Art is a form of communication

Timmothy Timm produces book of original comic strips

Timmothy Timm is a 16-year-old who is a high functioning autistic. For him, communication can be difficult, but his drawings and music help. He has recently completed and begun producing a book of his original comic strips. Shyanne Belzer/MDN

“I like being on my best behavior when I want to, but when I NEED to, it’s a whole different story,” said Philemon. “One thing I don’t like about the Christmas season, Titus, is that we’re being spied on constantly.”

“By whom?” Titus asked.

“Santa, of course!” Philemon exclaimed.

This is the opening dialogue of one of Timmothy Timm’s many comic strips that fill his new book “Titus and Philemon Take the Stage.” In this compilation of his many comic strips, two guinea pigs and their owner, Joe, show the day-to-day adventures they have. Every strip is filled with a different concept as the three travel through life, weather and holidays.

Timm began work on his debut book three to four years ago when he began to create the strips on stripped paper. He was given inspiration from his late guinea pig named Titus, creating characters who fit along with him.

“I chose the name Philemon because I thought it sounded nice with Titus,” explained Timm.

Timm was diagnosed with High Functioning Autism when he was 2 years old, according to Timm’s father, Robert Timm. Timm has remained at the expected school level for his age and at 16 years old, he has proven to be very bright and talented, but the one struggle he faces is communication.

According to Robert Timm, communication has always been difficult for Timm, but one way he has always handle it has been through music and art.

Since beginning the work on “Titus and Philemon,” he has created more than enough strips to fill his first 50-page book. According to Timm’s dad, he has created enough material for six books right now.

For what motivated him to create the book, Timm said, “I saw that other cartoonists put their comics in books and I decided I should try that too.”

For nine months, Timm began to hand draw his comics on plain white paper. He drew not only his original work, but also the squares that hold the images and the occasional name card that accompanies some of the comics. Every piece of his book was made by him, his mind, and his artistic skills.

“I usually complete a page every two to three days,” Timm said of the process.

Timm has diverse art skills and is able to do more than just comics, but his strips are something he greatly enjoys. One of his favorite comic strip creators, Jim Davis, who produces Garfield, has been a role model for Timm and his comic strip career.

Timm is one of few who can say that at the age of 16 they are a published author. Even fewer can say they created a book full of handmade comic strips.

Timm’s book will be available at Main Street Books where he will also be hosting a book signing on Saturday 15 from 1 to 3 p.m.