Thursday, July 7, 2011

Let's Read Another Eye-Searingly Bad Dinosaur Book -and- Look At Updated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Creatures Illustrations!

Extreme Dinosaurs

Several months ago, I went to a deep discount book store and was confronted with some eye-searingly bad discount dinosaur books. Now, those are still pretty bad, but I found another "winner" (and the amazing pair of puzzles seen above) when I returned to that store recently. This book isn't just eye-searing, it's EXTREEEEEEEME!!!!!

Extreme Dinosaurs


EXTREME! BLOOD! DROOL! HORRIBLE PERSPECTIVE! TEETH! CLAWS! ANATOMY FAILURE! EYES! FUR! FOUR TONGUES!!! EXTREME!!!

Oh man. Oh wow. This may be too much for your old Aunty Tricia. Staring too long at this raptor's four tongues is making my eyes water.

OK, so this thing right here is Extreme Dinosaurs, published by Atheneum Books in 2007, though I think this may be a different version than the one sold in Amazon. It's written by Robert Mash and illustrated by Stuart Martin. And I almost feel bad pointing out those responsible because... Sometimes, I can tell when a fellow illustrator is just, like, "f*** it." (Which is the exact opposite of the attitude you should have when illustrating a dinosaur book.)

Extreme Dinosaurs

Ah!

The... eh... Velociraptors from the title page make a reappearance here in EXTREEEEEEEME (I will stop now) pop-up form. At least their leader is down to just the one tongue. They still suffer from an almost Liefeldian failure of anatomy and from what Albertonychus has helpfully dubbed "gorilla suit syndrome" - there's a big, big difference between a dinosaur with feathers and a feathered dinosaur.

Speaking of maniraptors and anatomy fails...

Extreme Dinosaurs

Times like this, I wonder if the illustrator was given a tiny post-it note describing what the animal they must draw looked like. Martin received a note stating "Microraptor was a four-winged dinosaur-bird thing" and spat out this. Count the limbs!

Extreme Dinosaurs

Extreme Dinosaurs

80's Troodon and the 80's Deinonychuses (?) arrive right after the Velociraptors with feathers. Yeah. My eyes are rolling out of my head at this point. Love the 90's comic book cover "slashes" by the way.

Extreme Dinosaurs

You know what? I'm kind of in love with this picture because it is so horrible and over-the-top Darker and Edgier (tm) '90s that it's amazing. That there T. rex is all blood and drool and fanglorious teeth and large talons and teeny little eyeballs and guts and violence and blah. He is an unrepentant Killingyoubeeste. Also, he appears to be collapsing into a singularity.

Extreme Dinosaurs

"Pleeeeeasssse! Make PEEEace!"

Just like to remind everyone that this here book was written in the year 2,000-anything. Which brings us to our next illustration.


Extreme Dinosaurs
----

I was lucky to find an edition of
The Simon and Schuster Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Creatures while visiting a library in another town. As you may recall, this was an updated edition published in 1999 of The Macmillan Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals. I said back then that the book wasn't significantly updated at all, it just had a very few new illustrations. Here are some examples. Sadly, I do not know who painted these, but they have a very Diz Wallace feel to them.

The Simon and Schuster Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Creatures

The Simon and Schuster Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Creatures

In the new edition of this book, as with the old edition, Birds is Birds. So it's oddly touching that little Sinosaurpteryx and Protoarcheopteryx tossed a wrench into this assumption. If you can read the text for Protoarcheopteryx, you can tell that the authors were having the hardest time admitting there's no longer a clear distinction between a "birdlike dinosaur" and, er, a dinosaurlike bird. Sinosaurpteryx looks downright embarrassed to be standing next to that Elaphrosaurus, who is still assumed to be a primitive ornithomimid in this book.

The Simon and Schuster Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Creatures

More amusingly, Baryonyx is still here lost among the Maniraptors.

The Simon and Schuster Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Creatures

And then there's this odd illustration of Tyrannosaurus. It's very different from the old one and, in fact, Tyrannosaurus is the only dinosaur to get a new illustration. I have no idea why but I love his face.

The Simon and Schuster Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Creatures

Aww...

----

Sketch of the Day!

Went to lunch at Bugaboo Creek...

6.23.11 Sketchbook Page

11 comments:

Albertonykus said...

That EXTREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEME four-tongued raptor keeps making me laugh so hard. I repeatedly scroll down and back up again and see if that makes anything better. Nope.

Incidentally, Robert Mash also wrote How to Keep Dinosaurs, which is an interesting book (that I need to review sometime) but also rather poor when it comes to actual dino info. What's even more interesting is that even though the illustrators for the two books appear to be different (How to Keep Dinosaurs uses computer generated images), How to Keep Dinosaurs also has gorilla suit Velociraptor alongside scaly Deinonychus and Troodon. Coincidence?

Albertonykus said...

Correction: How to Keep Dinosaurs has gorilla suit Troodon. Oviraptor is scaly, however.

Tomozaurus said...

Love the giant [i]Jurassic Park[/i] "Raptor" at the back of that first puzzle.

Also, the four tongued [i]Extremeraptor[/i] is hilarious.

Loving the series btw Trish.

Fishy said...

I open this page only to jump back, as a raptor appears to suddenly be jumping at me to bite my face off. @__@

Also, that Protoarchaeopteryx is strangely adorable.

Also, also! I don't know if this would interest you or not, but I have recently got in my possession a copy of "An Alphabet of Dinosaurs" by Peter Dodson and Waybe Barlowe from 1995. Its a bit outdated at spots (naked velociraptors and Deinonychuses) but the illustrations are absolutely gorgeous (I mean, its Wayne Barlowe.) If you'd like, I'd be happy to send you scans of the thing.

Trish said...

^^ Thanks, Fishy! I actually have that book around... somewhere. That said, you've reminded me that I need to do a Wayne D. Barlowe tribute one of these days.

Fishy said...

=3

Now I am rather looking forward to this.

raptor_044 said...

"They still suffer from an almost Liefeldian failure of anatomy and from what Albertonychus has helpfully dubbed "gorilla suit syndrome" - there's a big, big difference between a dinosaur with feathers and a feathered dinosaur."

What does "Liefeldian" refer to?

BTW, while your "feathered dinosaur" pic is a good 1, I think this 1 would've been better for that comparison (I.e. You'd be comparing 2 dromaeosaurid pics AWA 2 NHM pics): http://piclib.nhm.ac.uk/results.asp?image=049422&itemw=4&itemf=0001&itemstep=1&itemx=6

"Times like this, I wonder if the illustrator was given a tiny post-it note describing what the animal they must draw looked like. Martin received a note stating "Microraptor was a four-winged dinosaur-bird thing" and spat out this. Count the limbs!"

Oh God, that burnsthe eyes! I mean, where its tail? What are its wings doing? Why is its body bending that way?

"80's Troodon and the 80's Deinonychuses (?) arrive right after the Velociraptors with feathers. Yeah. My eyes are rolling out of my head at this point. Love the 90's comic book cover "slashes" by the way."

You could do what Bakker did in "Raptor Red" & call them "deinonychs" (pronounced dino-nykes w/a silent e). As for the slashes, I figured a real Deinonychus to exception to that pic.

"You know what? I'm kind of in love with this picture because it is so horrible and over-the-top Darker and Edgier (tm) '90s that it's amazing."

Actually, the T.rex in that pic reminds me of the dog in this pic more than anything else: http://dogtime.com/dog-and-cat-photos/breed-pictures/chinese-shar-pei

"Just like to remind everyone that this here book was written in the year 2,000-anything. Which brings us to our next illustration."

It's been a while since I saw "The Iron Giant". What did the artist mean by that? Are you using that scene in response to Giga looking like Allo more than anything else or Giga walking Godzilla-style?

raptor_044 said...

"EXTREME! BLOOD! DROOL! HORRIBLE PERSPECTIVE! TEETH! CLAWS! ANATOMY FAILURE! EYES! FUR! FOUR TONGUES!!! EXTREME!!!"

I'm probably missing something, but I only see 2 of the 4 tongues. Where are the other 2?

BTW, many thanks for reminding me of the extreme fad ( http://www.spike.com/video-clips/80xnyb/best-week-ever-andrew-wk-paul-scheer-are-extreme ).

Trish said...

I should note that my unwritten rule is Don't Explain the Jokes, but since you appear to be genuinely curious, here goes:

Rob Liefeld - http://www.progressiveboink.com/archive/robliefeld.html (Have some eyewash handy.)

Feathered Dinosaurs - When I first found the artist I linked to, I said to myself, "can you imagine if this guy made a wholly hand-carved Rahonavis or something?" Why not get people who have made realistic 3D models of feathered dinosaurs all their lives to tackle feathered maniraptors instead of sticking feathers on a dinosaur model?

"Iron Giant" - If it helps, before I found that .gif, I originally had the following:

"No. Just... no."

Tongues - Two of them are right below his upper teeth and the other two rest in his lower jaw.

raptor_044 said...

"Rob Liefeld - http://www.progressiveboink.com/archive/robliefeld.html (Have some eyewash handy.)"

""No. Just... no.""

Many thanks for those. They explain a lot.

"Feathered Dinosaurs - When I first found the artist I linked to, I said to myself, "can you imagine if this guy made a wholly hand-carved Rahonavis or something?" Why not get people who have made realistic 3D models of feathered dinosaurs all their lives to tackle feathered maniraptors instead of sticking feathers on a dinosaur model?"

I get what your saying. However, while that does sound good in theory, it doesn't always look good in practice (E.g. "The bad news is that Schouten's lack of experience with non-avian dinosaurs shows": http://scienceblogs.com/tetrapodzoology/2008/11/long_schoutens_feathered_dinos.php ). Even still, I'd rather a bird artist make feathered dino art than a non-animal artist make any dino art (which seems to be the case for Nash's books).

"Tongues - Two of them are right below his upper teeth and the other two rest in his lower jaw."

My bad. I didn't realise the lower tongues are separate (I.e. I was thinking of the middle indent in our tongues).

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness, I swear that I have the four-tongued raptor book, as well a 2006 book that appears to be identical to the *updated* book - the naked raptors, the short-skulled Spinosaurus, the maniraptoran Baryonyx, the derpy Rex, everything.

Life is funny like that.