If we’re using the Andy Kaufman metric, this comic is a complete success because it amuses me.
The danger of time travel is not that you might become your own grandpa. It’s that you might have to clean up your own mess.
We’re just taking our meta experiment as far as it can go. The 4-panel layout has some particular limitations in terms of what you can do horizontally and vertically, but it also allows for this perfect setup mocking the passage of time.
Personally, I find time travel to be primarily comedic. I’ve never seen a time travel story that actually made sense, and while I was a big fan of Quantum Leap in its time, a lot of what was going on there was more fantasy than science fiction. There’s an X-Files episode that covers time travel as well, but the storyline has a guy from the future returning to the past to kill the people responsible for discovering time travel, because the knowledge of how to conquer time has made the world a horrible place. Generally speaking, though, time travel stories are ridiculous. Looper, for instance. If you can send people back in time, wouldn’t it made more sense to just send them farther back? Instead of sending back assassins and paying them in precious metal and then forcing them to assassinate themselves and run the risk of them balking at that task, why not just send your targets directly to the Jurassic era and let them be eaten by dinosaurs for free? I know people loved that movie, but I found it completely nonsensical. If I were a criminal and going to break the time travel law anyway, I can think of a million better things to do in the past than kill people.
As for the comic, originally the gag was just going to be that Dragon goes to all this trouble to see the future, only to learn that the future holds no surprises: Dragon will be drawing. But I think having the kids in there adds another dimension: Dragon realizes that jumping ahead to the future means that certain things have been left undone in the interim, and then we get a final zinger when the girl references traveling back in time.
I also like some of the poses I’ve gotten the different characters into. In reality, The Man cannot kneel like that, on account of a sudden and unplanned high-velocity meeting of his knee with a guardrail, which resulted in the metal volume of his patella being somewhat higher than that of a normal human. The rabbit really would wrap her ears around her eyes, if she could, to unsee anxiety producing activity. In panel 2, I guess the fox is jumping off the otter’s back to whack the remains of the shattered 4th wall with the broom. That is what is happening. And I also like the way the otter’s tail wraps around the panel frame for balance. And I’m glad the animals in panel 3 have taken it upon themselves to clean up the mess, so that panel 4 Dragon can draw in a clean environment.
That’s the shocking revelation of adulthood. Whatever it is that you do, you will most likely keep doing it.