Story, Art and Dinosaur Color Concepts By Ricardo Delgado
Colors: Ryan Hill
Designer: Sandy Tanaka
I am completely enchanted by Age of Reptiles. Dark Horse Comics seems to always be willing to take a risk with their comics and Age of Reptiles is no exception. Now, what is the risk? This comic has no words. No written dialogue, no written narrative. The story is eloquently told by the art alone. Each panel is vibrantly colorful and still maintains a like tone throughout so that they are clearly part of a single tapestry. It’s beautifully done. Every single panel is a complete work of art. The colors are simply exquisite and the line art is detailed yet unobtrusive. I want to compare it to a nature show, but without David Attenborough narrating.
The format of this first issue creates a situation in which reader is almost invited to do their own silent narration and that makes it all the more interesting. I’m actually going to look at it again, I enjoyed it so much the first time through. The story follows a Spinosaurus as it explores and claims a territory of its own. The story takes place in the ancient Nile River Valley and it is gorgeously realized. It is a lush setting and there are many other dinosaurs as well as fish and crocodiles, both of which are also ancient creatures. It may seem odd to find a story without words so compelling but the pictures tell the story, This comic invites the viewer to create the story with it. You see where the spinosaurus is doing, you see other dinosaurs challenging it but the details, the why, the narrative is left to the reader and it is absolutely engaging.
I kept expecting the temporal disconnect, a city or a human to show up and they never did. What I did see were birds. There were feathered birds. Are these the harbingers of a temporal juxtaposition? I’ll have to read more, or look at more, to find out and I am looking forward to it.
Age of Reptiles: Ancient Egyptians #1 is available today from Dark Horse Comics