REVIEW: Tim Skinner: Total Scumbag
Story by: Andy Winter
Art by: Declan Shalvey
Cover by: Declan Shalvey
Publisher: Moonface Press
Cover Price: FREE! Download now from the Moonface Press web site.
Soon after Tim Skinner inherited his grandfather’s old comic-book collection he discovered something extraordinary – it was magic, and by making a simple wish he could step into the pages of any of the fabulous four color fantasies his heart desired. He could hang out with cowboys, futureistic robots or whiny adolescent mutants. Unfortunately, Tim is a loathsome piece of garbage and, instead of enjoying fun and frolics in a universe of action and adventure, he brutalizes and exploits his comic-book chums for his own nefarious ends! Truly, Tim Skinner is a total scumbag!
This book is available right now on the Moonface Press web site for free.
The book opens with one of the best opening scenes of a book I had read in a long while. We open at a funeral where recently deceased superhero Kaos is being buried in a ceremony surrounded by his friends and colleagues. Suddenly a scratching is heard and it is coming from the coffin. Out bursts Kaos sporting a new costume to the adulation of his peers and another pointless hero death is made redundant. Suddenly his head is blown of by Tim Skinner who escapes by taunting the heroes before escaping back to the real world through one of the pages panels. Skinner explains that his collection of inherited comics have granted him magical access to the worlds he reads about allowing him to interact with the characters therein. What follows is a wise cracking race through different worlds with razor sharp dialogue from writer Andy Winter as Tim is followed initially by the heroes looking for revenge and later a heroine named Spectaculass, a thinly veiled version of Power Girl, who Tim convinces that a good rogering will cure her of her ills. Jaunts through the worlds of Future Shocks (Judge Dredd), The Chaps, complete with Simon Pegg (The Boys), Smutty Bints (Alan Moore’s Lost Girls), Blankets and a zombie universe where Tim is regarded as a God follow in Tim’s quest to outrun his pursuers and all the while armed with some great and hilarious action scenes. Winter excels at making the lead character a compelling page turner, partly because you are just so interested in what the hell Tim will do next and partly because the book is a page turner.
Accompanying Winter on the book is co creator and former award winning collaborator from Hero Killers (also from Moonface Press) Declan Shalvey. Shalvey’s opening page is more than just an image. When you pay attention to the headstone that Tim is resting his sniper rifle on, you know what you are about to let yourself into. The work of Jack Kirby is referenced a couple of times on the cover and on the interior art pages too and it adds to the overall enjoyment of the story that the references are pulled off as a homage and not aped from some book. The interior panels are actually a really good likeness of the great ones art. You can see in certain areas of the book that Shalvey draws Skinner as a rogue and it shows just to look at him. The cheeky smile, the wide eyes at Spectaculass’ best assets actually help in making him a likeable enough guy. One of the best laugh out loud moments is in the scene is where Tim arrives a the door of the Smutty Bints trying to score himself some action only to be met with a head-butt from one of the lesbos. It is drawn to great comedic effect and only compliments Winters writing.
Tim Skinner is a great example of what the bigger companies will not put out. When was the last time you saw a really humorous book off of them. This book from Moonface Press is a definite winner and deserves to be in as many hands as possible. I encourage you to visit the web site at moonfacepress.com and support the company with their great range of titles. As for Tim Skinner, I hope there is a future for this character, he is a refreshing break from the seriousness of other books and a one shot is not enough of him.