Thursday, September 11, 2008
Paleo - From 2001
For my money, only a few comic stories dealing with dinosaurs as subject matter have been fit to print. Masashi Tanaka's Gon, published by D.C. Comics' Paradox Press, comes to mind. Ricardo Delgado's Age of Reptiles (which I reviewed a few months ago), published by Dark Horse Press, is also a pleasing read for dino fans. And now, another title is added to my list, with Paleo: Tales of the Late Cretaceous by Jim Lawson and Peter Laird.
This is the same Peter Laird of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fame, but don't look for any kind of karate-crazy reptiles in this six-issue series; the only reptilian creatures within these pages bear a much closer resemblance to the Jurassic Park variety.
The series tells a different story with each issue (as of issue #3), depicting the struggles of living in the cretaceous period; imagine Wild Discovery with dinosaurs. The stories have a very true-to-life feel to them, depicting the seeming cruelty of the natural world.
In the third issue, a baby stegoceras, having lost it's mother to a pack of dro-maeosaurs, seeks comfort from a nesting quetzalcoatlus, only to be tossed off of the nest, down a rocky embankment, to his death. So, this is not The Land Before Time for those seeking cute dino-comics for the wee ones.
Writer Jim Lawson utilizes narration to keep the story moving, which, I believe, detracts from the story itself. His pencils are excellent, brilliantly rendering the main characters in both action sequences and still shots. For this reason, I believe events could be satisfactorily depicted without the use of the narration box (see Age of Reptiles). This is still, however, a great series, worth picking up all six issues. Highly recommended.
Your local comic store should be able to order Paleo for you. Bookstore chains such as Waldenbooks may also yield results. Call 1-888-comicbook for the comics store near you.
Paleo; Tales of The Late Cretaceous, published by Zeromayo Studios, 24 pages, $2.95.
Review by Mark Allen