Thursday, July 7, 2011
Let's Read Another Eye-Searingly Bad Dinosaur Book -and- Look At Updated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Creatures Illustrations!
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! 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.)
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...
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!
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 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.
"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.
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.
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.
More amusingly, Baryonyx is still here lost among the Maniraptors.
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.
Sketch of the Day!
Went to lunch at Bugaboo Creek...