The Time Being Issue 3 (2011)

Sex :
Violence :
Editor Breach & Wood Reviewer :
Publisher Sockpuppet Comics
Writers Jen Breach
Art and Colours Trev Wood
Cover Trev Wood
Genre Zom-Com
Tagline A Sawbones Adventure Zomedy


"I am doing something, I'm being paralysed by terror!" - Martin Runcible

Having dragged Martin Runcible back from his temporary Galapagos exile, Charles Darwin would have rescued him in ten years or so, Daisy is ready to enact a location ritual in order to find the pesky Time Being. Bones and Sawyer are on hand to offer aid, while Dr Sainsbury is left to babysit Martin, the Librarian being some sort of ultimate weapon to get time back into alignment or some such.

The elusive Time Being has other ideas, which include swapping places with a giant squid, (you'll need to read the comic series okay). Team Daisy, did I mention the zombie sheep is also involved, spring into calamari chopping action with surprisingly Martin showing he can be a man of action when called upon. Unfortunately the troubles aren't over with the Dark One and his height challenged minions making the scene, then it just gets weird.

Issue 3 of The Time Being introduces some more depth to the living characters, the dead ones are pretty much fully covered already. Martin Runcible can be a man of action when called upon, particularly if a possible solution to the problem at hand is held in one of his beloved books. Hence he is able to overcome an adversary in this issue that seemed too much to handle for the others around him. We also learn that Martin is the "chosen one" of the Dark One and his diminutive subordinates, due to him being some sort of modern equivalent to Antonio P. De Bethencourt, the first Action Librarian. It's prophesised that Martin will deliver the "next book" to the height challenged elemental earth midgets. Daisy can inform us that they actually have a whole lot of magic at their disposal, so irritating our resident Snow White companions probably isn't a good thing.

We also learn that Emilia Sainsbury is immortal due to Emilia having borrowed something from Daisy, who in turn is not best pleased with Emilia. Kind of explains why the Adventuress has done everything that can be done and is generally bored with it all. Sort of like a midlife crisis for the eternally young, even the Mall no longer having any shopping challenges.

Jen Breach is still pounding away at the script with Issue 3 and is tying together some of the ideas to give a coherence to the plot logic. There's almost a Greek comedy feel to the whole thing, with death etc. personified, and things bubbling away just above the farce level. Considering the scope of the script I'm wondering where things will go next. Good use of comedy throughout that will turn that frown upside down or at least having you grinning from time to time like your demented Aunty who has just removed her adult nappies.

Did I mention Issue 3 is in full colour, like the previous two Issues? Trev Wood keeps up the art with a steady hand and the sort of panels one would have expected to run across in a 1970s Disney comic, like me some retro so no problems there. While Wood could have gone with some more modern vibes, in reality it would not have match the script or the tone of the comic, so excellent choice of art style right there.

There's apt to be the odd criticism coming at the artwork from the sort of person who likes to nit-pick anything to death, no pun intended, that doesn't match a preconceived reality that never quite exists in the dark genre. For example neither Sawyer nor Bones have actual necks, Daisy has all the curves but no actual body, and Martin has the sort of large eyes normally reserved for anime characters or Bambi. So if you fit into the "must find issues" camp then buy the comic and have an outraged good time, hey write your Senator, call into question modern society, join the National party, it's all good. Just keep in mind we're talking fiction, and Woods is adding the visuals to a script that is compete fantasy. Just keeping it unreal folks, sometimes a comic is just a comic, there's no implied comment on anything.

Before wrapping this one, just a quick mention of Trev Wood's handling of emotion. He nails it, all about the facial expressions and composition of the frames. Try the book to get where I'm coming at here.

So this is Issue Three in a graphic novel story arc for Sawbones and quite the achievement. I'm still rocking along to the narrative, digging the panel artwork, and otherwise having a good time. A quick review of the official site for the comic brings some good and some bad, how did we know that wouldn't be the case! The good is that Issue 4 has seen the light of day, where do I get a copy? The bad is that Breach and Wood are finally exorcising their demons and laying to rest Sawbones for the immediate future thanks to below expected uptake in the market. Come on people, if you love your Australian comic outings then get on the net, get the credit card out, and start buying the books! I'm not even going to bother with a full recommendation as Sawbones doesn't need it, get out there and show some solidarity with the local scene, frack Batman, give up a screening and buy two issues of The Time Being instead!

The Time Being Issue 3 is available from the good folk at Black Boox for a $7 investment. In fact you can still buy the entire series, not including Issue 4 apparently, and the two collections of strips from the same site. Memo to self, need to get me a copy of the second collection. There's also an official Sawbones site right here. And Jen Breach maintains a web site over there. For any further information hit the various "contact" email options at the various sites. Okay I'm out, someone want to tell me where I can score a copy of Issue 4, it's lurking in the wild somewhere.

ScaryMinds Rates this read as ...

  Some root' toot' good times to be had in a rather insane outing that mixes the dark with the comedy.