19 December 2009

Comic Stuffers: AGE OF REPTILES Won't Be Outgrown

If you are a boy, were a boy, have a boy, or know a boy, then chances are very good you know all about the 'Dinosaur Phase'. Springfield Home Office statisticians estimate that 79.46% of all boys have been fascinated by Dinosaurs at some point, and if our Dabbler is any indication, the Dino-Phase may pass but it's never really gone. Just have your boy find Age of Reptiles #1 in his stocking, and you'll see exactly what we mean. 
Dark Horse Comics' Age of Reptiles isn't like any comic we've read since Marvel's "Nuff Said" experiment back in 2001 -- all the meaning really is in the 'seeing'. It's a comic without words, and the story itself is relatively and necessarily straightforward: a large group of many different kinds of dinosaurs - including triceratops, stegosaurus, and pterodactyls, herbivores all - must migrate south for the winter to find a warmer home that can sustain them and their 'families'. The action mainly focuses on a herd of brontosaurus, and the lengths the mother of the bunch must look after her young. When a rebellious young bronto strays and is attacked by a hungry Tyrannosaurus, the herd attempts to save one of its own. 
Age's creator, Richard Delgado, is an experienced storyboard artist, with films like Pixar's The Incredibles and as well as hits like Star Wars: The Clone Wars and The Matrix to his credit. So his attention to detail is incredible, and it's this that pulls the reader - or viewer- into the tale and establishes empathy with his dinosaur characters that can't help but be felt. It's on this level that the comic really excels, and does so simply because it lacks any text. Some information, like the fact that the seasons turning is the cause for the dinosaurs group migration, isn't as completely obvious as it might be were there words in the book, but most readers should pick up on those fine points easily. 
Age of Reptiles also conveys the dinosaurs of Cretaceous North America accurately -- from behavior to appearance, Delgado follows the historical record with his illustrations. Dinosaur buffs and anybody interested in paleontology should find his treatment very enlightening; however, as the comic's realistic, it's no Land Before Time, and there's as much violence - or the potential for it - in the book as there would be in Nature or on The Discovery Channel. 
That said, Age of Reptiles is a four-issue limited series; the first issue came available November 4th, and the second issue should be arriving next month. Easy to jump aboard, Age of Reptiles is a comic that asks its readers to bring their imagination to the table, as without any words, some of the story is left up to us to fill in. We feel that makes the comic even more re-readable than most, as the story can change every time the comic's picked up. It's especially perfect for younger readers, with a definite appeal for boys regardless of their Dino-Phase. Girls should like it just as much, too, and both will find attachment to the book's Thunder Lizards from the emotive interaction Delgado's art inspires. 
We've got a few pages from Age of Reptiles #1 just below, and you'll find some helpful links along with our trusty Comic Stuffers Summary at the bottom. Happy Herding!
From: Age of Reptiles #1 (Nov. 2009)
  • Age of Reptiles is available at your local comics retailer and online directly from the publisher, Dark Horse Comics. You'll find their own summary and online comics shop at the link! [link]
  • The School Library Journal has reviewed this comic for all ages. Read it here: [link]

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