarkably uncouth at times, albeit with good reason; as Rex’s announcement of his forthcoming nuptials with boyfriend Leopold a catalyst for an evenings drunkeness, the page it happens on is a visual delight, as the pair jump from hooray lets celebrate straight to manic drunkeness:
Luckily, Rex’s intended is smart as well as romantic, and when the pair happen upon Magret, a magic muse sought by the minions of an evil necromancer who wants to be a grand painter (just go with it, it’s all part of the fun), Leopold’s engagement gift of a magic portal scroll comes in remarkably handy.
There’s so much going on in just that first story, but to be honest that’s mere preparation for the fun and weirdness to come in the second tale, The Golden Trickster, where Pimo and Rex take it to the next level and Wellman really knocks it out of the park with a tale that is perfectly tight yet still finds time to be playful and exuberant, funny and thrilling, and all along being so good to look at.
Pimo finds himself in trouble, pursued by someone mysterious and menacing, allowing Wellmann to draw two opening pages of absolutely thrilling tension, a perfect setup for the tale that Hitchcock would kill to do so well;
Oh yes. Perfect opening pages, don’t you agree. I’ll not spoil your fun here, not give the game away as to Pimo’s mysterious pursuer or their reason for the relentless, dogged pursuit, but suffice it to say, it’s as ridiculous as the opener is thrilling.
Pimo and Rex is frankly a riot. A thrilling adventure or two, lots of laughs, an artistic imagination in overdrive delivering his multi-coloured, organic creations, Wellmann really is rather knocking this out of the park.