|AGE OF REPTILES: ANCIENT EGYPTIANS No. 2, July 2015|
In many ways it is quite hard not to imagine the softly spoken voice of a broadcaster or naturalist such as Sir David Attenborough knowledgably whispering in your ear whilst reading this second instalment of “the Eisner-winning wordless series”. For Ricardo Delgado’s ‘vision’ of a group of Carcharodontosaurus Saharicus worrying a herd of Sauropods in order to ‘snatch’ away the enormous plant-eaters’ minute young manages to emulate the very best of televised wildlife documentaries.
Indeed this twenty-four page publication so readily captures the essence of a natural history programme that any bibliophile with the tiniest interest in dinosaurs will feel that they are genuinely watching a live action sequence rather than perusing a periodical. So much so in fact that their blood will undoubtedly run cold and their pulse start to race as the American comic creator’s opening panels depict the lime green playful Paralititan pups being hungrily watched from the shadows of the swamp by the Theropods.
Bizarrely this magazine’s greatest asset however, is the sometimes violent and gruesome narrative’s amazing ability to conjure up the noise and sounds of the primordial world within which these ‘giant lizards’ live... and oft-times die. Whether it be the eerie quiet stillness of the semi-hidden ‘jagged toothed’ carnivores as they patiently observe their hapless quarry, the yipping of diminutive baby titanosaurians as they spar with one another at the feet of their gigantic parents, or the thunder of the Saharicus’ three-toed feet upon the moist earth as they charge towards the now petrified yelping offspring and snatch them up within their horribly large jaws, one can easily imagine every reverberation, every thud and every grisly crunch.
Visually some of Delgado’s imagery is equally as vivid and occasionally heart-breaking, especially as events progress and the meat-eaters bloodily tear apart their pathetic prey until all but one tiny, shivering infant sauropod remains. Sated, the gore-caked adults sluggishly then watch as a momentarily defiant Paralititan tot bests one of their brood with a well-timed head-butt before succumbing to their teeth and claws.
Disconcertingly however, this is as nothing compared to the artist’s depiction of this title’s primary protagonist, a solitary anti-heroic Spinosaurus Aegypticus, devouring the young of a female he has just coupled with. The sheer savagery of the 'spine lizard' as he rends the squawking litter to pieces or squashes them underfoot would be horrible enough on its own. But is actually brutally exaggerated as a result of colorist Ryan Hill populating every repugnant panel with nothing but numerous shades of red.
|Story, Art and Dinosaur Color Concepts: Ricardo Delgado, and Colors: Ryan Hill|