JURASSiC PARK: iN REAL TiME

Back in 1993 something arrived that would forever change cinema. It led the way in its use of CGI and sound production and I’ve incredible memories of seeing it on the big screen. I was already a fan of Steven Spielberg thanks to Jaws, Indiana Jones, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial and many more, but Jurassic Park was unlike anything even that master of the silver screen had created before.

When my dad and I left the cinema I dragged him to a newsagent and bought Michael Crichton‘s novel, devouring it that summer as I awaited the VHS release of the film. I’d never really been interested in dinosaurs but this story’s premise and these characters had entranced me. I’ve particularly fond memories of receiving the video for Christmas in its rather fantastic special edition fossil box too.

Jurassic Park also did something I’d thought impossible. It brought me back to comics. After starting my comics reading with OiNK in 1986 I’d had several years of fun with the medium before I made my way to the world of magazines, specifically Commodore Format for my new obsession, my Commodore 64 home computer.  The last of my comics was Marvel UK‘s Transformers, which had been cancelled in January 1992 and after that I felt I’d outgrown comics in general. But 20 months later, during the buildup to Christmas 1993 I would see the errors of my ways.

It reminded me of Transformers, a comic I’d adored for years. It was too good to pass up!

A few months before that I’d seen an issue of a Jurassic Park comic in a newsagents somewhere and noticed it was an adaptation of the film. I’d been disappointed with previous comics adaptations of movies (The Transformers: The Movie, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) so I decided not to buy it and that was that.  However, when visiting my local shop to pick up my latest Commodore Format before Christmas that year this bold logo really stood out and I spotted the banner along the top! “New Adventures”? I picked it up from behind the other titles on the shelf and was greeted with a fantastic cover.

One look inside only excited me further. Not only did it contain the official (at the time) continuation of the movie’s story, it also contained other non-Jurassic Park back up strips, tied in to the overall dino subject. It reminded me of Transformers, a comic I’d adored for years. To have the same formula applied to a new title based on my new favourite thing was just too good to pass up!

Twenty-eight years later it’s the next comic to get the OiNK Blog treatment. This means I’ll be covering every issue of the UK version of Jurassic Park on their original release dates. Each detailed review will include story details, personal insights and memories from the time when they were brand new, alongside highlights from this seemingly forgotten comic.

While the original Topps Comics strips were reprinted by IDW roughly ten years ago (and sell for ludicrous prices online today) the fact there was a UK version of the comic seems all but forgotten here and completely unknown by fans elsewhere. I was only able to find a couple of blog posts and one YouTube video, none of which go into any detail, instead simply proclaiming they’d found a Jurassic Park publication they’d never known existed.

I’m hugely excited to get stuck into this classic series from Dark Horse International again. So join me as we re-enter the park and follow a top comic that proved to be an excellent continuation of a great story, only for it to be cut short when the company behind it just vanished.

Jurassic Park UK #1 comes to the blog on Thursday 24th June 2021.

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