Features

REVIEW: Heart of Time

Written by Robert Bagley

I have to admit I’ve never really been one for web comics. Maybe it’s because I’m behind the times and I haven’t yet joined the new age of tablets. I can see the appeal, with the price tag easily being a big draw. A free comic gives the artist and writer free reign. They are not controlled by any publishing entity. This of course can mean that we are flooded with some very poor webcomics, and I’ve never really felt the need to take that gamble.

Fortunately, with The Heart of Time, I hit the jackpot.

The webcomic is written and draw by the talented Sarah Millman. It follows the adventures of an Inventor, a young girl, a small pug and a time travelling Vespa. Now that’s my type of time machine! The Prologue sets up the adventures with the young lady sneaking around in 1590. With suspense, humour and excitement, who is this girl? What is she doing in the 16th Century?

The second chapter introduces our main character featured on the cover. The year is 1897, the place, Cardiff, our hero Arthur Smythe. He has all the hallmarks of a great scientific genius. But unfortunately, he also has the downsides: full emersion in his work had caused untidiness and tardiness. He is courting a young lady, Letitia Winterbourne. Much to her parents disapproval, as he does not have good prospects as far as they are concerned. But with the intervention of our time traveller, our hero’s luck may change.

The third chapter changes the stakes even further with more time travel and high-jinx. We get a little more back story and another party is introduced, who may be the villain. We also learn the young lady with the time travel scooter is called Amelia. She’s a bit of a rebel, not letting anyone get in her way.

This is a great beginning to a comic series. The setting and characters are well introduced. There is still further development to be made. But it’s a beginning, and a good one. A writer can so easily fall into the cliché of having all action and no story. Thankfully Millman does not go this route. We see both main characters established, and not just a hurried introduction so that it can get into more action. The art is clearly inspired by Manga/Anime, seen especially in the use of large eyes and angular faces. This does not detract from the enjoyment, but only enhances it. It also draws from steampunk in both subject matter and style. The colouring is done in a bold and contrasting way, the lines are clear and thick. This gives it charm and a distinctive style. The first section of the 1890’s is in black and white, which makes it feel like a flashback.

As a new follower of web comics, this was a great one for me to start with. The website is laid out in a very straightforward manner and easy to access and navigate. I will certainly be logging on to find out the next move of Arthur and Amelia. Who is this young Villain? Where did Amelia land? Will she get home? Hopefully some of these questions will be answered in the next installment of Heart of Time.

If you like sci-fi and pugs check the web comic out here! New pages are released on Mondays.

About the author

Robert Bagley