Brilliant short webcomic reveals the romantic side of time paradoxes

Illustration for article titled Brilliant short webcomic reveals the romantic side of time paradoxes

One day, Thomas is idly flipping through a photo album when he finds himself abruptly sent back to the time when he is 10 years old. At first, he's thrilled to return to a time filled with so many simple joys. But unbeknownst to him, his ten-year-old self has taken his place, and is completely baffled by a world full of smart phones, sushi, and a woman who wants to smooch him all over. Soon, multiple Thomases are running across his timeline, mucking up things in a confused comedy of errors that lands them all exactly where they're supposed to be.

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Cartoonist Boulet is really proving himself the master of the 24-hour comic. Last year, he gave us Darkness, a magical realistic take on roommates and romance. This year, it's Paola-4, a comic in which the mesh between memory and time travel becomes extremely thin. Adult Thomas ends up trading places not only with ten-year-old Thomas, but also with 16-year-old Thomas and 23-year-old Thomas, and he displaces them each time he travels through time. The ending unites the individual Thomases' stories and adds another layer that invites questions about fate and the predestination paradox.

The first few pages are below. You can read the rest at Boluet's site.

Paola-4 [Bouletcorp]

Illustration for article titled Brilliant short webcomic reveals the romantic side of time paradoxes
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Illustration for article titled Brilliant short webcomic reveals the romantic side of time paradoxes
Illustration for article titled Brilliant short webcomic reveals the romantic side of time paradoxes

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DISCUSSION

Corpore Metal

So it really depends on what you decide is important, right?

Perhaps one parallel history your famous and respected as a brilliant person but your personal life is tragic, abusive and lonely. In another you're rich but a complete jerk. In another everyone loves you but you're terribly impractical and barely have two pennies to rub together.

To abuse some engineering metaphors, I suppose it's possible to maximize a life's performance envelope but at the same time when you optimize for a specific thing you tend to lose something else on another axis of measurement. Optimization requires sacrifices and the lose of some choices.

So maybe we should just let Skynet win, huh? At least it would stop all it's repetitive attempts to change our past.