Ex Libris revolves around a character trapped in a room with nothing but a futon and a bookcase full of comics. As they peruse covers, read stories and fragments of stories, they begin to suspect that the comics contain hidden messages and… a threat. Fiction and reality blur; sanity and madness become increasingly intertwined as the reader becomes convinced the key to their predicament hides between the panels of the strange books.
With a dizzying array of inventive visual and narrative styles, Ex Libris continues the line of exploration and play that Madden initiated with 99 Ways to Tell a Story: Exercises in Style. Ex Libris is a tribute to the meta-fictional tradition of writers like Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortázar, Vladimir Nabokov, and Italo Calvino (whose novel, If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler, was the inspiration).
MATT MADDEN(NYC 1968) is a cartoonist, teacher, and translator. His best-known book is99 Ways to Tell a Story: Exercises in Style, a comics adaptation of Raymond Queneau’sExercises in Style. His recent work includes the comic booksDrawn OnwardandBridge. He has been living in Philadelphia since 2016.