By Rob Jackson
Over the few years I’ve been looking at Rob Jackson’s work I’ve read adventures of Flying Leaf Creatures, malevolent Gods gone wild, surreal psychological horrors, a positively Shakespearean comedy of errors with Goblins, read two volumes of his anthology Gin Palace and one all about pasties, and even followed Jackson’s adventures in the ice-cream making business.
There’s genuinely no telling what Jackson will deliver next. But they all share a few things. The first is obvious; a raw artistic style, yet there’s moments of grand beauty here if you care to persevere. But once over the art, all of Jackson’s tales, whether rooted in daily reality or high fantasy share a sense of the absurd, and the best of them are shot through with Jackson’s sardonic sense of comedy. There’s a joy of taking one thing and twisting it, revelling in the silly, the ridiculous, and doing something interesting in another direction.
So, why Segway? No idea. None at all Unless I’m missing something obvious. Just because. Which is actually a reasonable review of a Rob Jackson comic.
So what we have here is a typical sort of Rob Jackson comic with Jackson delivering a main feature and several backups.
The backups are alright, but it’s in the lead tale that Jackson gets it right, with the cracking 13-pages of Professor McGregor’s Fantabulous Time Travel Device full of the ridiculous scenarios and witticisms I was talking of before.
It’s all a little bonkers, this little time travel tale, with the obviously nutty Professor deciding to take a little time travelling trip. But all the way through Jackson has great fun playing with the tropes of the time travel story, and adds his own twist along the way.
So, why does Jackson decide to bring in the passing meter reader to the story of a professor and his assistant travelling through time?
Why do his characters decide to play fast and loose with all that usual prescribed advice to time-travellers, about not messing with the time-stream and end up doing everything they can to change things….
Just because? Or maybe because Jackson has a weird turn of plot, and strange turn of phrase, a style all his own that can traverse that precipice between clever brilliance and ridiculous nonsense.
It’s enjoyable, inventive stuff, and there’s even a few moments of that great (albeit difficult to come to terms with sometimes) art style I was on about…