Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Devil Dinosaur -- 30 years later

I admit it -- I picked up the Devil Dinosaur Omnibus Edition recently (on eBay) more for nostalgic reasons than because of any particular artistic or literary merit due the series. Back in 1978 or '79 or whenever it was Jack produced it this mini-epic, I had no idea that Kirby pretty much had his foot out the door -- that he was at the tale-end of a three-year contract with Marvel Comics and Devil Dinosaur represented part of his 15-pages-of-comic-art-a-week obligations to the company.

At any rate I thought the series was fun. But I was probably a little too old to appreciate it at the time. But here it is 30 years later and now I'm a father with a daughter who not only likes to read but who also loves dinosaurs. What better excuse than that do I need to pick up this nicely-produced edition that packs all nine of 'ol DD's adventures in one easy-to-read volume.

There's only one flaw in my humble opinion. I don't understand the introduction written by Marvel big guy Tom Brevoort. Now Tom is a nice guy. I never had the pleasure of meeting him but he always provided great commentary when he participate in the KIRBY-L online forum a while back and he has been in instrumental in his efforts to get Kirby's mid-1970's material reproduced. But his tone in the Devil Dinosaur volume is almost apologetic.

I can think of a lot of great things to write when it comes to Jack Kirby and I can certainly come up with enough superlatives to fill a page-and-a-half intro to this Omnibus edition. So why does Tom spend his time basically telling us that Jack's mid-70's titles all failed, that the inking and writing weren't what the fans were asking for or that Devil Dinasaur was the impetus or a proposed animation series for Saturday morning. Why not focus on the positive? Like how Jack could find a unique angle for any genre, how his imaginaiton in Devil Dinasaur is unbridled or that the series is just plain old fun.

Apparently the folks at Marvel decided to sell the book shrink-wrapped so they wouldn't risk anyone opening it up and not enjoying the contents.

Well let me tell you -- Devil Dinosaur holds up a lot better now than a whole bunch of whatever "dark" comics that were being published at the time. And if you have the cash and especially if you have young kids than I say Devil Dinosaur is a worth the money.

I just ask you to ignore the silly introduction written by Tom Brevoort.