Your name: Arvid Nelson and EricJ Title of book: Rex Mundi Publisher of book: Image Comics Ongoing or miniseries: Ongoing Expected on-sale date: 2nd issue comes out March 18
(1) Fill in the blanks: We are Arvid Nelson and EricJ and I am best known for...ranting on streetcorners and scaring children. Rex Mundi is our first professional work!
(2) What is your book about?
Rex Mundi is a quest for the Holy Grail in the form of a murder mystery. Take a 1930s gangster movie, replace the cops with the Holy Inquisition and the mobsters with sorcerers and secret society members, and you've got a pretty good idea of what it's all about. The action is set in Paris, 1933, but in our version of history the Protestant Reformation never happened. So while everything looks like a detective movie, social conditions are in fact still medieval. The Roman Church still has a stranglehold on power, and kings still sit on the thrones of Europe. Amidst this setting, thunderheads of a cataclysmic war are gathering...
(3) What is the origin of this project, secret or otherwise? Give us the origin story.
The origins of Rex Mundi go back to Paris in 1999. I was in the City of Lights working as a third-leg on a documentary film and trying to figure out what the hell to do with my life. One day, while sitting at a cafe called Les Deux Magots (which will be featured in Rex Mundi #2: The Puzzle in the Painting) I noticed a church across the street. A woman I was sitting with noticed my admiration, and told me the church had been built in the 800s by the Normans. That blew my mind, and it really got me thinking about just how different Europe is from the United States. The weight of all that history, all those thousands of years of building and razing and building again, was almost unbearable to me.
So I had the idea for a story set in a place that looked very new but was actually bound to the past by big, fat iron chains. Rex Mundi was the result.
(4) Aside from the promise of tall dollars, what drew you to this project? Why now?
Rex Mundi just deals with a lot of stuff that really interests Eric and I. I guess all of the end-of-the-millennium tension in the cultural zeitgeist around 1999 was warping my brain. Although it was somewhat arbitrary, I think the advent of the year 2000 made a lot of people stop and think about the "big things." Western faiths, Christianity in particular, have fascinated me for a long time. So suffice it to say that Rex Mundi deals with a confluence of things Eric and I like to read about.
(5) Why should a reader pick your book over, say, lunch on a given day? Pitch away.
Rex Mundi is dark, sometimes terrifying but hopefully interesting exploration of the things in your spiritual back-yard. There is a vast underground of magic and mystery hidden just below the surface of your granny's Sunday morning church service. Anyone interested in magic, the occult and murder mysteries will, I think, find Rex Mundi a rewarding read. At worst, comic book paper can be a filling if non-nutritious noontime snack!
(6) Anything else you'd like to add?
Yes! "Rex Mundi" is NOT a character in the book. It means "king of the world" in Latin and it's a term Catholics use for Jesus. It also meant something *very* different to a group of medieval Christian heretics in the south of France. That double meaning becomes very important later on in the story.
Concluding Note: Where can readers go for more information:
First of all, our website: http://www.rexmundi.net. We spent the better part of a year on this site, and I think I can say with some confidence that it's among the best single-title comic book websites out there. There is a *lot* of information online.
Secondly, while you're there, check out our online comic, Brother Matthew. Brother Matthew shares the time and setting of Rex Mundi, but it involves totally different characters and different plots. The action revolves around a young Inquisitor, Brother Matthew. Direct link: http://www.rexmundi.net/bm.html.