rebus books



April 11th & 12th @548 West 22nd Street, New York, NY

we have been privileged enough to be allowed to plop some books on the REBUS/domino table this weekend (table 226) at the mocca. come say hi 2 me,  i’ll be there most of saturday and some of sunday but the books will be there forever!!!!! peruse! ****ill have a new lil thing i haven’t put online yet do u spot it in the pic??****


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).


Rebus Books will not be exhibiting at this year’s SPX festival, but copies of Barrel of Monkeys will be available from Frémok at W69.

Artists Yvan Alagbé and Dominique Goblet will represent Frémok, and will bring with them a number of new releases. These include Plus si entente, a gorgeous new avant-garde work produced collaboratively by Goblet and Kai Pfeiffer; École de la misère, Alagbé’s new meditation upon intertwined legacies of colonialism and desire (recently reviewed on The Comics Journal); Histoire de la Belgique (pour tous) a brand new Cowboy Henk book by Kamagurka and Herr Seele that offers a hilariously absurd false history of Belgium presented in comics and surreal paintings; and Dernière bande, the self-proclaimed final graphic novel by “the Pope of Frémok," Alex Barbier

Other titles on hand will include Frémok’s Cowboy Henk anthology, an instant sell-out at MoCCA; Eric Lambé’s ball-point-pen masterpiece, Le fils du roi; Stefan Van Dinther’s CHRZ; other works by Alagbé and Goblet; and many more fascinating and exquisitely produced titles. 

Alagbé and Goblet will appear in conversation with Bill Kartalopoulos on Saturday at 1:30 in the White Flint Auditorium:

The Roots of Frémok: Yvan Alagbé and Dominique Goblet

Yvan Alagbé and Dominique Goblet are foundational figures in the poetic comics movement represented by the the avant-garde publishing house Frémok. Alagbé’s work expresses in harsh lines and soft tones his narratives of mysterious desire and explosive cultural conflict, as in his most recent book, École de la misère. Goblet’s work troubles the distinctions between fiction and autobiography, and between narrative comics and poetic image-making. Her new graphic novel Plus si entente was produced collaboratively with Kai Pfeiffer to test the possibilities of narrative within the comics form. Moderated by Bill Kartalopoulos.

Frémok’s presence at SPX represents a still-rare opportunity to learn more about the history of this unique and significant publisher, and to explore their backlist and latest publications. 

Rebus Books is coming to Autoptic!

Rebus Books was founded by Bill Kartalopoulos to publish books of comics and other works of visual exposition that implicitly explore and reveal the expressive possibilities of the comics form. Rebus Books first publication is “Barrel of Monkeys,“ by award-winning French artists Florent Ruppert and Jérôme Mulot. The book has been featured in Publishers Weekly and on 50 Watts and Bill Kartalopoulos is a Brooklyn-based critic, educator, curator and publisher. He is an organizer of the Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival, has taught classes about comics and illustration at Parsons the New School for Design, is the programming coordinator for SPX: The Small Press Expo, and has worked as an assistant to Art Spiegelman for several years.


La Grande Odalisque by Vives with art by Ruppert et Mulot. I had been aware of R&M through their work in Kramers Ergot 7, but it wasn’t until Rebus Books put out Barrel of Monkeys last year that I really got hooked. These guys are doing work that no one else in comics is doing, and I can’t get enough. I’m working my way through their back catalog and will post photos of some of their other books soon.

This is a total departure - a classic “BD” album for a big publisher, without even a single phenakistiscope. It’s weird to see their work in color (although they didn’t color it themselves), and it’s almost jarring to see them draw faces, rather than a “V” over a blank circle. Still, their style comes through, and it shows the versatility on their part to take on a project like this. I haven’t read it yet, but this book is an absolute joy to look at, and the story sounds like a fun read as well.

Rebus Books will exhibit at this year’s MoCCA Arts Festival on April 11 and 12, sharing Table 226 with Domino Books and Spider’s Pee-Paw.  In addition to the critically acclaimed Barrel of Monkeys Rebus will carry a selection of imported international books, many in extremely limited quantities. These include Yuichi Yokoyama’s Baby Boom. Never published in the US, this wordless, full-color book is comprised of a series of shorts and is Yokoyama’s funniest work. 

The French edition published by Éditions Matière has been printed with intense color separations utilizing multiple Pantone colors to precisely reproduce the appearance of Yokoyama’s loose marker drawings. 

Other books in stock will include the first edition of Olivier Schrauwen’s first masterpiece, My Boy; signed copies of Richard’ McGuire’s P + O; and issues of the bilingual (French/English) Collection Revue including the new 4th issue, in a redesigned oversized format and featuring new interviews with Daniel Clowes (conducted by Bill Kartalopoulos) and Leon Sadler, among many others. 

Once again, all of these books are available in extremely limited quantities. Rebus Books is not accepting reservations for these books in advance. 

Rebus Books will also host Ilan Manouach and Gea Philes. Manouach will have with him a sample board from Shapereader, his 57-plate graphic novel for the blind and visually impaired. 

Copies of books by Manouach will also be available, including his book Écologie Forcée, the détourned comic Riki Fermier, and MetaKatz, chronicling the publication of Katz. A privately owned copy of Katz will also be available for on-site viewing.

Gea Philes is a Chilean-born, multidisciplinary artist based in New York. Her work encompasses drawing, painting, illustration, comics, photography, and film, including music videos for Momus and Jeffrey Bützer. Philes’s new zines, including I Sold My Soul to the Devil, will preview her forthcoming art book from Toulouse-based publisher Timeless Editions

Finally, submissions for The Best American Comics 2016 will be accepted at the Rebus Books table. Any new, North American work published between September 1, 2014 and August 31, 2015 is eligible for The Best American Comics 2016. If Series Editor Bill Kartalopoulos is not present at the table, material can be given to anyone working Table 226 and it will be included with BAC 2016 submissions. 

Table 226 is located on the second floor of Center 548

A quick sneak preview of some of the beautiful books Rebus Books will be bringing to TCAF in Toronto this weekend. Find us at table B6. Eric Lambé will be with us, signing and drawing in copies of his wordless masterpiece Le fils du roi

Additionally, Rebus Books publisher Bill Kartalopoulos will appear on the State of Small Press panel on Saturday at 10:00 am at the Toronto Marriott Bloor Yorkville Hotel, High Park Ballroom.

Eric Lambé will appear in a special spotlight discussion, in conversation with Kartalopoulos, on Saturday at 1:30 pm at the main Festival site

Watch on

Visitors to the “Ruppert and Mulot 101” exhibit at Wayfarers Gallery had the chance to see one of the pair’s amazing 3D phenakistiscopes, which come to life on a turntable under a strobe light. This was from a narrative series called “Le petit théâtre de l'ébriété.” More examples in this video, plus some 2D phenakistiscopes from Barrel of Monkeys, which are part of the book’s overall narrative. Order Barrel of Monkeys at


Barrel of Monkeys by Ruppert and Mulot

The debut book from Rebus Books. Exhibit opening and book signing Friday November 9 as part of the Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival.