Comics Features

REVIEW: Out of Time II

Written by Mark Russell

Well, here was an unexpected comic to find in my inbox. A surprise sequel to Out of Time, written by Luke James Halsall with the art by Cuttlefish, both contributors to DC Thompson’s comics. I particularly enjoyed the first comic, finding it very funny, wacky, and made creative use of its time travel storyline. The sequel Tea and Sand continues the adventures of our time travelling characters, bringing the humour and unique art style with it.

For the uninitiated, Out of Time focuses on a government ministry that specialises in relocating people to different time periods and are able to travel through time themselves using sofas. So a mixture of Doctor Who, Hitchhiker’s Guide To the Galaxy, and Bedknobs and Broomsticks. Our protagonists including Redmond, who hates his job and looks a bit like the Slender Man, wide-eyed optimist Lizzie who’d rather by on reality TV than at her job, Nigel who thinks he is a robot named NC-1000, and a shapeshifting alien named Annette. After taking lessons on how to properly sit on their sofas, leading to Nigel being bored back to sanity and then losing it all over again, but find a mistake by Lizzie leads to history being rewritten again by an egotistical cat named Clive.

We meet a couple of new characters, like an unnamed large, overly affectionate lady who likes describing everything as “lovely”, and Redmond’s new boss, a grouchy talking penguin named George who is obsessive-compulsive and rides around on a segway. George is quite funny, reminding me a little of J. Jonah Jameson. Re-reading the comic made me notice a lot of gags I didn’t see before, like the books that Nigel keeps reading, and George confiscating Redmond’s pen and putting it in a quarantine bag. All of the established characters provide a lot of laughs like Redmond’s frustrations from his job, and Nigel’s slips between personalities.

The art style remains eye-catching and unusual, though the characters’ species still are a little confusing. I assume that Redmond, Lizzie, and Nigel are all human. The artwork is also quite colourful, literally, using bright alternating colour schemes every few pages. This can lead to some very beautifully made panels, though the sudden change from bright green to bright red can be a little straining on the eyes.  A lot of the dialogue is witty, showing off the characters’ distinct, conflicting personalities. I still think Redmond stands out the most as the sane one, time travelling around with a ditzy optimist, a guy with an identity crisis, and shapeshifting alien would drive anyone to his jaded outlook on life.

I was pleasantly surprised to receive this sequel comic, and as implied or at least joked at in the story, we might be getting a third part in the future. Or in the past. It depends on which century the creators make it. You can read both issues of the comic here.

What are your opinions on time travel fiction, particularly if it is comical? Where would you want to go if you could travel through time? Leave a comment below or on our Twitter feed.

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Mark Russell

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