Saturday, March 28, 2009


Dinosaur Comics is something not easily explained. Wikipedia takes a stab at it, and while it gets some of the technical details across, it doesn't quite get across the peculiar humour that characterises the strip that has, since the time I discovered it, made my workdays somewhat bearable for a year and change now.

It's also one of those things that when I try to explain it to people their reactions are usually blank stares and utter confusion. This isn't something wrong with them (Humour is subjective, after all) it's just that Dinosaur Comics is rather unique.

Here, let me have a stab at describing it:

Dinosaur Comics features the same six panels over and over again with the same pictures of clip art dinosaurs every day since 2003. The gag is that while the pictures may be the same, the dialogue is always different, covering such diverse topics as the origin of superheroes, considerations of philosophical approaches, and perhaps the most awesome and simultaneously stupid novel idea, ever.

. . .hmm, yeah--you're probably better off just looking at the links.

The book is, as you might have surmised, a "best of" collection of the early years of Dinosaur Comics, from the first few relatively simplistic strips and is quite a fat little collection (250 pages, give or take) and that may be a bit daunting for the neophyte reader, because a cursory flip-through will only yield that it's the same art over and over again. It's really only by actually reading through the strips and coming to appreciate the completely bent and frequently unpredictable style that the author brings to it that it will either win you over or deter your utterly.

There's something to be said for the fact there's no middle ground there, I reckon.

In any case, I found it to be a book well worth reading, and perhaps you will as well!


Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

I've tried it a few times, but it never won me over - and I don't think it's the art, because I never notice something like that when I'm reading comics unless it's so horrid that I can't make out what I'm supposed to be seeing. It might just be that gag-a-day wears thin after a while...

Kazekage said...

You're in good company, Diana--my significant other doesn't think much of it either. :)

Maybe so--lord knows, the lack of variation in the art probably shows up the gag-a-day format more as there's not much else to focus on.

That said, I thought today's hyper-compression of love songs was pretty damn funny.

'Course, I'm weird like that.

Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

And yet I enjoy The New Adventures of Queen Victoria. Go fig. :)

Kazekage said...

I have yet to check that out--lemme fix that oversight right now-ish!

Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

Let me know what you think! :)

Kazekage said...

I kinda like it--the clip-art style reminds me of Terry Gilliam's Monty Python cartoons, but with an even more surrealist bent, if that's possible. I've added it to my regular reading list!

Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

Good to know. :) I tend to read it in monthly installments - more sustained laughs that way.

Kazekage said...

I've kinda started doing that myself--it's a but more concentrated and, after all . . .it beats working. :)