Throughout the comic, there are three instances of a timeline being drawn out in images. One is in the introduction/instructions, one is right after Jimmy meets his father, and the last one is right after Jimmy’s taxi ride to the train station. One thing all of these have in common is a lack of words and a rather scrambled path through time. I will focus on the placement of the two that are actually part of the story.
The first timeline is about Jimmy and it pretty much summarizes what we know of his life growing up and just a hint of his grandparents. Beyond showing what his life was like, we see how his father leaving affected his life. The image of the torn photograph is tells us that his father was never talked about. That photograph was refinished so that it only showed Jimmy and his mother. The timeline and photograph show that Jimmy’s father left when Jimmy was young. As a result, there was no father or father figure in Jimmy’s life when he was growing up. From the depiction of the lives of Jimmy and his parents, it looks like it was never a very happy family.
The other timeline is of Amy’s life and heritage. Her story, it includes a family tree going back four generations. Since Amy’s introduction is much shorter, the timeline is more important to understanding who she is. Amy is not James’ biological daughter so he had more of a choice if he wanted to be a father or not. This clearly affected their relationship because he actually tried to make everything work with Amy where he failed with Jimmy.
Amy’s timeline is much busier and more colorful than Jimmy’s. Both of their timelines reflect their individual relationship with James. James’ is sparser and rather dull in the color palate while Amy’s is more packed and colorful. The colors, business and placement serve to summarize both their individual lives and relationship with James Corrigan.