If you weren’t at interesting2007, one of the most (surprisingly for me, given the topic) interesting talks was Jack Schulze’s entertaining presentation on hypertime and the general physics of comics. You can check out the slides and transcript here.
Hypertime is explained as “a manifestation in the story of the comic which allows the writers to refer to any of the instances in all of history of any character inside the comic itself” – otherwise known as a really good get-out clause that allows the coolest versions of much-loved comic characters from different time periods to interact with each other (and paper over any continuity glitches).
My favourite quote from Jack’s talk:
“you don’t get John Pertwee turning up in contemporary Doctor Who, though that’d be quite good if he did”
UPDATE: Feb 2009 – browsing though the archives I realised that the Dr Who ‘Time Crash’ episode from November 2007 (where David Tennant crashes his Tardis into the fifth doctor Peter Davidson’s Tardis) looks like a brilliant example of hypertime in action. Maybe one of the Dr Who scriptwriters saw Jack’s talk?