Website (where you can buy his books)
There are two possibilities I’ve seen over the years when it comes to comics that are either written by the children of the artist or the artist him or herself when they were younger: it’s either cringe worthy or frickin’ adorable. This one? Frickin’ adorable. This is from a poem Tim wrote when he was 8 years old about, you guessed it, dogs. Having these lively and occasionally bonkers illustrations helps quite a bit, granted, but the poem itself it also pretty great. I guess I can say a little about the “story,” but you probably already get the idea from the title/concept. This is 8 year old Tim’s conception of dogs, which as far as I can tell is pretty accurate, told in a rhyming format. Some clever bits, and the parts that aren’t that clever are covered up completely by the pictures. I mean, look at that version of the sandman. Neil Gaiman, eat your heart out! So yeah, this really is one of those “all ages” books that can be enjoyed by all ages, and it’s a thoroughly engaging poem about dogs and their eccentricities. Contact info was impossible to find online (hey, you try finding a website when searching “Tim Brown” and “dogs”), but there’s a link up there to where you can buy a couple of his books at the Quimby’s website. Try it out and enjoy! $10
Technically this one is more of a zine than a comic, as Tim tells this story by using drawings he’s done of bus passengers over the years while telling a text story alongside them. Which makes me think, yet again, that I don’t spend nearly as much time here on zines as I should, but there’s not enough time in the world to deal with all the mini comics in the world AND all the zines. Anyway! This is basically the story of Tim’s history with buses. As a child he rarely had to use them, so only knew what they were in the abstract and that was mostly because of one neighbor who waited for the bus every morning. As he got older Tim found more reasons to use them, and he gradually grew to appreciate their beauty. Or, if that’s not the right word, at least their uniqueness and the peace that he (usually) got to experience on the bus. He also goes into detail about a few types of people to ride the bus, the reaction he would sometimes get from people who realized they were being sketched, and how the bus ride in Austin changed after the refugees from Katrina hit Texas. I almost said “flooded into,” but that seemed like poor taste. So yeah, this is a nice, quiet, observational book, telling the story of a group of people that can be completely invisible to you if you never ride the bus. $9
Thunder Island #1
The problem with all the whiny autobio comics about love and missed opportunities in the lives of artists is that it usually focuses on the same period, roughly from high school to some point in their 20’s. Tim decided to get an early start on all that with this comic and detail the early loves of his life from the first through third grade. Actually, it’s a little iffy to even call this a comic, as the sampled image below is as much of an illustration as you’re going to get on any given page. Many of them have no illustrations at all. So does that make this a zine, technically? Ah, definitions like that give me a headache. He sent this to me for potential review, I run a site about small press comic books, so this is a comic. It’s easy when I can change the rules when it suits me. One other technical note: as this is primarily text, it would have been nice if he had proofread a bit more, as words are inserted or crossed off fairly regularly. At least he kept the spelling errors to a minimum. There’s also some confusion right off the bat when he says on the third page that he had no interest in girls, then spends the rest of the comic talking about how he had crushes from an early age and how most of his memories from that period involve girls and not his guy friends. Anyway, there are some funny moments of discovery about himself, some surprisingly detailed memories of various people and events of that time, and a hilarious way to deal with bullies that want to confront you in the bathroom. The only trouble with this is that, as it was written by an adult, there are times when it feels like child Tim has the confidence of adult Tim. It’s a minor thing though, as his detailed memories of most of the things about this time of his life (there are some gaps, as is natural) makes this a fairly compelling read. No price listed, but going with the “fancy cover” rule I’ll say it’s $4.