Celebrate Ten Years Of Time Bomb Comics

Steve Tanner writes,

On 14th October 2017, Time Bomb Comics will be exactly 10 years old.

If you’re not part of the thriving comics community in the UK, you’ve probably never heard of Time Bomb Comics. I set up this small indie comics publisher after visiting the first Birmingham International Comics Show in 2006 and being inspired by the indie comics I saw there.

One year later I attended the second BICS but this time behind a table with the first title from Time Bomb Comics, and every year since Time Bomb has released new books and attended more shows. A decade later, and with a cautious publishing plan of no more than 1 or 2 books a year, Time Bomb Comics so far released more than 20 titles. Mostly these were one-shots and graphic novels, with the critically acclaimed Flintlock anthology that launched in 2016 being our first ongoing series.

Nine years to produce our first number #2.

I told you we were cautious.

But still, Time Bomb Comics will soon be ten years old and I think that’s quite a big thing, especially considering how many small indie comics creators and publishers burn brightly but only for a short time.  You see, it’s tough at the coal face of producing indie comics, so I kind of think I’ve earned my stripes by lasting the distance, which is why I was keen to mark the occasion by creating and publishing a book that would represent where Time Bomb Comics is today by acknowledging where it started.

Ragamuffins Redux is a complete graphic novel that I’ve just opened a pre-order for on Kickstarter, which can be best summed up by some wording from the campaign promo page:

Time – an infinite chronal tapestry with endless interwoven strands that occasionally fray, work loose, or tear completely.

Rips in time.

When that happens the tear could spread, rippling outwards and causing devastating anomalies.

Worse, it could bring about the Epochalypse.

So the Chronoverse has to be repaired – Fast.

And that can only be done by the Ragamuffins – Gorgeous George, Ruby Redd, Pussywillow and Lord Kevin – a group of bizarre Paradoxters tasked with the care and repair of universal time.

Ragamuffins Redux – A full colour graphic novel, written by Steve Tanner, artwork by Mike Bunt & Ben Lopez and lettering by Bolt-01.

Now for a few people, especially those who were part of the UK comics community back in 2007, some of that may seem a little familiar.  You see, Ragamuffins Redux is a remake of the very first Time Bomb Comic from a decade back, and serves to revive the characters and the concept ready for the next ten years.

The original Ragamuffins was a 20 page black and white one-shot produced with bags of ambition by myself and small-press artist Andy Dodd, but with the benefit of hindsight it was a nicely printed mess. The story was compressed so much it was baffling; the art was rushed to meet a print deadline; the lettering we completed ourselves using Word shapes ellipses and Comic Sans. Yes, really.  Yet for all that, some people still liked it, and it gave the confidence to carry on.  And Time Bomb’s second release (Dick Turpin and the Restless Dead) was definitely a much more polished affair, and gave me a fascination with the 18th Century that’s evident in my current series Flintlock.

Long out of print, the first Ragamuffins comic really is stuck in the past – it’s what I think Time Bomb Comics was then, not what I believe it is now. But you always have a soft spot for your first born, and truth be told I always liked the idea behind Ragamuffins and originally intended for more stories featuring those mysterious Paradoxters.

So to set that up, I’ve revisited the past and produced with artists Mike Bunt and Ben Lopez a greatly expanded retelling of that original tale to finally do the Ragamuffins justice. The story has space to breathe. The art is now full colour. Bolt 01 is providing some proper lettering.  It’s what the book should have been, and serves as a bookend for the first ten years of Time Book Comics and the opening chapter for the next ten.

The Kickstarter pre-order is now open until 28th September and can be found here.

Ragamuffins Redux will be launched at Nottingham Comic Con on 14th October – exactly ten years to the day since I launched Time Bomb Comics at the 2007 BICS show – and there might even be cake!

Finally, I want to say thanks to anyone who has supported Time Bomb Comics and myself in any way over the last decade. Whether by friendly conversation, coverage on a blog or website or more importantly just by reading and enjoying any one of the 20 Time Bomb Comics the decade produced, it’s really been appreciated.

About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.