‘Time Share’ Reviewed in a Timely Manner

It seems appropriate that a comic about time travel doesn’t show up the week it’s scheduled to come out.  However, this one appears to have come out early!  Last week I picked up the new Oni Press 168 page book Time Share by writer Patrick Keller and artist/colorist Dan McDaid (and Crank! on letters and Fred Chao on book design).

Keller obviously grew up in the ’80s, with nods in Time Share to three big time travel movies from that era comprising the majority of the plot of this book.  The overarching plot of Time Share is essentially from Terminator, with cyborgs and dudes coming back in time to kill the person who created the sentient computer running the world.

Time Share Terminator
That sentient computer just goes on and on about the bad ratings the cyborg is getting….

But we’ve also got a character based on Marty McFly from Back to the Future as the main protagonist.  And we also have nods to Bill and Ted as well as Doctor Who (and other cameos from things like Time Bandits and so forth).

Time Share cameos
It’s small and grainy, since it’s from my phone, but I swear those are cameos!

But that’s about as well as I can glean the story of Time Share from what I read.  I like time travel stories, unlike our pal Greg Burgas, but if he’s reading these sorts of time travel stories like Time Share, I can totally understand why he doesn’t like them.  You can reduce most time travel tales pretty well — Terminator is “cyborg sent to kill guy that will be humanity’s savior before he’s born, other guy goes back to stop cyborg”, Back to the Future is “guy goes back in time and has to ensure his parents actually get together so he exists”, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure is “dopey high schoolers use time machine to ace history exam”.  This book wants it all.  It’s mostly the Terminator story, with a Marty that got stranded in time and grew up and sees weird time displacements around him.  I guess.  Throw in the dude’s ex-girlfriend, a 19th century inventor, and a Time Master, and you get… confusion.

Time Share Back to the Future
Like how this guy…
Time Share Hank Venture
…is played by this guy, essentially.

WAIT!  DON’T PRINT THAT REVIEW!

Wuzzat?

ATOMICJUNKSHOPTRAVIS, I AM YOU FROM THE FUTURE!

Sure you are.  Why should I believe you?

BECAUSE I COME TO TELL YOU OF…THE FUTURE!

That’s circular logic.  Like Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer talked about in that SNL sketch that I included in my post the other day.

IS IT?  DAMN, I GUESS IT IS.  WHAT IF I TELL YOU THINGS OF THE FUTURE THAT YOU DO NOT YET KNOW?

Won’t help, because I don’t know them.  And telling me something only I know won’t help, because who cares?

FINE, BUT WILL YOU BELIEVE THAT WHEN YOU POST THAT REVIEW, YOU THREATEN ALL OF TIME AND SPACE?  PARADOXES UP THY ASS SHALL BE CREATED!

(Thy?) Given the current political climate, among other things, might it not be a good thing for paradoxes to occur?

NO, IT —

Whoa!  The paradoxes ARE happening!  Travis, I’m you from a timeline where the Atomic Junk Shop never had reason to come into being!

What, really?  You mean that other site won’t crash my computer anymore?

…Well, yeah, it’ll do that.  And you don’t have a column of your own.  You just make juvenile comments in the comments sections.

Hmm, that’s fun, but I get to do that here in my own column.  That is something I wanted to bring up about Time Share, though.  As juvenile as I am, the adolescent humor in this GN just doesn’t do it for me.  “Save My Cock” isn’t all that funny to begin with (although admittedly, I enjoyed when my local minor league baseball team had Mike Cox on the team, and I would ask no one in particular if they’d seen Mike Cox), and then finding out right away (confirming right away, I should say) that someone is hunting Mike Hawks just kills the joke.  And the 19th century inventor naming his creations ill-advisedly is mildly amusing at best.

You’re going to talk about other people’s lame jokes?

What?  No!  I mean, yeah, I loves me some bad puns, and I think the Thomas Edison bit was pretty damn funny, as well as the bad French, but overall, this book didn’t give me more than a smirk through most of it, and since the time travel element was too hard to follow — what now?

I’m a Travis from a timeline where you sacked up and asked that woman to marry you rather than let her get away.

Oh really.  Are you tryin’ to get me to post “Bad Romance” again?  So how’m I doing married to her?

You’re fine, she’s fine, it’s your kids that are the problem!

What, do they grow up to be assholes?  More likely, they’re dorky mutants that just sit around reading nerd books and writing poetry, right?

…That too, but they didn’t help prevent Hillary Clinton from getting elected, and now she’s ruined the world!

Wait, what?  My kids in another time frame somehow didn’t prevent Hillary Clinton from getting elected (possibly because they would have been about 5!), but Hillary ruined the world?

Yes!  You exist in the better world, where…oh shit, wait, Ziggy says your world elected Donald Trump for President.  WTF?

That’s what a lot of us are saying.

But Gary Johnson was supposed to win!  That was your only hope, USA!

Oh for chrissakes….  Look, I’m just trying to review an ok comic book here.  I need to point out that for the most part, Dan McDaid’s art, which I’ve liked elsewhere, is pretty good here, although there are times when the panel-to-panel continuity or the depictions of the action make it hard to follow.  I’m not sure if that’s a script thing, though, or what.  I mean, I’m not even sure what the hell happened at the end to wrap up the story, so I don’t know if it’s a script problem, or if McDaid didn’t depict things properly.  Who are you now?

I’m you…if you never physically grew up from your avatar picture here on the AJS!  That’s right, I’m a big fat bald baby in a Hulk t-shirt just trying to tell people about cool comics!

Hey, I’ve got hair, otherwise that’s pretty much what I look like now anyway.  Can I wrap this up, other mes?

Sure FINE why not I’ve got to get home to our lovely wife

Okay.  Jeezus.  Time Share is a decent comic book if you don’t try too hard to figure out what the fuck is going on while you’re reading.  You get some action, some wacky hijinks, juvenile poo-poo humor, and winks at time travel movies.  What you don’t get is a story that presents a group of people with discernible motivations or interesting personalities.

Back…in the future! with more stuff, but less mes.

One Comment

  1. Simon

    I liked how you turned a boring book into an entertaining review, heh. (And it reminded me of Cerebus’s inner voices, or that issue where all characters end up in the hold of a boat.) One quibble, though:

    – “And telling me something only I know won’t help, because who cares?”

    In a great time-travel short story by Jorge Luis Borges, the old man meets his younger self and the same disbelief happens, but for a good reason: the other argues that he must be dreaming, so his imagined visitor must share all he knows, so telling something only he knows is no proof!

    (But he’ll eventually find an amazing argument to convince the other he can’t be imagining their talk! It’s from THE BOOK OF SAND’s story “The Other”, a 10-minute read here.)

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