Timmy and Traveler turn up on the scene. Artist: Ernie Colón.


Medium: Comic books
Published by: Harvey Comics
First Appeared: 1977
Creators: unknown writer and Ernie Colón (artist)
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Tying a new character to a popular old one is a time-honored method comic book publishers use to promote the new one. When DC Comics introduced Captain Marvel to modern comics readers in 1973 by putting Superman on the cover of Shazam! #1, it was just copying the way Fawcett Publications, Cap's original owner, had used The Big Red Cheese himself in 1942, when it put him on the cover of its first issue of Don Winslow of the Navy. Richie Rich didn't just appear on the …

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… cover of the comic book that introduced Timmy Time in 1977, but actually shared Timmy's first adventure. But the principle was the same.

Timmy was one of two new characters that Harvey Comics introduced that year by co-starring them with Richie. The other, Billy Bellhops, was dated October, 1977. Richie Rich & Timmy Time #1 was dated September. In neither case did the date appear on the cover; also, neither launch succeeded. In Timmy's case, this may have been because the publisher was trying to tie the new guy to an established icon that simply didn't rope in the demographic they were aiming him at.

Timmy (with his robot friend, Traveler) first turned up on Richie's private beach, appearing out of nowhere. At first, Richie thought he'd merely struck gold, which happens to him so often, at least in places not accessible to the public, he regards it as a nuisance. But it turned out to be tholarine, a substance that can be used as spaceship fuel in the far-flung future era of 2019. A moment later, there was Timmy, time-traveling from 2019 in search of tholarine.

Timmy's back-story would do credit to any superhero. Space travel was so advanced by that time, a generation or so in the readers' future, that vast spaceships, so big their captains have room to take their families along, were common. Timmy's father was commanding a peaceful mission to Mars, when the ship was attacked by an unknown enemy. Timmy grabbed the detachable lifeboat (every spaceship should have one) in an attempt to save it, and fell in with a time-traveling robot named Traveler. Next thing you know, Timmy and Traveler were turning up on Richie's beach.

As was common for that publisher at the time, the writer's name wasn't recorded. But the artist, who broke precedent by signing his work here, was Ernie Colón, who had done a great deal of work in the past on Richie and other Harvey characters. Colón later drew Damage Control for Marvel Comics and Arak, Son of Thunder for DC in a style similar to that of those companies' other products, but at Harvey in 1977, was using the bigfoot style he'd been using there for years. He drew Timmy in a style at least marginally more realistic than his previous work, but Timmy was still pretty bigfoot.

A coupon printed right after Timmy's story invited readers to tell the publisher whether Timmy was great, so-so, or not so hot. The results of the survey were never made public, but reader response was clearly indicated by the fact that he appeared only in that one comic book. After that, he was gone for good.

Timmy isn't the least bit related to Timmy Time, who stars in a British animated series from Aardman Animations (Wallace & Gromit).


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Text ©2009-10 Donald D. Markstein. Art © Harvey Entertainment.