Good Readin’ 2012.4 – Reptilis Rex

Reptilis Rex © William Tallman

William Tallman has a story to tell.

Mind you, “William Tallman” is merely an alias for the artist-author of Reptilis Rex—an apparent security requirement of the so-called “Reptoid Protection Program”, a witness relocation service for lizard informants, cold-blooded asylum-seekers, and sundry scaled turncoats. Y’know. Reptoids.

Anonymity notwithstanding, Mr. Tallman does indeed have a story to tell: a biography of sorts, chronicling the self-imposed exile of erstwhile autocrat Krel Irontail, last known emperor of the Hollow Earth and present wage-slave at Lemmy’s Discount Goods.

Though it wears the rumpled polo shirt and brassy nametag of a stock-in-trade retail comedy, William Tallman’s still-minty-fresh Reptilis Rex often feels more like a sociopolitical send-up of systemic bigotry, flawed immigration policy, and religious prejudice than a mere workplace sitcom with a conspiratorial sci-fi twist. Reasons as follows:

Exhibit A: Krel Irontail and his slave-turned-lackey Snive are both less-than-legal immigrants living in impoverished, tenement-style conditions under constant threat of warrant-less detainment and cursory deportation.

Exhibit B: Extant laws deny citizenship and drivers’ licenses to reptoids. Similarly, the relative worth of a reptoid is listed as half that of a human.

Exhibit C: Discount superstore owner Lemmy Wilkins, as Krel and Snive’s current employer, uses their tenuous immigrant status to extort compliance with his inarguably nativist/speciesist store policies. Such as

C.1 – The use of “surface names” when dealing with customers.
C.2 – The wearing of paper bags as masks to conceal their reptilian features.

Exhibit D: “The Church of the Divine Mammal”, a fundamentalist Christian sect and anti-reptoid hate group, renowned for promoting legislation that would permit employers to deny health insurance to reptoids based on “religious grounds”. (The President, a known member of the CDM, has since signed the aforementioned bill into law.)

Ah, bitingly topical humour! Isn’t it grand?

Rather, isn’t it a horrifyingly accurate?

Fan Art: Even though possession of Hollow Earth contraband is a felony offense punishable by immediate deportation, neither Krel nor Snive could bring themselves to give up their recently-acquired/adopted “muto”—a sentient, scale-exfoliating, shape-shifting gelatinous mass.

The evenly-weighted, boldly-coloured work of William Tallman aspires to the super-clean and -consistent level of high-quality animation. Presumable use of cut-paste vectors aside, it’s… well… dauntingly crisp, actually.


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