Dr. Tim
Book One

Author: Christopher Varian
RRP US $12.95

ISBN 0 9721091 0 2
Available now

Dr. Tim is a brilliant medical doctor whose scientific breakthroughs will change the world - if he can stay alive. With discoveries worth billions stored in his head, villains everywhere have one goal: Get Dr. Tim. And this quest to capture our hero even extends into outerspace...

The first volume of the adventures of Dr. Tim is, quite frankly stunningly impressive. Our hero is a mild mannered doctor who wants nothing more than to help mankind, but before he knows what's hit him he is on the run. It's not long before he is whisked into outerspace trying to outwit the clutches of many a super villain, like the Davros inspired Dr. Chid, who is part man, part spider.

There are numerous sci-fi related gags including references to Lost in Space's mental robot, the ending of Planet of the Apes, 2001's monolith, Alien and Fu Manchu.

It seems that author Christopher Varian is trying to find his feet for the first segment of the book. Dr. Tim teams up with a super nubile young thing called Kat. Sadly, that relationship doesn't last too long and it is towards the end of this collection that Varian finds his feet with the introduction of comical alien sidekick Ushmoo. And it is this partnership that elevates this collection into the big league.

Unlike most comic collections, like The Farside and Dilbert, Dr. Tim is not played entirely for laughs - it's not the case that every page will cause instant amusement. And some of the gags don't work as well as they could have. But then I've read many Dilbert, Peanuts, Calvin & Hobbs etc books where more than a handful of jokes just don't work.

Not only that, but there is a narrative that runs through this collection - it's not just a collection of gags on a space theme.

Step aside Peanuts, Garfield and Dilbert, Dr. Tim is the new cult cartoon character. And if there is any justice in this world he is destined to become a huge hit.

Darren Rea

Dr. Tim's abduction experience differs slightly from popular accounts.