Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Discuss: Dinosaurs

Doug: Anything... anything with dinosaurs is fair game today, from favorite films to toys to comics. See you in Pellucidar. Or the Savage Land...


William said...

When I was a kid, before I ever got into comics, I was a bonafide dinosaur nut. I had large collection of books about dinosaurs, and I used to dream about having one a pet. By the time I was 7 or 8 I could pronounce the names of all of them, like Diplodocus, Stegosaurus, and Styracosaurus, etc. I also had quite a few dinosaur models and figurines. Also, if you asked me what I wanted to be when I was 9 years old, I would have said a paleontologist. (Then I discovered comic-books). To this day, my father is disappointed that I never became a paleontologist.

If the Jurassic Park movies had come out when I was a little kid, my head probably would have exploded.

You know, now that I think about it, Marvel should do Devil Dinosaur movie. That would be totally awesome.

Anonymous said...

The first ever film I saw at the movies was "When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth" in 1973 when I was seven and I wasn't very pleased that the "dinosaurs" were just ordinary lizards,I was expecting Harryhausen monsters - the film was just a cheap sequel to "One Million Years BC". The most memorable thing about it was a scene of total nudity, both a man and woman - and my father turned to me and said "If I'd known this was in it I might not have brought you !" (he didn't say he wouldn't have just that he might not have!). That scene has never been repeated on any occasion since, even when it's been on TV late at night. I had a model kit of a dinosaur one Christmas that was just two halves that you stuck together - the only paint we had was yellow so I painted him yellow. My parents had forgotten to buy any paint to go with the dinosaur - but what colour is a dinosaur anyway.

david_b said...

When my niece and nephew were 7-8 or so, Jurassic Park was huge. Particularly my nephew could not get enough of these dinosaurs.

My parents taped documentaries, etc.. It was all the rage to him, as it was to most kids during that JP franchise era.

I had a buddy in gradeschool that was big into 'em, but I never had an interest. I agree William that a Devil Dinosaur movie would be interesting.

david_b said...

Oh, and I can never..


get enough of Calvin and Hobbs. I love the fact the creator never went commercial like Bloom County and Peanuts, despite enormous financial/marketing potentials.

Dr. Oyola said...

I LOVE dinosaurs - both in a real life paleontological sense (used to eat that stuff up into my twenties - plenty of Stephen J. Gould on my shelves) and also in a story and adventure sense.

To me the highpoint of Transformers, a franchise I am not a huge fan of, are the Dinobots - giant robot dinosaurs? YES! (not the films, tho - YUCK!)

I love Godzilla and Devil Dinosaur. I love the Savage Land. Not a fan of Jurrasic Park film, but the book was a page-turner. I wish Planet of the Apes could find a way to include dinosaurs.

The only thing I wish there were more stories of are the large extinct mammals that took over for the dinosaurs, I love Zabu too.

J.A. Morris said...

I was a big dinosaur fan as a kid too, I still get excited when I hear about new discoveries. One of the highlights of my childhood was visiting Dinosaur National Monument outside of Vernal,Utah:

I enjoyed them in comics too, I was sad when Stegron died in ASM #166. And the Devil Dinosaur vs. Godzilla was one of my favorite issues. I've seen the Savage Land get trashed a lot online,but I've always thought it was a great idea. Ridiculous? Sure, but so what, it's comics!

Edo Bosnar said...

How coincidental: a copy of Ray Bradbury's Dinosaur Tales I bought recently just arrived in the mail today (and that purchase was prompted by a recent post at the Bronze Age of Blogs - if you're reading this Pete, thanks again for the tip).

Like William, I was also a big dino-kid, although unlike him, I discovered comics before dinos. Didn't matter, though: I still read and re-read my school library's entire meager collection of books on dinosaurs and prehistoric life, and had a bunch of my own dino books (as well as coloring books, etc.), and quite a few dinosaur toys - which to be honest, were pretty crappy back then. As per David's observation about the dino-craze prompted by Jurassic Park, I noticed, with just a bit of envy, how well-made and cool-looking all the dino toys became.
Also, like William, I was all set to become a paleontologist at about the age of 9 or 10.

And I suppose a Devil Dinosaur movie would be pretty cool, but heck, why not a Ka-zar movie set in the Savage Land? With Shanna, obviously...

Murr said...

I love me the big dragons. LIke Dr. O, this extends into my adult life. Strictly amateur appreciation (the art of William Stout...yes!), but my kinfolk have had a more hands-on resume. Fossil hunting in the high arctic. Excavating a t-rex from the prairie dirt.

I also feel the Age of Giant Mammals doesn't get the attention I'd like. Well, the span of time since the dinosaurs exited the scene. The giant walking raptor birds? Proto-whales? Cool stuff. The folks who did "Walking with Dinosaurs" did a three part (I think) examination of "Walking with Mammals". That satisfied the hunger for a while.

I have to step away from the gang on Devil Dinosaur. Good for an occasional, very occasional, goofy one-shot story with Spider-Man or someone, but please not in any quantity.

The biggest flaw in the De Laurentis King Kong? No dinosaurs on Skull Island.


Rip Jagger said...

"The Valley of Gwangi" was a gigantic influence on me, not as a movie which I didn't see until years later, but as a comic from Dell. The comic is a mere shadow of the movie, but the notion of cowboys fighting dinosaurs is so vivid it lit my boyhood imagination.

And that cover featuring the awesome Frank McCarthy poster art rocked my world.

Rip Off

Edo Bosnar said...

Since it's been brought up by others, I should add that I too still have a fondness for dinos and all things prehistoric. When I find the time (which is not often), I like to read the non-technical literature on the latest discoveries, and I love all the documentaries (forget Jurassic Park - as a kid my head would have exploded if any of the many documentaries on dinosaurs had been available).

And Murray, I tend to agree that the post-Mesozoic, pre-human mammals tend to get unfairly overlooked, but I've watched a few pretty good documentaries on that period regardless. The one you mentioned is indeed quite good - although I think the title is actually "Walking with the Beasts."

Humanbelly said...

I, too, was a big ol' dinosaur-phile through most of my childhood, with a particular fondness for the brachiosaurs (that HUGE body w/ the longer front legs was just the coolest looking thing ever!), w/ the Ceratopsians (particularly the ornate Styracosaurus)being the "if I could have a pet" choice.

However, HBSon in his childhood was pretty much every dinosaur geek kid you've ever met times about 500. He dragged me right smack back into it, but I never had a prayer of keeping up. When he was 5 or 6, the Washington Post's KidsPost section one day had a bit of an article about (IIRC) how Brontosaurus wasn't really a true dinosaur, that it was really what we now call the Apatosaurus-- something along those line. And the "helpful" illustration accompanying the article was of. . . a Brachiosaurus (Hello? Science Editor much?). HBSon picked up the mistake instantly, of course, and was flabbergasted that the newspaper could make such an obvious and rudimentary mistake. He dictated a corrective email for me to send in to them. . . and they printed it, along w/ a correction (!). Which then resulted in the Smithsonian calling and complimenting HBS on his youthful command of paleontology, and inviting him down to the Museum of Natural History for a behind the scenes tour of the fossil storage area and meeting w/ their chief paleontologist, Dr Michael Brett-Surman. HBS had a truly great time, although clearly too young to fully appreciate the scope of this experience. Myself, I had trouble not fainting. At one point, we're standing at the end of a row of shelves, leaning against a triceratops skull on the floor, and the Doctor mentions that it was the actual Type-Specimen-- the first one officially excavated for the purpose of naming the creature. Sheesh. Like manymanymanymany scientists, Dr B-Sur wasn't by nature a people-person, and wasn't shy about criticizing the work/theories/opinions of his colleagues. I do imagine this wasn't the kind of PR duty that he enjoyed having to take on-- but I absolutely recognize that he was a guy doing his very best to be warm and accessible. But that left-brain is his fortress o' steel, make no mistake. A very amusing (albeit HIGHLY awkward) exchange came about near the end of the session when he & HBSon got into a rather heated disagreement about the proper pronunciation of "Parasauralophus". HBSon simply would. Not. Yield his idea of the best way to say it. The problem, of course, was that the name itself was CREATED BY THE VERY SCIENTIST HE WAS CONTRADICTING! Yikes-- time to go, Doc-- thanks for signin' our book!

Ah, good times--!


Fred W. Hill said...

As a kid I developed a love for both way out fantasy and science (as well as history). And of course, my readings in science and natural history included books about dinosaurs. Last month I picked up an issue of Scientific American devoted to dinosaurs -- great issue! -- with articles on such topics as the development of feathers on dinosaurs long before the evolution of one branch of dinosaurs into birds, the sole remnants of that mighty class of animals. I do loathe ignoramuses such as Ken Hamm who lie to kids about the non-avian dinosaurs, trying to convince them that humans and dinosaurs lived together within the last 6,000 years or so (because supposedly god hadn't created anything before that).
As for dinosaurs in comics, by far my favorite was Bill Watterson's forays into the wild imagination with Calvin & Hobbes. Brilliant, funny and among the best drawn comics ever, with or without dinosaurs. But, oh, Watterson drew such excellent dinosaurs, taking the time to study the latest information on them so even while telling a gag he was also spreading information and maybe inspiring kids to do their own reading on the current scientific knowledge about those creatures that dominated the planet for well over 100 million years about 65 million years before mostly hairless apes arrived on the scene.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, gotta love all the dinosaurs - T-Rex, Stegosaurus, Diplodicus, Triceratops, Velociraptors and all those wonderful creatures who are not around these days!

When I was a young kid I loved dinosaurs. Even as I got older I still was fascinated by them. They truly were one of the success stories of the biological world, Mankind being the new kid on the block geologically timewise. It was a real eye opener seeing scientists discover that feathers evolved first for warmth rather than flight, dinosaurs came in all different sizes, some of them probably brightly coloured and that birds are the direct descendants of some of these magnificent creatures.

One of my young cousins said it would be great to have dinosaurs around in the modern world. I remember telling him if the dinosaurs hadn't died out we (mammals in general but Homo Sapiens in particular) might never have evolved. His reply? "Yeah, but they're really cool!'

- Mike 'gotta go eat some Kentucky Fried Dino... er, I mean Chicken now' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Edo Bosnar said...

Geez, HB, where've you been? I remember the Brontosaurus appellation finally being dropped sometime in the late '70s when I was still a kid... ;)

And thanks for sharing that story about your son's (and your) visit to the Smithsonian. That is cool beyond words. And I'm still smiling about HB Jr. arguing with the paleontologist about pronunciation. So awesome.

Humanbelly said...

Ha! Yeah, edo, your reaction to the Bronto/Apato misnomer-thingy is exactly what mine was when seeing it in the KidsPost in, what, 2003? That particular factoid was an old chestnut even then-- which didn't reflect well at all on the "science" background of the editor in charge of a page that had frequent and regular science items.

Boy, and I have to second the shout-out for the fantastic, detailed, quality dinosaur toys that the Jurassic Park films spawned. By happy coincidence, Toys R Us and KBToys had done a final, major clearance of all of that stuff (MASSIVELY discounted) around Christmas time of 2003 or 2004, and I pretty much just bought it all up. HBSon had an unbelievable Christmas morning (and loud), but the larger bulk of it went out as extra gifts for our church's Angel Tree that season. They were exactly the kind of toys that pretty much every little boy would want, but were too expensive when first released.


Redartz said...

Way late to this discussion, but I had to dip a toe in. I was fascinated by dinosaurs from age 6 on up. One Christmas my stocking was filled with these great Marx dinosaur toys: TRex, Stegosaurus, and many others (including some of those Cenozoic Mammals). My favorite was the Diplodocus; almost a foot long.

In college I took Geology as an elective and was enthralled by the intertwining of physical and historical Geology. And Dr. Oyola- I share your appreciation of Steven J. Gould; had the great pleasure of meeting him at a book signing. His signed copy of "Wonderful Life" holds a place of honor on the bookshelf.

dbutler16 said...

I'm way late in chiming in, but I used to LOVE dinosaurs as a kid. Actually, I still do! I even still have all of my old dinosaur books from my youth, and now that I've got a toddler in the house, I'll have someone to pass them, and hopefully that interest, into, as well as my comic book collection.

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