Author: John Smith | Illustrator: Chris Weston | Page Count: 63
"...there's red on the train... on the window, the floor, the seats and the ceiling... Shiny shiny Whitechapel Red..."
You won’t find the Indigo Prime back-story in this collection. If you want a brief history lesson to prepare you, in case you decide to pick up the book, then click the button below. If you'd rather not know, then skip to the next paragraph.
The Indigo Prime was an extra-dimensional agency responsible for repairing temporal breaks or distortions across a vast multiverse; when strange shit hit an interdimensional fan they cleaned it up. Agents were chosen if they held a rare gene, something that only one in twelve million people across the entire multiverse carried. If you fit the criteria, upon the moment of your death you’d be plucked from your timeline, and then given a new body with some cool abilities to clean the shitty fan. The concept opened up the possibility to add new recruits further down the line, allowing for an almost infinite number of stories, with an equally infinite number of unique characters.
Killing Time features Max Winword and Ishmael Cord, both of whom are ‘Seamsters,’ which means they deal with temporal matters. Other roles existed within the agency that dealt with other problems.
The two Seamsters are sent to the year 1888 to track down Jack the Ripper; that’s not a spoiler, it’s revealed on the first page. Jack’s misdeeds have consequences outside of just culling the hooker population.
The story resembles the kind of thing you’d get if you blended HG Wells’ machinations, Lewis Carroll’s imagination, and HP Lovecraft’s unease. If that sounds pretty damn amazing to you, then you’ll get some jollies here.
The dialogue is consistent with the era and the social classes represented.
Chris Weston's art is wonderfully baroque, full of elaborate ornamentation and twisting lines which really help bring the work to life.
Colour is used in an unusual way; it’s not at all naturalistic but it works within the confines of its own twisted reality.
Smith & Weston's Killing Time is a great book that was much overlooked at the time. 2000 AD's current owners Rebellion have recently reprinted it so fingers crossed it gets the attention it deserves.
3½ stitches in time out of 5