Time Samplers, a self-published comic out of Paranoid American, is probably one of the most original story concepts I’ve come across. It follows two underground musicians, the twins Lex and Cal, as they transverse time to investigate past conspiracy theories and apply the knowledge gained in present conflicts. This is achieved through use of the “Wake Initiated Lucid Dream (W.I.L.D.) Machine” which creates parallel timelines using historical artifacts connected to specific moments in time. This allows them to muck about in history, without affecting the present. Since this is only the first issue, it’s difficult to gauge the quality of the story.
The series does, however, show a great deal of potential with its unique concept.
The script is a collaboration of three writers, David Pinckney, Erik Koconis, and Thomas Gorence. With only a couple dozen pages to introduce the cast, the setting, and start the basic foundation for an overarching plot, there isn’t much space left for the actual story so this single issue is a poor judge of the writers’ talents. The writers are not really at fault for this, because it’s just how first issue comics work. First issues are meant to only introduce you to the concept and characters. However, from the small bit that is here, I can foresee the seed of something grandiose and vibrant. I hope the writers can deliver on the twisted plot lines they are hinting at in these pages.
Unlike the story, the first issue is always good for the artist. And all I can really say is just “wow”. Most indie comics like this have production members pulling double duty, but Nicolas Colacitti does the pencils, ink, lettering, and colors for this comic. As an artist myself, I have a great deal of appreciation for when these four jobs can be handled by one person. These four jobs are separate jobs for good reason. More to the point though, even with handling such a workload, Colacitti’s art isn’t hampered at all. One might expect some lackluster results, but every page demonstrates excellent layout, coloring, shading, and line work. I’m bound to check up on this series regularly if for no other reason but the artwork; the rest of the story will just being the cherry on a beautiful sundae.
The bottom line, with both the art and story, Time Samplers has potential. The idea is graciously original in a medium that is packed full of cliché. The foundations are set for something new and exciting, and I’m anxious to see if this production team can deliver.
Indie comics came about as a medium for experimentation that couldn’t be achieved in the mainstream. Good or bad, Time Samplers exhibits the excitement of uncharted territory that I’ve come to expect from indie comics. If you want to see a truly original indie comic, head over to Paranoid American’s site to check this one out, because whether future issues are good or bad, it’s always nice to see someone taking a chance on originality.
Rex Hansen once sampled time. He found it to be slightly sweet with earthy undertones and a healthy dose of tanins on the finish. You can find his reviews here each week.