The Time Traveler’s Pub, written and drawn by Scott Kanold, is an online comic that explores the concept of time-travel and the consequences that such a thing will inevitably have on both the individual and the world.
The twice-weekly updating of the comic would imply that the story is advancing at a rapid pace, but said updates are single pages of plot, meaning that seven weeks and fifteen pages in, the comic is barely long enough to meet the size of a standard issue. While only a small portion of the comic has been posted thus far, its accessibility, frequent updates, and the fact that it’s free, makes the short length insignificant in the grand scheme of things, especially considering the fact that it’s the content that really matters, not the small pieces we receive it in.
While true that the few published pages means that much of the story and characters are still shrouded in mystery, there has been enough progression to get a general sense of where the plot might be going.
The still unnamed central character of the story serves as the eyes and ears to the reader, learning about the existence of time-travel in synchrony with the audience. Though this has the potential to make things a bit more confusing, considering that the main character doesn’t actually know enough to properly explain anything to the reader, it may prove to be beneficial in the long run.
Having characters with too much knowledge often means an overabundance of foreshadowing that reveals the end of a story before one’s even reached the middle. By having a central character that is just as uninformed as the reader, The Time Traveler’s Pub might actually manage to keep its larger plot-points from being revealed prematurely.
Said key plot-points will likely largely revolve around the case of mistaken, or rather, intentionally falsified identity. The main character’s introduction to the mysterious Miko is what sets into motion his dealings with, “time-hopping,” and only occurs because he instinctually says yes when the woman asks him if his name is Sam Parker.
The character immediately confesses to the reader that he is most definitely not Sam Parker, but otherwise flounders in front of the woman and doesn’t confess his true identity- or at least he hasn’t yet. While this normally wouldn’t be an issue, Miko’s later (and seemingly pre-planned) rescue of the character makes it clear that his claiming to be Sam Parker will likely have enormous consequences down the line.
This coupled with the fact that Miko’s rescue mission prevented a building that was meant to explode from exploding likely means that said consequences will affect more than just “Sam Parker” and his time-travel guide.
The comic has a bit of a Looper vibe to it in the sense that there seems to be a select group of people meant to hunt down and find anyone who hops through time and space and causes a change great enough to impact more than just a few small individuals or events. The most recent updates of the comic introduced us to another mysterious time-hopper who, based on his menacing mechanical contraption and even more menacing Terminator–esque faceplate, might be one of the many aforementioned consequences of Miko’s interference with the central character.
There will clearly be some major conflict as the story progresses, the lives of each of the time-hoppers no doubt becoming increasingly intertwined as we move from the introductory portion to the central plot, which will probably ratchet up the suspense of the comic overall.
Despite all of the interesting set-ups in terms of plot, what’s most fascinating to me about The Time Traveler’s Pub is the decision that was made in regards to the visual distinguishing of one setting from the next.
What I’ll refer to as the present (AKA the opening of the comic where the central character and Miko are at the actual Time Traveler’s Pub) is drawn in shades rather than actual color. Black, white, and grey make up the color scheme of the Pub, making it seem simultaneously ominous and dingy. The first few pages of the comic, all of which take place in the Pub, are drawn in this monochromatic palette save for the words “ZAP!” and “POOF!” which are accentuated by a bright blue that is seemingly meant to indicate the occurrence of time-hopping.
The bleakness of the opening pages means that it comes as a bit of a surprise when the central character takes readers back to his “home time” through a flashback to the past, which is drawn with bright colors that greatly contrast with the literal grey-scale of the present.
One would assume that the ambiguous place between times would be deemed more exciting, and generally more spectacular, than a time where the main character was “working at an office job [he] despised with every molecule in [his] body,” but the dark vs light nature of the past and present actually serves to make the former seem more lively than the latter.
This is no doubt an intentional choice on Kanold’s part, but it’s still rather baffling to me. Logically I’m aware that the events of both past and present will likely, at some point in later pages, explain why the present seems so gloomy (perhaps that finicky thing known as time means that Miko’s interference triggered a new world-path towards darkness), but I can’t help but selfishly wish to see a bit more fanfare around something as innately intriguing as a Time Traveler’s Pub.
For a self-described “rookie” of online, long-form comics, Scott Kanold seems to be on the right path. Both the visuals and the plot itself are progressing nicely with each update, which imply that there is certainly more to come where The Time Traveler’s Pub is concerned.
Considering that reading each page/update only requires a minute of your time, there’s really no reason why you shouldn’t catch up on The Time Traveler’s Pub. In fact, it will likely serve as a momentary respite to the monotony of your day (hey, looks like the central character is even more relatable than originally thought).
Catch up on The Time Traveler’s Pub here, and get ready to eagerly anticipate updates on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Well… did you click the link above and read The Time Traveler’s Pub?! If so, what are your thoughts and predictions regarding this Adjustment Bureau/Terminator/Loopers comic-centipede? Sound off on Twitter or in the comments below!