I want to start off by apologizing that for the first time, I was unable to find appropriate comics for the recent Thanksgiving holiday. Not a lot of series out there have specific Thanksgiving issues, nor are there a lot about turkeys or something. If I have scandalized you by missing a really obvious book or story-line, let me know in the comments. Perhaps I can redeem myself next year.
Happily, Thanksgiving isn’t the only thing November has going on. And on the last day of the month, I am sliding into home with a post appropriate for Dinovember – comics that feature Dinosaurs. Here are just a few of my favorites.
Gon (Masashi Tanaka) – You can’t write about dinosaurs in comics without mentioning Gon. A completely dialogue free series about the toughest baby dino around, Gon is every bit as good as your friends are telling you. Tanaka has a rare gift for visual storytelling in a way that is both smooth and immersive. The artwork is some of the best you are going to see with action sequences that are quick, varied, and entertaining. Seriously, Gon is delightful. Just don’t watch that horrible Netflix series…
Super Dinosaur (Robert Kirkman and Jason Howard) – I’ve rewritten my little blurb on this book a few times now because I keep feeling this need to soften my language. In the end, I’ve decided to just be honest and brief. I did not like this book. Nor would I go out of my way to recommend it to the suggested audience of 9-12 year olds because I think that 9-12 is skewing it pretty old for a book where 60% of the spoken dialogue contains the word “awesome” and ends with an exclamation point. There is a lot of better stuff out there for younger kids that show more imagination, but if you want something along the lines of a pumpkin spice latte with a whole bunch of explosions, you might find this AWESOME!
Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur (Amy Reeder, Brandon Montclare, and Natacha Bustos) – I love a good story about a girl and her dinosaur and this one is just that. Lunella Lafayette is a young genius who runs across Devil Dinosaur while they are both tracking a device that could potentially prevent Lunella from turning into a monster. I realize that isn’t the best description, but in this series a little familiarity with the Marvel Universe and the Inhumans goes a long way. I promise that it will make sense. As for the book itself, the team-up is great. Lunella can be bratty but also sympathetic, especially when the adults around her dismiss her intellect due to her youth. Devil Dinosaur is the perfect fish-out-of-water pal for a girl who also feels like she doesn’t belong. The art is also very strong, taking advantage of all the great ways you can pair a small girl and huge dinosaur together. A special shout-out to how well Lunella’s posture is drawn – hip out, legs apart. It is just so perfect and sassy. Now this is the book I would recommend to the 9-12 year old crowd and then some.
Runaways – While dinosaurs are not the main focus of this series about a group of teens who discover their parents are powerful supervillains, I wanted to include it simply because I like it so much. One of the teens, Gertrude, picks up the codename Arsenic after she discovers the gift of a genetically linked Deinonychus-like dinosaur left by her parents. She names the dino Old Lace (see what she did there?) and the dino action begins. I love Runaways because it has an original and interesting premise, and packs some good surprises at that. The art is solid, the storytelling great, and the teens rarely feel overdone in their angst and distrust of adults.
Any other great Dino titles you want to share with the LOC gang? Let us know about them in the comments below. We love recommendations.
And speaking of recommendations, allow me to give you one for this upcoming weekend. There are only a few days left to get your ticket to our popular Snow Globe Making Workshop. Back from last year due to popular demand, this is your chance to let out your inner Snow Globe Artisan for all the world to see!