Tea Time Thursday: Ragamuffins

Published on August 20th, 2009

It’s come around to yet another Thursday ever so fast this week, it would seem, for me. Perhaps relate this to my celebrations regarding A level exam results in the UK, of which I am a part of at the moment, but whatever is going on, I’m here for Tea Time Thursday!

So what did I read this week, that I would like to share with you all. Well funnely enough, aside from sharing my copy of The Watchmen with my friends (which has been rather hard to keep a track of), it is not a case of ‘what I have been reading’, but more, ‘what I have been RE-reading’.

As for this week, in this bizarre universe we live in, I have been re-reading my copy of ‘Ragamuffins’, published by the same two creators who created and published the comic I reviewed about a month ago called ‘Dick Turpin & The Restless Dead’, Steve Tanner and Andy Dodd.

Now, much unlike ‘Dick Turpin & The Restless Dead’, which was based in a horror/thriller genre of writting, this comic; ‘Ragamuffins’ , is one that is all about time travel, and what would happen if there were rips within time itself. Now for those of you who are currently reading Marvel’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ series (as I am), then you’ll probably get a general idea of what ‘rips in time’ are. But don’t let my talk of relations to Marvel comics upset or give you bad impressions of this comic at hand, as ‘Ragamuffins’ was published in 2007, and was under no influence of any Marvel comic whatsoever, you have my word on that. I’m simply relating it to that general idea,  to give some of you readers an basis to work from, when I say ‘rips in time’.

ragamuffinsfront-cover

To get a grip on what this comic feels like to me, in my own personal opinion, I would say, imagine Doctor Who, crossed with Alan Moore’s ‘The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen’. As for me, that is what this comic feels like a mixture of, more so perhaps the bastard son of the both (in a good sense, don’t get me wrong).

I had to re-read this comic a few times over to get the plot, which is not a hit at this beautifully woven, one shot story in the slightest. It is genuinly, a damn smart comic, and no doubt Steve Tanner put a lot of effort into thinking this story through when he was coming up with it! Once you get a grasp on what this is all about, it pays off, believe me, or I wouldn’t be talking about this comic otherwise. You have four main characters here who form up this ‘pix and mix’ team, you have Gorgeous George (the guy who I like to think of as the normal-ish bloke of the pack) , Ruby Redd (the ex drug addict/prostitute), Pussywillow (the big, ghostly, creepy one) and Lord Kelvin (the young, intelectual gentlemen), who go around, fixing these rips in time. So instantly straight off the bat, you have a real contrast in characters here, which if you ask me, always makes things more interesting in comics, as I think that a team of characters who are all alike in one way or another, is a boring and dull team. Not across the board, but usually.

As you move through this psychedelic story, things become more and more abstract, and oh so more interesting. Before eventually, things are wrapped up. As you must remember this is a one shot. Now, please forgive me, but if I was to spoil the plot of this book, then I feel that honestly I may as well have not talked about it here in the first place, as this one shot is very plot driven, much like some of the great graphic novels of the 1980s (you know the ones haha).

So I shall move swiftly onto the artwork here. Now, if you read my review of ‘Dick Turpin & The Restless Dead’, then you will surely be well aware of how I raved and ranted about Andy Dodd’s art style for that comic. Now, I will say, that in this comic (as it was published before Dick Turpin), that the anatomy and the pencils are similiar, but the general inking is perhaps, done more freely, to leave more space for the psychedelic backgrounds, and the generally ‘light-headed’ atmosphere of the comic. Although I am fully aware that it is also an entire different thing to compare artwork in two comics that are of a completely different genre, as they will be naturally different to fit the tone of the story. But all in all, the artwork here fits very well.

I do like the stories I’ve read from Time Bomb Comics, and I know that there is another comic coming out soon, that I will hope to pick up when I go to a comic convention in Leeds in November, at which I will hopefully meet Steve Tanner!

For details on this exciting comic, please check out the Time Bomb Comics website at www.timebombcomics.com. Where from, you can order this comic, and the others under their name. Drop Steve an e-mail as well, if you’ve read any of his books, as I’m sure he’d love to hear what you thought about them as well!

Rob Andrews
Rob@comicimpact.com