There’s No Time Like The Present – part 10
by Paul Rainey
Part 10 of There’s No Time Like The Present is a difficult sell as a comic. I’m sure Rainey would agree with me here, after all, he stopped putting summaries in a long time ago and his intro to the comic starts with “if you’re baffled by what you’ve read here and want to put it into context…”
To be honest to start reading this mind bending time travel saga at issue 10 would just be foolish. However, to sit down and read the whole thing in one go, all 10 issues is definitely worthwhile – it’s a great, complicated read – mixing equal parts time travel mystery with an emotional, sentimental tale of older folk – completely original stuff – but not something to dip into at this point. You really do need to get all the issues so far to really appreciate the story.
And given that, I can’t really talk about much of the events in this issue at all. This is so much the final act – Rainey is looking to the ending now, possibly issue 12, possibly a few issues further on. But events here are starting to tie everything together – the sudden cessation of time travel, the pregnancy of Cliff’s friend Lara and why she’s marooned in this time period. It’s all starting to be revealed. But there are still so many more loose ends and questions to be answered that, as with most endings to thoroughly enjoyable, complicated series I’m actually a little worried that it’s not going to be able to tie it all together in time and wont be able to do justice to what’s gone before. But hopefully, that wont be a problem and I’ll certainly be with the series till the end.
(Old man, pregnant woman, discussing time travel and pausing preganancies. Perfectly normal for Paul Rainey’s series)
If you want just an idea of what it’s all about here’s a little of the review of issues 1-8:
But even with all of this time travel and jumps between timeframes, Rainey always grounds the work solidly with his characters. The amazing things occur off panel, affecting our cast tangentially. There’s an ongoing movement of retrograding taking place, de-unifying the time junctions, which is leaving some time tourists, including one of the nicer workers at the day care centre stranded out of time with little hope of getting back.
And through all of this, as it twists and turns, looking at the characters young and old, you get the feeling that Rainey has it all under control, that it’s all fitting into a bigger picture, that it’s all connected somehow. Little things like finding out Kelly disappeared just after the argument between her and Cliff, just after he gave her a milk float (remember – she had that dairy fixation?), but the milk float looks almost brand new? Unless I’m reading far too much into it – but that’s just adding to my fun even if I’m wrong.
The art might not be to everyone’s taste, and there are moments when the quality does waiver somewhat, but overall it’s lovely stuff, simple black and white work, yet warm and expressive work that captures the characters so well. His portrayal of the characters in old age is especially good, with those little touches in the art that add so much.
So, don’t pick up TNTLTP issue 10 on it’s own. Make sure you have the entire 10 issues at hand. You’ll enjoy what has been a thoroughly enjoyable, complex, bewildering series far more that way. And to end with, a perfect illustration of many things in TNTLTP; the simple, effective black and white artwork and a genuine, realistic and honest portrayal of the characters in old age:
(Something in that waking panel really rings true. The momentary confusion, the recovery, all great stuff)