And Speaking Of Dr Who...Room With A Deja View!
Rich Johnson, he of Bleeding Cool fame, sent me his latest offering, Dr Who: Room With A Deja View, and asked what I thought of it. I'll get to those thoughts in a second, but I feel it might be a good idea to have Rich set it up.
"It's a story that uses time travel in the actual structure of the comic itself," says Rich, "which can make it intentionally hard to read as a comic (I'm trying to get the reader to work a little).
"One trick is that, just as the TV show, blue means backwards in time, red means forwards, and the colours of the gutters reflect that. Basically one specific chunk of the book reads better forwards than back. But hey, we all read manga now, should be something fairly easy to work out."
Confused? Try reading it without knowing the trick.
The story itself would be interesting and entertaining without the backwards gimmick, which can be seen to great effect in the page shown here, the gimmick enhances the experience. Read the page like you normally would, then read it from the bottom to the top - it all makes sense. On first view the book is hard to read and is fairly stop-start, but once you get used to reading the blue pages in reverse, and the red pages (trust me, it'll make sense when you see it) normally the story comes out as being bloody good. Loads of Doctors (you'll have to read it to find out), the TARDIS gets multiple showings, the comic makes the reader both work and think and the whole package is worthy of purchase - I know I'm sold.
The concept of a shifting, non-linear time story is just too perfect for words, but often under-utilized for the character of Dr Who. The time shifts and execution reminded me, in a small way, of the time shifts in the classic episode Blink. The art is of a high standard, frankly I've seen far worse in more mainstream comics this week alone. If there is a quibble then it'd be that the depiction of David Tennant is a bit off in places, but hey, you want picture perfect, buy a photo.
I'd buy it, and I will. Frankly I'd say that if you're a fan of Dr Who then this, as a stand alone story, will probably make you as happy as you're going to get before the last of the specials appear on the screen.