What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this innovative online adventure from comics legend Stan Lee blends static comic book images with limited animation to tell the story of a seemingly normal student who travels in time. There’s no swearing or sex, and the fight scenes aren no more explicit than in any mainstream action comic. The series' unique format offers a new twist on the conventional graphic novel structure and will likely appeal to comic fans of all ages.
What's the story?
Sam Dixon has a great job, jumping back into the past to help scholars fill in the blanks in their understanding of history. But when Sam disappears on a mission to the Ming Dynasty, his younger brother, Terry, is recruited to track him down. The novice time jumper soon realizes that he’s not the only person exploring the time continuum -- and mysterious Charity Vyle (voiced by Natasha Henstridge) seems to be involved in more than just research. As Terry tries to track down his missing sibling, he discovers that Vyle and her evil organization, CULT, are at the center of a plot to change history.
Is it any good?
TIME JUMPER is an interesting experiment. Created by comic-book legend Stan Lee (who also lends his voice to Lee Excelsior, the Dixons’ boss), the online adventure blends elements of graphic novels and animation, with a dash of cliffhanger serials. The episodes are presented mainly as static images, much like the panels of a comic book. Actors read the dialog (no, there aren’t any speech bubbles), and there’s some limited motion as the perspective zooms in to focus on a specific element or pans back to show the larger scene. Some sequences feature basic animation, showing key items moving across the frame. The overall effect is like a crude stop-motion film, created by kids --- but it’s cool.
Each episode is short, just 5-10 minutes, but they all manage to pack in plenty of story. In fact, the plot-driven adventure is more than enough reason to tune in. Will Sam find his brother? Will he find a way to defeat CULT? It only takes a few episodes to get hooked. It’s not totally clear that this format is the perfect blend of the Internet and the page -- online stories are still evolving, after all -- but it’s a worthy effort.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about new forms of entertainment. What do you think about the way Time Jumper is presented? Is it a cartoon? A comic book? Something altogether new? Do you think the format is fun and entertaining, or does it seem like a strange hybrid?
Do you think comic books and graphic novels are an art form? Should some of them be classified as quality literature? Why has this creative genre been perceived for so long as just cheap, simple entertainment for kids?