Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Dinosaur Comic Books Are Cool by Dave Goode

As cool as it was to read a comic book where a super-hero went up against a prehistoric predator there were some other dinosaur-fighters who were just as cool.

Turok,Son of Stone was one. The character first appeared in 1954 in FOUR COLOR No.596 from Dell Comics. His second appearance came in FOUR COLOR No.656 in 1955. Finally the character would receive his own title in 1956 and the feature would run for several decades. First published by Dell. Then by Gold Key. Then finally by Whitman.
The feature told the story of Turok and Andar to Native-Americans trapped in a deep canyon in the Carlsbad section of New Mexico where they encounter prehistoric forms of life that had disappeared from all other parts of the world. Except for maybe Dinosaur Island.
I imagined a Turok movie starring Jay Silverheels and featuring stop-motion dinosaurs courtesy of Ray Harryhausen. Heck! I'd have settled for a Turok movie that starred Michael Ansara and Sal Mineo as Turok and Andar.

Borrowing a bit from Edgar Rice Burroughs' book THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT writer Robert Kanigher along with artists Ross Andru and Mike Esposito created what would become a cult classic among comic book readers.The War That Time Forgot first appeared in Star Spangled War Stories in 1960 from DC. It ran for eight years until 1968. The stories featured groups of American soldiers stranded on an uncharted island in the Pacific during World War Two that was populated by dinosaurs. This island was sometimes called Monster Island. But most of the time it was known as Dinosaur Island.  As a boy I made several "shadow boxes" inspired by the covers of these comics using toy dinosaurs and those bags of green plastic soldiers that have been a part  of every boy's childhood for years. But most of the time we just created our own Dinosaur Island adventures in our backyards.
Art by Vance Capley


  1. To see some really fun dinocomics, you have to go waaaay back to the works of the late great Windsor McCay....

  2. "A judo chop may not ber enough!" I love it :)