Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Go Get the New Edition of _After Man_ (SPOILER Review)

Or ask Santa for it, of course, since it's nearly Christmas already?!?  Good lord, that snuck up on me.  I apologize in advance for not doing anything crazy this holiday season; I'm still rather burned out after Inktober.  Head here for Christmas things.

But anyway, yes.  Get the new edition of After Man.  I pretty much had to get it anyway because, as you can see from the above photo, my old edition is pretty much loved to within an inch of it's life.  How much?

I'm holding it together with duct tape, staples, and prayers.  The new version is a sturdy hardcover with tough, glossy pages and it is very very nice.  Like, have it as your official coffee table book for the delight and confusion of your holiday guests nice.  It's THAT nice.

It is also *slightly* altered from the original 1981 edition.  I'm happy to report that this isn't an outright George Lucasing, the original text and illustrations are left basically alone.  There are a few edits to the introduction, but the biggest one helpfully cleans up the circa-1980's "protomammals" mess and the others are treated more as footnotes of the "Look at the cool things we've learned about this since then" kind.  Two creatures have been redesigned, however, and so here come the Spoilers.  First,

Art of the Week:
Speaking of fictional creature redesigns, here's my silly attempt to give Detective Pikachu less... *jarring*... anatomy:

11.13.18 - Detective Pika

But also...


Okay, here are the new After Man illustration spoilers.  Note that both the original and revised illustrations are credited to Diz Wallace:

So the new Reedstilt is fine.  Weirder than the old design, which was already deeply strange to start with.  I don't like it as much; the old version is a lot more graceful.

Okay hang on to your butts, here comes the new Nightstalker:

Okay, it's redder.  And more... sinewy...  I'm not a fan, but I admire the stones it takes to redesign one of the very few creatures in After Man who can truly be called iconic

1 comment:

Jens Kosch said...

I like we get a skeletal drawing of the Reedstilt's neck and that the same picture is still used to depict the different phases of feeding (albeit with different individuals instead of a sequence).4
However, i don't like the new head design that much and the colored version of the new picture is to "shrink-wrapped" for my taste.

I like most aspects of the new Nightstalker. The lower back in gives a better intuitive understanding of what is going on in it's anatomy. The the less defined difference between thoracic and lumbar areas in the older version somehow make it look more like rat sized being, whereas the new design gives a better sense of scale even without the plants in the background. Plus with a more stretched looking posterior dorsal series/upper body it looks like it finally has enough space for its digestive system.
The sinewyness is in my eyes OK, given that it is bat. I also don't mind the new color scheme and the increased heterodonty.
The only part of the Nightstalker's redesign I don't like that much are the hands.