I was still working with John on Girl Chat for the Daily Mirror when we decided to work on another comic strip together.
This new idea was a complete removal from our normal kind of comic, although it still involved the sexy girl in alluring poses that John seems to excel at. But this time, rather than running the gag-a-day format we had for Girl Chat, it was going to be a fully fledged story; possibly running over a period of six weeks, making a total of thirty six strips.
Now this was going to be a departure for me, as with the Girl Chat scripts I tended to go for a long countryside walk on a Monday and come back with six gags, which I then typed up and faxed (yes it was that long ago) over to the Mirror's cartoon editor, who in turn messed around with it and sent it on to John.
But this time I was going to have to write an entire story, scripted and split into six manageable chunks that could then be subdivided into six individual strips.
But first we, or rather I, had to work on a theme that would ripple through every story. Now it's here that things are a little hazy for me---it was, after all, over twenty five years ago now---but I believe that John had the basic idea of a time travelling professor type who was given a VW Camper van by a lady who had just had enough of the nomadic time travelling life and wanted to pass the burden onto someone she could trust.
From there I believe I took it into the fully formed direction of having the professor and the young girl, Abby, travelling through time to repair deeds that had been perpetrated by another traveller who just enjoyed messing with the timeline.
For example, our first story took them to 1646 East Anglia and Cromwellian England where they were going to have to extricate a young girl from a marriage she believed she wanted. But the real time line---the one you and I live in---needed her to wed the blacksmiths son, only then could the generations continue until a seemingly insignificant coupling in the 1940's would lead to a child been born, then adopted, and who would eventually grow up to co-create the Beatles.
The task would seem simple, but first off the boy that girl was due to marry didn't want to give his pretty bride up so easily. The second problem was that he had seen the VW arrive in a wooded glade, just outside the village, and he had reported it to the puritan village elders, who in turn had arrested the professor and sent for Matthew Hopkins, the Witch finder General, to have him tried for witch craft.
It was then left up to Abby to convince the girl, without telling her too much, that the man she was going to marry was the wrong one, while seemingly always trying to stop this head strong girl from meeting up with her original beau and having a tumble in the hay---for old times sake--- ruining the whole timeline again with a pregnancy neither it, the professor or John Lennon wanted; plus she had to spring the professor before the Witch Finder General got to the village.
We both thought this would be a great little idea and the premise could continue ad infinitum, with each new story being another time in history.
Oh and as a post script, Abby had no idea who John Lennon was, as her present timeline was the false one. So a secondary theme would be her ignorance of the real timeline due to her living in an affected future, and a complete inability to explain to anyone what had happened. As when it was corrected, no one knew what had gone before; time, it seemed, acted like a brain washing tool.
Abby and the Professor escaped this side effect as they were travelling through time to another destination while time was doing her thing.
I genuinely think this was a great strip idea and would have been popular with the readers. Sadly the cartoon world was about to be ransacked and blootered to death by an idiot by the name of Piers Morgan.
Now his is a time line that could've done with being corrected.
Never mind, here's a few strips for you to enjoy.