Friday, May 20, 2011

Dinosaur Entertainment

Dinosaur Entertainment
'Super Dinosaur' ready for a dino-mite debut

Robert Kirkman likes to think that every kid is enamored with dinosaurs — even the overgrown kids that enjoy his more adult comic books.

"Big giant monsters that looked awesome that actually existed? How do you not love dinosaurs? If anyone out there doesn't like dinosaurs, I would like them to contact me and explain that," says the writer and creator of The Walking Dead.

Kirkman is teaming again with his partner from The Astounding Wolf-Man, artist Jason Howard, for Super Dinosaur, a new all-ages book debuting April 20 on Kirkman's Image Comics imprint, Skybound. The comic will be available in comic shops as well as digitally on the Image Comics app for iPad and iPhone.

In addition, the Super Dinosaur Origin Special debuts on Free Comic Book Day May 7 in comic book stores all across the USA. "That'll tell you exactly how he became a 9-foot-tall talking dinosaur that's as smart as a human and has giant mechanical arms he controls and uses to fight crime," Kirkman says.

Super Dinosaur has all the elements of a cartoon that kids over the years would rush home from school to witness: a relatable hero in boy genius Derek Dynamo; an awesome, well-weaponized character in Super Dinosaur himself; a nefarious baddie in Doctor Max Maximus; and panel-to-panel action.
'Love in the Time of Dinosaurs'
This title is kind of a rip-off of "Love in the Time of Chasmosaurus" (a friend of the blog) which is a rip-off of "Love in the Time of Cholera." But, let's not nit-pick.

Dinosaurs and insightful writers ... or am I being redundant? Well, I’m happy to say reports of their mutual demise have been greatly exaggerated. Case in point: Love in the Time of Dinosaurs by Kirsten Alene.

The Portland, Oregon resident is the author of Chiaroscuro (2009), a poetry chapbook and “several stories and poems currently circulating the worldwide web.” Most recently, she’s penned the above-mentioned Love in the Time of Dinosaurs, a novella from Eraserhead Press, that’s been said to portray “a world filled with complex politics, spirituality, history, and a sense of actual existence in some parallel dimension.”

As I dug into Alene’s novella, I was at the ready for metaphors, allusions, and other buried treasures within the Bizarro context. After just one chapter, I was too busy getting attached to the characters, plot, and pace to analyze. That could wait for the ensuing interview … which went a little something like this:

Mickey Z.: Extinct creatures have returned to wreak havoc using modern weapons. Seemingly pious monks are trapped by long-obsolete paradigms. Limbs and other body parts haphazardly reattached and reanimated with help of magical kung fu. Forbidden love. And so much more. Can you provide a roadmap of sorts through the metaphors and meanings?

Kirsten Alene: All summed up in those words, I would say the only roadmap is that I was very recently a teenager. I will try to say this without being poetic but, to be young is to be at war with the world, isolated, estranged, in conflict internally and externally, and dying all of the time just to be sewn back together again by people you don’t really like. That’s where that could probably came from. When I was writing it I was just thinking that dinosaurs with guns are fucking awesome. The plastic guns were inspired by a character in Cameron Pierce’s Shark Hunting in Paradise Garden who has something like the Midas Touch only he turns things into mannequins.

MZ: It feels to me that you’re still at war - not with the world but with those fucking up the world, those using all kinds of new weapons to create all kinds of new extinctions. Yet at the root of the story is star-crossed love, growing and thriving amidst all the sliced off limbs.

KA: Well ... I’m getting married in eight days, so there had better be some epic romance in there. I’ve been in the love-y mode. Maybe my next book will be less obvious on that front.

MZ: I’ve written: “All you need is love ... and a small, well-trained army.” Looks like you might agree?

KA: And some chickens and a goat. And also 2-3 solar panels and a large plot of land. And corn. Other than that—yes.
Cthulhu Cthursday: Lovecraft and the Dinosaurs

Craig Simmons’ Cthulhusaurus Rex has been making the internets rounds this week (h/t to Grim Blogger for ID’ing the artist).

Lovecraft didn’t write much about dinosaurs, but they did enter his life in a couple of ways, one quite important. More after the jump

First off, he owned a fossilized dinosaur bone fragment. Lovecraft developed throughout his life a curio collection of strange art, but especially artifacts and other old things. Almost all of these were gifts either from the artists (like Clark Ashton Smith), or from rich friends. In 1930, Clark Ashton Smith gave Lovecraft a fragment of a dinosaur bone. HPL was very pleased, and responded

“Nothing could be more appropriate to my tastes or more stimulative to my fancy! To think of having by me the mortal remains – in part – of a twenty-foot high thing which lumbered about the primal Pacific morasses 50,000,000 years ago … a thing which may have trod the vari-colour’d sands of Lemuria, & nosed amongst the fallen obelisks of the Elder Ones … a beast on whose broad back Great Cthulhu himself may have ridden from his palace in blasphemous R’lyeh!”(HPL letter to Clark Ashton Smith, February 27, 1930, Published in Selected Letters: 1929 – 1931. Volume III. Edited by August Derleth and Donald Wandrei. Arkham House, Sauk City, Wisconsin 1971. Page 119, Letter 400)

Indeed, this was appropriate to Lovecraft’s tastes. Not only his intense interest in deep time and the past, but specifically the dinosaur and its fossils. In 1922, Lovecraft approached a sub-curator at the American Museum of Natural History, about dinosaur eggs. At this time, dinosaur eggs were a hypothetical, though a year later this would change with the famous discovery by Roy Chapman Andrews of dinosaur eggs in the Gobi Desert. Lovecraft’s interest was that he had a story germ for the survival and revival of dinosaur eggs, and he had urged Frank Belknap Long to take the idea and run with it. In 1930, such a story by another author appeared, and Lovecraft was quite annoyed that neither he nor his correspondent had gotten there first. I’m still researching, but the conventional wisdom is that this annoyance was one motive that spurred Lovecraft on to write his own “revived fossil” story, At the Mountains of Madness. We also know that Lovecraft, something of a regular movie-goer at certain times in his life, saw the Jurassic Park of the 1920s, the special-effects driven The Lost World in 1925.

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