So, I've been told this is the hundredth of ChiZine's books, and their first graphic novel under their ChiGraphic imprint. I got it despite not being a fan of time travel stories because 1. Chizine, and 2.
That adorable illustration was left in the cover of the book. Thank you, author/artist! I know you weren't there, but thank you for donating the time and spending the energy on adding a little oomph to these books!
So why only three and a half stars? I'm gonna be honest: I like my time travel simpler than this. There were times when the characters - mostly the main character - was going on about the paradoxes upon paradoxes, and I just couldn't. Look, it's not that I can't tackle hard literature, it's just that I'm not usually invested in time travel paradoxes, so I, and I know this is a flaw in me as a reader, just kinda get ADHD about it all. I want to be elsewhere!
That being said, there were some twists on the usual time travel tale, even though the changing the past, policing the past - and future - and aliens involved might seem familiar. It was how they were all put together that made it more interesting than usual. And then the art...
A lot of it was put together in an unusual way, framed like a scrapbook with odds and ends at some points, but always in a way that drew the eye. It was a work of art, no doubt. It was all stark black and whites, giving it a noir feeling at times, and thus muddling the past-present-future, and giving this another edge.
And while it may not have been for me, I would have only knocked down one star. And I really hate saying this because I love ChiZine, but the printing was... off.
I want to give them the benefit of the doubt. Printing white text on a black background, especially this much, is probably just a new experience for them. However, one star off: it wasn't that I couldn't read any part of this, I could. But I had to put in enough effort that it irked me at points. (And, no, I really don't want a new copy because I adore the illustration in this one, so I'm happy with this specific one. If it goes on sale as a digital copy, however, I may invest in another copy of this for ease of reading.)
The truth is that the more I got into this, the more I got into the story. I felt for the main character, for his confusion, and I could feel his rising frustration. The ending was bittersweet, and I felt that, too. The story idea was good, and solid to boot, in my opinion, and if you like time travel more than I do, then you'll probably like this more than I did. (Which is saying something. I would have rated it quite highly for the art and storyline, and also character, despite not liking time travel. Although I think the art and characters are what really stole my heart, if I must be honest.)
I also see that the author has another graphic novel coming out with ChiGraphic. While I wouldn't get it without being able to flip through and see what the printing looks like, and if there's as much white text on a black background, I would buy it if it was cleaner. (And there was some black text on white background here, and this was all very clean. It wasn't even all white text on black background, just a couple pages here and there, but it was enough that I don't want to mislead people and say it wasn't anything. Like I said, it bothered me, and enough that despite this being my favorite press, I'm whining about it this much. So, yeah, I'd try to find this in store and flip through. In my copy, it was mostly at the front that there were printing issues, by the way. And only the text. The images were perfectly clear.)
PS - I want to apologize. I know it's silly, but I still want to apologize for whining that much about the print. It's why I added a picture. You can see how it fades in and out a little, or black ink leaked to where it shouldn't, muddying the words.