rebus books


Here are the books I am giving away (explanation here):

Scott, Michael Secrets of the immortal Nicolas Flamel book 1-3 (used paperbacks)

Scott, Michael Secrets of the immortal Nicolas Flamel book 4-6 (HC)  

Rankin, Ian Inspector Rebus books 1-3

Atkins, Jeannine Finding wonders (HC)

Blake, Kendare Anna dressed in blood

Nimmo, Jenny Charlie Bone book 1-5 (HC)

Pegg, Simon Nerd do well

Zhang, Amy This is where the world ends

Lowry, Lois Messenger (HC)

Lowry, Lois Son (HC)

Vizzini, Ned It’s kind of a funny story

Brennan, Marie A natural history of dragons (HC)

Brennan, Marie On the tropic of serpents (HC)

Clare, Cassandra City of bones + City of ashes + City of Glass

Bracken, Alexandra Passenger

Sting Broken music

Pratchett, Terry Carpe Jugulum

McCourt, Frank ‘Tis

Doctor Who 11 doctors 11 stories

Gaiman, Neil The graveyard book

Pessl, Marisha Special topics in calamity physics

McGinnis, Mindy Given to the sea (HC, incl. signed bookplate)

Ahdieh, Renée Flame in the mist (HC, incl. signed bookplate)

Schwab, Victoria This savage song (HC, incl. signed bookplate)

LaCour, Nina + Levithan, David You know me well

Lackey, Mercedes & Dixon, Larry Owlflight (HC) + Owlsight + Owlknight (HC)

Bradley, Marion Zimmer The fall of Neskaya + Zandru’s forge + A flame in Hali

not pictured:

Julie C. Dao Forest of a thoursand lanterns (HC, incl. Signed bookplate)

(books are used and a few include address stickers)


I managed to snag the last one of these from the Rebus Books table, although I think I’m going to have to buy another one from Amazon, since I want to keep one in pristine condition!

See, to “read” this book, you have to peel away perforated panels, exposing the book underneath. I have always kind of hated books that have be destroyed to be read, although there is a long tradition of this in France. It used to be common to print pages 4-up, folding the parent sheets in half long-ways and then again before being bound, meaning that, to read the book, you have to cut the top of the page edges. Of course, this destroys the value of the book, dichotomizing a book of value and a book that exists to be read. (This probably happened in places besides France, but I don’t have any experience with it.)

So, it isn’t unprecedented to create a book that needs to be manipulated (even defaced) in order to be read. The genius here, however, is that the story is about an autopsy, which is then represented physically in the book itself as the reader pulls the panels apart. On a theoretical level, there’s a lot to explore in the relation between text and image in comics, but expanding it into a third dimension is pretty novel. It’s been done with things like Chris Ware’s Building Stories model, although that, as a model, is more sterile. This book, on the other hand, doesn’t build anything physically permanent, in that it can be closed, opened, and repeated. Rather than building a structure, the reader assists in rendering the physicality of the plot of the book.

Seriously, these guys are operating on a level above everyone else working in comics. I’m more interested to see what they do next than pretty much everyone else. Don’t forget that last year they illustrated a genre story with babes and guns (and it was one of the best books of the year).