Wednesday, 11 May 2016
Tim Ginger by Julian Hanshaw Review
Hey guys, did you know that some of us don’t have or want kids and that’s ok? I had no idea anything quite so obvious needed to be stated but see how quickly I did that, Julian Hanshaw? Didn’t need a 150 page book to draw that shit out!
Tim Ginger is a comic in dire need of something - anything - happening in it. Our dull protagonist is a retired military test pilot who might’ve seen some extra-terrestrial stuff during one flight but now lives alone - his wife’s dead and they never had kids - in a trailer park. One day he meets an old friend who’s also childless and making a comic about people who don’t have kids and their reasons for that choice - as if having kids is all anyone should be doing with their lives!!
Reading Tim Ginger was such a chore because nothing’s going on in it. Having read Hanshaw’s two previous books, The Art of Pho and I’m Never Coming Back, I knew he’s not exactly the most enlivening storyteller but this one was several steps down even from those slow-moving reads. He’s got nothing to say about people who choose not to have kids, the characters are dreary (Tim likes cricket - so?), the story is non-existent, the art is uninteresting - the whole book is one long unrewarding slog.
I think Hanshaw’s aiming for some profound statement on existence but he never once came close to achieving it here. When you lose the love of your life, you get sad and might never recover from it. Yup, stating the obvious again - and? If you think blank-faced characters staring at clouds and not saying anything is emotional depth then this is one deeply emotional read!
Tim Ginger shows that you can do comics about just about anything but not every subject contains a story nor does it mean that the end result will be compelling to read. I got nothing out of this one except pure boredom - definitely not recommending this snore-fest to anyone!