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a VERY unique story entitled 'Meanwhile'

Posted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 1:11 am UTC
by Ggrogg
There's an incredibally interesting book called "Meanwhile: Pick any path" which is a graphic novel that is a sort of "Choose your own adventure" story.
The story starts out with the main character, Jimmy, deciding whether to order chocolate ice cream or vanilla ice cream from an ice cream store and depending on which ice cream you pick one of two things happens. If you pick chocolate Jimmy goes home, his dad asks how his day went, Jimmy says he had some delicious chocolate ice cream, and that's the end of the story. But... if you pick the other ice cream Jimmy gets an upset stomach and stops at house of a (mad?) scientist and asks to use his bathroom. After Jimmy takes care of his needs he comes out and starts to talk to the scientist. The scientist says "You seem like a nice kid Jimmy, how would you like to try out one of my new inventions?" He shows Jimmy his three newest inventions: a time travel machine, a machine that allows you to switch memories with someone else, or his Killitron 2000 untested doomsday device. Jimmy's eyes light up with excitement and that's where the story really gets moving.

The story starts simple but quickly begins to delve into quantum mechanics, physics, and all sorts of related things. Being a graphic novel the way it works is instead of the book telling you which page to turn to, each choice has two or more colored paths leading off from it and by following the path and turning to the correct tab/page we see where the choice leads. On a side note there is a page partway through the book showing Jimmy riding a giant squid that has no paths that legitimately lead to the page, you can only see it by cheating or by noticing it while flipping through. It takes a little bit of practice to follow the paths but is a very interesting way to make a graphic novel into a CYOA story.

And it is entitled Meanwhile because at one of the possible points in the story a character explains to Jimmy about the concept of parallel universes and that while Jimmy is here talking to him, Meanwhile, he is somewhere else doing something else. And here's part of the genius of it. By having this novel written in the way it is we can effectively see all the different universes connecting to Jimmy (well limited to several thousand, it's only a single book not an infinite number of books). The art is enjoyable, the writing is great, but it's the idea of the book and the way it is implemented that makes this the most original book I've seen in a long long long time.

Re: a VERY unique story entitled 'Meanwhile'

Posted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 1:21 am UTC
by TaintedDeity
When I read the ttle I replied in my head with "pffft, sure" but this actually sounds pretty interesting.

Re: a VERY unique story entitled 'Meanwhile'

Posted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:08 am UTC
by Magnanimous
Amazon Link

This looks really cool... Do the alternate Jimmies interact with each other, or is it just observation?

Re: a VERY unique story entitled 'Meanwhile'

Posted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 1:23 pm UTC
by Endless Mike
Huh, for $9, it's worth checking out. I'll be ordering it when I have a little more money.

Re: a VERY unique story entitled 'Meanwhile'

Posted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:32 pm UTC
by Ggrogg
@Magnanimous
I haven't actually had too much time to read a lot of it. I was looking at it at my sister's house while we were visiting but it convinced me I should definately buy it when I get the chance. But I did see that at one point, I believe by using the invention that allows you to share memories with someone, it appeared that Jimmy as actually in control of the guy working behind the counter at the ice cream parlor and was chasing after himself with an axe presumably to stop himself from destroying the world with the Kilitron 2000. This scene would indicate that you are capable of using all 3 inventions in a single branch of the story. Pretty neat in my opinion!

Re: a VERY unique story entitled 'Meanwhile'

Posted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 3:00 am UTC
by Triangle_Man
This is defiantly something I'd read. I must seek it out as soon as possible.

Re: a VERY unique story entitled 'Meanwhile'

Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:49 pm UTC
by Endless Mike
I did finally get this and it's pretty cool!

And yeah, there's at least one story path that lets you interact with yourself. If you travel back 10 minutes then hide in the bathroom, you run into yourself.

Is there a misprint, though? On the page with the time machine's access code, the choices that lead to the bottom of the left page don't actually have a path to go anywhere on my copy.

Re: a VERY unique story entitled 'Meanwhile'

Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 3:05 pm UTC
by AvatarIII
only £5.88 at the book depository
i just decided to go for it, that's pretty damn cheap (and free delievery worldwide)

Re: a VERY unique story entitled 'Meanwhile'

Posted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 4:38 am UTC
by Jorpho
AvatarIII wrote:(and free delievery worldwide)
Wait, what? Do they do that with everything?

Holy cow.

Re: a VERY unique story entitled 'Meanwhile'

Posted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:11 pm UTC
by Ggrogg
I almost forgot about getting myself a copy of this book until I was looking at the forums and noticed this old post I had started. I've got too much going on in my head :|