The Girl Loves Ink | Accidental Leaders

Matt Loux’s young adult adventure The Time Museum shows what it takes to truly be a leader.

The Time Museum (First Second)

246 pgs. full color; $14.99

(W / A: Matt Loux)

Delia Bean has just gotten out of school for the summer and is looking forward to visiting her uncle when she is suddenly thrown into the running for an internship at the Time Museum. From there, it’s like every summer adventure ever: there’s a friend with a cute pet, a crush that may or may not share the same feelings, oh, and there’s time travel, too. Delia quickly becomes embroiled in a plot that takes the entirety of the graphic novel to unravel itself.

I enjoyed Matt Loux’s The Time Museumin fact, I read it entirely in one sitting. (Thanks, new job, for having zero for me to do, at the time—it let me catch up on my graphic novel reading. >.>;) It reminded me what is so great about young adult literature of any genre: the messages and characters transcend their own age. There’s a moment where Delia is being excluded from her new social group because they followed her directions during a group test and almost caused irreversible damage to the world’s timeline. While she’s alone, Delia talks to herself about how she didn’t ask to be the leader as she deals with the loneliness that comes from being the group leader and making a bad call, something that I think we all deal with no matter what age we are. There’s a level of trust that goes into any kind of group dynamic that has chosen a leader and that trust is not an easy thing to maintain.

Social groups are not an easy thing to navigate whether you’re 13, 23, or 43, and it never gets any easier, from what I’ve observed so far. Of course, by the time you reach the back cover, the group has overcome all obstacles—including their chafing at Delia’s position as leader.

I wish that real-life leadership worked this way, too.

It’s been my experience that this graphic novel does accurately portray how leadership is sometimes decided: it’s whoever makes the most sense. That is something that Delia struggles with. It doesn’t make sense to her that she’s been given the responsibility of being a leader and from the moment she realizes that she’s been given it, the book takes on a new depth. I think that I resonated with this section of the book more than anything else—and that’s saying something, because this book features time travel and I’m a huge history nerd—because often times I find myself being gently nudged into leadership positions. At least, that’s how it happened in my Warcraft guild.

I think that’s an important thing to instill in quiet children like the one that Delia portrays. You don’t have to be loud and pushy and everything else that is conjured to one’s mind when someone thinks of what a leader-type looks like. Leaders fall all over the volume dial and everyone brings something unique. People who understand that, people who also happen to be higher up than you in the food-chain, will notice. So, chin up and keep being amazing! | Catherine Bathe

(PS: Jean Grey’s solo comic comes out this year. OHMYGOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!)

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