Review by Frank Plowright
The cover to the British edition of Pimo & Rex does German creator Thomas Wellmann no favours at all by supplying a crowded and confusing image that’s off-putting rather than enticing. It accurately conveys both the density of his world building and the child-like simplicity of his characters, but not to their best advantage.
Pimo and Rex are two best buddies in a fantasy world where danger is but a spell away, and librarians go that extra mile to track down missing books. It’s a surreal and individual work, not too far removed from Adventure Time, and comes across as the term’s doodlings from the bored kid in the back of the science class. This is because for all the imagination at work, a coherent plot structure is a secondary consideration. It indicates Wellmann having a few ideas he intends to use, but he’ll take the country bus route to getting at them if something else occurs in the meantime.
The resolutely two-dimensional art won’t be to all tastes, but to begin with Wellman spends an inordinate amount of time on every page, packing it with detail. The penultimate spread could be a previously unseen depiction from the mind of Hieronymous Bosch as assorted creatures seen during the rest of the book have at each other, Wellman depicting the progress of his characters by working in anything up to a dozen images of their path. The detail on the opening page of the second story (see sample art) is indicative of this obsessive noodling. It must have been too time consuming as much of the remainder of that story is talking heads, and with these the limitations of Wellmann’s style are apparent. Shorn of the attention grabbing backgrounds the flat characters are nowhere near as impressive.
Pimo & Rex has a lot of funny moments, but also many where the point is frustratingly obscure. There’s something here, but it won’t have a universal appeal. Wellman followed up with Pimo & Rex: The Intedimensional Wedding.