Graphic Novel Round-up: Aliens and Other Visitors
Monday, October 27, 2008
Anne here with this week's round-up - five recent reads.
Devil Dinosaur and Moon-Boy: Which was the best part - the baby dinosaur that turned bright red because it was briefly exposed to fire? (Yes, like a cooked lobster.) Jack Kirby's art, which had Devil the Ambiguous Species of Large Carnivore Dinosaur fighting a befanged triceratops?
Or was it perhaps the author's note in the middle of the book, in which Kirby suggested that it is entirely plausible that dinosaurs and early man coexisted, because paleontologists said that the Ceolacanth fish had been extinct for 26 million years then found a live one in 1938, so clearly paleontologists don't know nuthin'. (QED!)
"After all," Kirby notes, "just where the Dinosaur met his end, and when Man first stood reasonably erect, is still shrouded in mystery." Yes, that's right - in 1978, paleontologists hadn't yet figured out that dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago and that humans and chimps diverged maybe 7 or 8 million years ago. ("Lucy," by the way, was discovered in 1974. Commonly referred to as the "mother of mankind," she's 3.2 million years old.)
(But no, seriously - instead of just admitting that it's more fun to pretend that humans and dinosaurs coexisted, Kirby had to be all "it could have been so! Modern science doesn't know everything!" which irritates me. A lot.)
No, the best part of Devil Dinosaur and Moon-Boy is the ads. In 1978 $3.98 could get you a tank of live mail-order sea-horses. (I don't think that's even legal any more.)
War of the Worlds was actually a pretty good adaptation - if very brief. The art was decent, without being either ugly or overworked. My only problem with it was that, because it was pretty short, there wasn't anything even approaching character development. I don't recall whether Wells made any efforts in that direction.
Cthulhu Tales: also very brief. It was three short stories, all of which felt pretty undercooked (in this post -Sandman era). But I didn't dislike it. And I didn't hate the art, which is always important. If they begin using some juicier stories, it might turn into a really good title.