Tag Archives: Dick Hansom

JURASSiC PARK #10: BETRAYALS, TAILS & GOLDBLUM

Another exciting Gil Kane cover that bares absolutely no resemblance to anything that occurs inside, or any other issue or even the movie. It’s the second of two covers from the American preview comic, the previous one shown off last month. That Topps Comics preview contained two small strips set before the events of the movie and the first was underwhelming to say the least. The second, which is the headline story inside this issue, is far better and concentrates on the man we all loved to hate, the person behind all the chaos, Denis Nedry.

Portrayed by Wayne Knight in the film, Gil produces a great likeness here while not getting so hung up on it that he ends up expressionless. Betrayal is written by Walter Simonson and tells the tale of Nedry’s arrival on Isla Nublar to work on the computer systems that would be so instrumental in the creation and eventual downfall of the park; networking of computers, park systems, zoological simulations and crowd control measures all make up his complicated job. Dick Giordano (Detective Comics, The Sandman, Superman vs The Amazing Spider-Man) joins Jurassic Park to ink Gil’s pencils, John Workman returns as letterer, as does Renée Witterstaetter as colourist (and Story Editor for this and the sequel story later in the issue).

Some fans online have mistakenly said there’s an error in Nedry’s and Hammond’s relationship in the film. Hammond‘s favourite phrase was, “Spared no expense” and yet Nedry is constantly saying he’s underpaid, his boss unwilling to negotiate. Here, Simonson picks up on this plot thread from the novel that the film touched upon (and those fans missed) and elaborates on it. Nedry’s bid was very high, no expense was spared, but it was made before he knew the secret of what the attractions on the island actually are. Once he finds out he thinks he underbid, but Hammond is a man who honours his word and expects others to do the same.

Realising the fortune Jurassic Park is going to make Hammond, Nedry constantly tries to spin that his work is going to be far more complicated than first estimated, but really it’s not true and he’s just pushing for more money. Hammond doesn’t budge. His computer experts perfectly relayed to Nedry what was required, the fact the animals are dinosaurs doesn’t change anything. Six months in however, Nedry begins to realise extra money will never be forthcoming from his computer work and in a moment of clarity, when he overhears Henry Wu discussing the embryo laboratory, he clicks that’s where the money is, in the dinosaurs, and their embryos are tiny, perfect for smuggling off the island.

The story ends with his first attempt at reaching out to Ingen‘s competitors but for me the real meat of the story is seeing the beginning of the relationship between these two characters. Also, unlike the previous prequel story, Genesis, foreshadowing isn’t shoved in our faces, instead it just concentrates on telling a good story based around a key plot point in the movie and the characters at its heart. Hammond comes across as a bit too cantankerous at points compared to Richard Attenborough‘s charming portrayal, but in the end it’s an interesting little prequel and a nice addition to the comic.

There’s no Xenozoic Tales this issue so all three remaining strips get more room to breath, although I do miss Tenrec and Hannah. They’ll be back, though. Alongside the eight-page Betrayal and the ten-page Dark Cargo for a meaty 18 pages of Jurassic Park, is Ricardo Delgado‘s stunning-as-always Age of Reptiles which makes up 11 pages, sandwiched in between the other strips. It starts off serenely with a large Ankylosaurus enjoying some bark from a monstrously sized tree that dwarfs even this huge dinosaur. But then they hear a noise and step to the side to have a look around the tree; I think the way this simple gesture is drawn is just so full of character.

I was beginning to feel sorry for the peaceful beast who now found themselves outnumbered three-to-one against our favourite predatory rascals, the Deinonychuses. As you can see from what happens on the next page I needn’t have worried. This is enough to make the smaller dinos run off, beaten with one swipe of a tail. I just love this big action shot though, especially since the build up was so peaceful, it’s such a surprise! We get another little respite when we check in on the Tyrannosaurus rex pack as Long Jaw arrives back and nuzzles the noses of his mate Talon and their baby, with the other male Blue Back and his mate Climber looking on.

The whole pack is angry and soon Long Jaw sees why. The large circular nest is empty of all its eggs except for a few pieces of broken shell and one last intact egg, tucked in next to Talon. We then get a double-page spread and a really brilliant moment as he looks down at evidence of who robbed their nest and, even though a T-rex‘s face shouldn’t be that emotive, we can tell he knows exactly who were responsible. The way Ricardo lays this out with his face in between the footprint and those same feet now on a nearby beach is just genius.

Look very closely at that big panel in the middle of the page where we see the Deinonychuses arrive on the beach, where they’ve taken all the eggs they’ve stolen from various other creatures. Have a look up into the cliffs and, amongst the silhouettes of the craggy terrain you should spot the shapes of a head and a tail. I’ll admit I don’t think I ever noticed this the first time around back in the 90s because it surprised me when I spotted them now. It’s so subtle, I love it. It also leads on to the climax of this issue’s chunk of story.

After filling their bellies the three thieves start making their way up a very narrow path along one of those cliff faces and come face-to-face with our two female Tyrannosaurs. The size and power of these dinosaurs in comparison to the smaller ones is perfectly captured here and I particularly like the overhead view showing just how trapped they really are. There’s even a tiny bird looking on. Little details like this amongst all the action and drama is a trademark of Ricardo’s and one of the reasons I love his work so much.

The leader of the Deinonychuses turns and barks orders at the others, one of whom turns and runs at the T-rex coming up behind them, the story cutting off for this issue as they leap into the air, claws bared. Age of Reptiles was never intended to be told in this way; it was created as a graphic novel to be read from beginning to end in one sitting. But it just works so well, editor Dick Hansom doing a great job of knowing when to make the edits to make each piece feel like a complete chapter. It’s a great cliffhanger. (Yes, that was very much an intended pun.) However, it’s a particularly frustrating ending this time, which I’ll explain after the third and final strip.


“Phooey on your ‘Chaos’! We’ve got boats, planes, radar…!”
Renny

“So does the war on drugs.”
Dr Ian Malcolm


Jurassic Park: Dark Cargo continues with Dr Ellie Satler, Dr Alan Grant and the juvenile Velociraptors transported from boat to a huge air transport and during the flight our human heroes eventually awaken to find their cage surrounded by the hissing, clicking raptors. One tries to pick the lock of the cage just as they did to their own, but Alan’s broken belt buckle from his failed attempt, still caught in the lock, stops them. They run off, the pilot noticing shifting weight so George Lawala, the first in a long line of greedy humans who would underestimate the intelligence of the dinosaurs, goes to investigate. He frees Alan and Ellie and gives them shotguns, the chapter ending with them all searching the plane (it’s so big, with so many places to hide, because he didn’t know what exactly he was going to be bringing back).

That’s the main plot out of the way. That’s not to say it isn’t fun, it certainly is, it’s just there are two individual pages elsewhere in the story involving subplots that really stood out to me. The first involves the army’s continuing attempts to clean up the mess of the island’s failed park. Having tracked Alan and Ellie to the beach they’re at a loss as to where they are. For me it’s great to see the new character, INgen‘s Dr Fischer back again (he first appeared in #6) and I’m still hoping we get to see more development of him in the future. But it’s the person on the next page that elicited the highest level of excitement when I read this back in 1994.

Of course, nowadays we’ve seen Dr Ian Malcolm, so memorably played by Jeff Goldblum, in The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and he’ll be returning again in the sixth film, Jurassic World: Dominion later this year at the time of writing. But at the time of this comic his return was a complete surprise! If the comic had a proper editorial and Next Issue promos I’m sure this would’ve been mentioned before it happened, so for once I was glad of the minimalist approach. It meant the surprise was kept until this very moment. He just appears in this one sequence as he recovers from his injuries from the movie but it’s exciting to see the character in this first official sequel, and he’s perfectly drawn!

Also mentioned here is ‘The United States Central American Command Center’, or ‘CENTAMCOM’, the comic’s own take on the real world’s CENTCOM (the same name except for the word “American”) and the resources they have in their search. It brings a larger scope to the background story that’s slowly developing while the main plot focusses on our two main characters, and I always enjoyed these aspects of the films, always wishing they’d delve deeper into the inner workings of INgen and the larger world within which the stories were set. Then it all ends with the biggest shock of all. Under the final panel we’re unceremoniously told #11 would be on sale on Thursday 9th June. What?

This current issue went on sale on Tuesday 29th March 1994, so suddenly my favourite monthly comic was telling me I had to wait ten weeks for the next chapters to all these stories. Can you now understand why I was so frustrated earlier? The use of the JP logo on the cover instead of the previous title graphic (I love the logo but preferred the previous one for the comic) was just the first big change to come. Ironically, this issue felt once again like the first ones I bought, settling back into a great format after a couple of months of trying to fit too much into its 36 pages. But that would all change, along with its publisher! But I’ll go into that next time because at this point originally I hadn’t a clue why there was such a long wait. You’ll just have to wait to find out too.

I’ll finish off with a look at the very-90s adverts this issue contains. There’s a teeny tiny liddle widdle radio which would’ve been right up my alley back then and it isn’t dissimilar to that given to Bond by Q in Skyfall many years later. The back cover has an advert for Dark Horse International‘s Manga Mania as the animation style started to take hold here, mainly thanks to Akira (with a hint of things to come for Jurassic Park on the bottom-left of its cover) and there’s a convention to match. Finally, those highly expensive phone-in competition lines which, when you think about it, should never have been in the pages of comics such as this (or the magazine Commodore Format I was collecting at the time which had plenty of them) when so many young readers could be tricked into spending a fortune on their parents’ phone bills. (No, I didn’t.)

So, with a clifftop battle in full swing and a pack of deadly Velociraptors on board a cargo plane we have to have patience and take a breather from the comic for a while. It’s difficult enough to not read ahead but this is going to be ridiculous! I’ll just have to cope somehow, then the next Jurassic Park review will be here from (big sigh) Thursday 9th June 2020, just one day before the release of the next movie! Oh, you see now I’m all excited again!

JURASSiC PARK #8: PURE ESCAPiSM

A simple cover of an iconic movie scene by Dave Cockrum welcomes us to #8 of Dark Horse International‘s Jurassic Park. The cover is from the first issue of the American movie adaptation so really shouldn’t make sense here, after all the Velociraptors are no longer caged up, but it reminded us of the danger from the film that was now running loose. Inside we’ve less adverts and more comics, making for a very satisfying read this month and the title strip no longer has the least amount of pages.

The well chosen cliffhanger last month saw the original US strip cut out at the point Dr Alan Grant and Dr Ellie Satler‘s theories were proven terrifyingly correct. Now they and new character, big game hunter George Lawala are faced with a fully grown mother raptor and her juvenile offspring and she isn’t happy. Grant pushes some boulders, causing a chain reaction, giving them just enough time to make their escape, but it isn’t long until she’s out and chasing Lawala.

Here we get a few action pages of a chase on the beach, ending with the raptor being shot. Lawala muses over the fact the injured animal isn’t what his employer wanted so he shoots it again to kill it. Surprised there are actual dinosaurs here, that it wasn’t some case of mistaken identity he lets his concentration slip, not realising she isn’t quite dead yet and with her dying breath she snaps her jaws around his ankles. He’s able to squeeze himself free and limps off in search of the others.

It’s hard to believe this is the same artistic team (penciller Armando Gil, inker Dell Barras and colourist Renée Witterstaetter) as those thrilling first few pages back in #6. This feels rushed by comparison and overly simplistic. To be fair this is only a problem for a few pages, but they’re the ones involving what should be the highlight of any chapter in a Jurassic Park comic strip, a dinosaur attack! It all feels rather muted as a result.


“He’s got us and the raptors! He’s won!”

Dr. Ellie Satler

Things pick back up again as we rush towards the end of our first sequel story. Our heroes are captured by Lawala who had waited near the cave, knowing they’d return to make sure the dinosaurs were okay. Just as with the movies, while the Velociraptors are dangerous, it’s also important to protect them from the dangers of humans. A fight ensues and of course Alan and Ellie are outmatched, although they do give a valiant effort. Alan tries in vain to convince Lawala he must realise the animals can’t be taken off the island, that what happened to the park could happen to the world. But Lawala readily admits he’s too greedy to care.

Beaten unconscious, Ellie and Alan eventually wake to find themselves in a somewhat impossible position, just right for an almighty cliffhanger with suitably dramatic lettering by John Costanza. Although, it does unintentionally raise a few chuckles because it reminds me of the ending to Finding Nemo, which came much later. This story by Steve Englehart reminds me very much of where the Jurassic World trilogy has been heading. I’m writing this before the third movie (sixth in the overall series) is released, the previous movie having ended with dinosaurs out in the world among us. I’m really excited for that film and I think that’s the same excitement I had when I first read this back in 1994.

“The world swarms with the living evidence of a billion years of evolution!” Thus begins the next chapter in the ongoing Xenozoic Tales saga, the first of our two dino-themed backup strips. The story here (as ever written and drawn by Mark Schultz) is the classic sci-fi scenario of losing contact with a research outpost and going in to find out what’s wrong. We know it’s clearly going to be bad news but that’s not the point of the story, it’s all about what has gone wrong and exploring a little more of this strange new world, its dangers and having some action and excitement along the way.

The first thing I noticed was the bold colouring, which is a lot more colourful than in previous issues. This is because we have a new contributor and it’s none other than Transformers colourist and Visionaries editor Steve White. In the earlier years of Transformers the colours were all beautifully hand-painted, before a new system was introduced that produced much flatter (but still stunning in the right hands) results. The colours here remind me of those earlier issues. They really pop, bringing depth and excitement to a story that’s already fun to read.

I asked Steve about his time working on Jurassic Park and he told me that while it was a work-for-hire gig he was a big fan of Mark’s and of Xenozoic Tales. He produced these beautiful results with markers on photocopies of the art, which he’d travel to North London to Dark Horse International’s little (according to Steve) office to pick up and return the pages.

Months previous, a great scientist by the name of Fessenden had asked Jack Tenrec to take him and his team out to a swamp for their research, explaining he’d discovered a secret to saving their crops. Now returning with a rescue team, Jack faces off against vicious, overgrown versions of dinosaurs that are usually tiny and docile. They start to show hunting skills they’re simply not meant to have, circling the team and attacking systematically. Eventually they make it to the station which is now a crumbling wreck and discover the shocking transformation of Fessenden.

His team are nowhere to be found, he isn’t doing any of the work he was there to accomplish and his head has become a strange elongated shape, covered in what looks like pulsating veins, like his brain is trying to push itself out through his skull. Jack sets out to find the missing researchers, only to literally stumble upon creepy blob-like creatures not dissimilar to his old friend’s head, then a mass grave in the final panel.

While so far there’s nothing particularly original here, these little blobs are intriguing and having read Mark’s other tales printed in this comic so far I know the payoff will be excellent. Its pacing is perfect and I can’t overemphasise how much Steve’s colouring adds to the rich atmosphere.

While this is listed as ‘Chapter Five’ on the contents page it’s actually the first strip in the series, originally published in Death Rattle magazine in the States in 1986. It acted as a kind of pilot, a testbed for a possible series. This explains why this particular chapter is simply called Xenozoic. It was clearly well received because Mark would go on to sporadically release more stories in his own comic. Not sure why Jurassic Park editor Dick Hansom decided to include it here instead of at the beginning, but it did mean we could enjoy it coloured this way so I’m happy he waited.

Moving on to Ricardo Delgado‘s Age of Reptiles (coloured by James Sinclair) and it takes up less space this issue to make way for much more of the title strip, but it’s no less enthralling. We were left wondering what was going to happen next after the Deinonychuses stole the unhatched eggs from the Tyrannosaurus rex nest, but this issue the battle of the species takes a back seat, the pace slowing down and showing the dinosaurs going about their lives as dawn breaks. It begins with a pack of Parasaurolophuses lazily drinking by a waterfall, unaware they’re being watched.

I don’t think I picked up on this until a later issue when I was a teenager, but this is clearly a different T-rex than the one we’ve seen in previous issues. Only when both appeared together in a later chapter did I notice the completely different sets of markings, probably because I didn’t go back and read the previous issues back then, so when I saw this ‘rex I incorrectly assumed I knew who it was. I love the little bird picking out a borrowing critter from its head and the dark shadows obscuring the hunter as he stalks his prey. The Parasaurolophuses are so delightfully drawn I can’t help but feel sorry for this one.

We see the predator begin to feast before cutting away to the silhouettes of the Deinonychuses making their way through the thick jungle. We’re not sure where they’re going yet and we don’t find out this issue, but what does happen here is highly entertaining and builds to a surprise cliffhanger. One of them gets distracted by a fish flopping about on the ground near a body of water and wants to stop to feed. You can see the distinct head markings of each character here, their leader not impressed with being slowed down and this little silent exchange did make me laugh.

That little red wiggle and that glare are comedy gold.

In the panel before it you’ll see some little bubbles appearing in the water beside them. Ignoring their leader, the hungry dino picks up the fish and opens wide, presenting us with a full page of this action, panel-by-panel, the shadow of the mouth engulfing the fish, saliva dripping from its mouth as it moves the fish closer, only for us to turn the page over and be confronted with this image below.

This was such a surprise ending. I’d forgotten all about it in the intervening years but seeing it now brings back the memory of having a feeling of impatience at having to wait a month to see the next part. I think you’ll agree that’s understandable.

So this is where my monthly dive into this favourite comic comes to an end once more. Three superb cliffhangers (even though only one was originally intended as such), interesting stories, plenty of action, loveable characters in all three strips and the surprise addition of a favourite Marvel UK colourist. It’s been an absolute joy yet again. It will continue in this format for a little while yet, so there’s much to look forward to over the coming months and the next bit will be here on Tuesday 22nd February 2022.

JURASSiC PARK #7: ON THE HUNT

The Christmas festivities may still be upon us but you wouldn’t know it from the latest edition of Dark Horse International‘s Jurassic Park from 1993. Released just three days after Christmas Day itself there’s not a hint of snow or any festive wishes for its readers, but then again there never were any personal touches to the Dark Horse comics, no editorials or the like. The cover is really special though and the first by Michael Golden to feature on the UK title. I love its mix of the natural and technological (the computer circuits in the background), perfectly summing up the world of Jurassic Park in a gorgeous and eye-catching piece of art.

What it does have are the next chapters in its three fantastic strips and a competition that takes me right back to late nights in bed exploring Isla Nublar on a tiny little electronic screen. It’s another phone-in and states it’s been made particularly easy for all to enter, then goes and continues its tradition of misspelling the island name! But let’s not fuss, the screenshots here may not look like much compared to today’s games but this was such fun to play and kept me awake far past lights out on many a school night.

In the second part of the first official follow-up to the film, as InGen attempt to recapture all the dinosaurs they ignore Dr Alan Grant‘s warnings that there are more Velociraptors out in the wild, so Alan and Dr Ellie Satler decide to take things into their own hands. They head for the other side of the island, scientific reasoning given for every step they take in tracking the animals. They end up on a beach searching caves and in the background a little boat putt-putts along the coast in some scenic panels by penciller Armando Gill and inker Dell Barras (Samsona, Conan the Barbarian, Batman) who criminally wasn’t mentioned in the previous issue’s credits. This is a shame because his deep blacks and line work bring a real sense of action amid a gritty, realistic atmosphere.

There are some nice references to the other surviving characters from the film and where they are now, all of which track with the as yet unwritten sequels, before a new character literally pops up, having come from that small boat I mentioned. After The Lost World this new addition of big game hunter George Lawala may not seem that original, but remember this was out just a few months after the first film. Amongst the dark caves colourist (and story editor) Renée Witterstaetter gives his entrance a burst of surprising colour, matching the sudden change of pace.

He instantly recognises the duo as a threat to his income, resulting in a chase deeper into the cave. He picked this particular cave because of its cover, easy access and the fact it’s far from the humans on the island, unaware of what could be living within. Alan and Ellie are fully aware (in fact they’d already deduced this was the perfect spot) but have no choice but to run further inside. The chase is rather exciting, the deep colours and camera angels drawing us in until we turn the page and both us and the characters are confronted with the ‘raptors.

George will be key in developing the story further and, eventually, in getting us off the island for the first time in the franchise. For now though this is our cliffhanger for another month after a dramatic, beautifully drawn eight-page adventure. Again, the Jurassic Park strip has the least pages of the three stories but it doesn’t feel like that while reading, and where it’s been cut into parts by editor Dick Hansom we’ve ended up with two opening chapters that feel very different from each other (even though they were part of the same issue in the States), as if it was written for this format.

Mark Schultz‘s Xenozoic Tales is next up and it’s the second half of the story from last time. The mysterious lizard people that appeared to be kidnapping Hannah Dundee are revealed to be The Grith, a race of people who work with the Earth to grow both their own health and that of the planet. Despite correctly seeing humans as fighting against the Earth and even after everything they caused, Jack Tenrec was able to befriend them, communicating through a system of ancient tiles, the meaning of which have been lost to time. They might seem familiar to the reader though.

They appear to be a peaceful race but as you’ll see from the end of this chapter they’re quite capable of defending themselves, their friends and the Earth from any danger. The fact they can use the Scrabble tiles (a funny touch to the story) might be because they’re descended from ancient humans, or from other creatures that were around at that time, or maybe there’s some other, simpler reason behind how they can communicate this way. They’re also so in tune with the planet they’re able to predict an earthquake about to hit a cliffside farming community, so Jack and Hannah set off to save them.

Their journey takes them through deep caverns and past a huge, sleeping lizard monster. They must sneak past or be devoured! But the beast wakes up, sees our heroes and simply goes back to sleep, completely disinterested. I love these little moments in Xenozoic Tales that run contrary to our expectations. The stories are full of them. Funny moments also include The Grith making gestures with their bodies and Jack explaining how difficult it has been to communicate with them, priding himself on the use of the tiles. But of course, Hannah is able to decipher their body language easily, completely stealing Jack’s thunder.

For some reason The Grith trust Hannah. They can foretell she’ll help them, so her protestations and claims she’ll report all of this to the council back in the city fall on Jack’s deaf ears; he knows once The Grith have decided to trust her that’s it. It makes for more crackling dialogue between the pair. But just before things can be wrapped up with a neat bow and a happy ending, we get a glimpse into the darker side of these new additions to the story.

This feels like it’s building on the way the Velociraptors communicated in Jurassic Park

Gorgostamos, a man who had pretended to help Hannah find Jack last issue (as a trap to kill both her and Tenrec) comes face to face with at least one of them, and when we return to him all we see are these rather grisly final panels below. Was this to defend our heroes? Was there no other way? Or are The Grith more capable of violence than Jack thinks?

Jurassic Park would only print a selection of Mark’s strips because most were in black and white and this was a full-colour publication. I do hope we don’t miss out on any of the answers this intriguing strip continues to raise every month.

Finally it’s time to return to the Cretaceous era and Ricardo Delgado‘s sublime Age of Reptiles. Last time a huge Tyrannosaurus rex stole the newly killed dinner of a pack of Deinonycuses, killing one of them in the process in what was actually a very funny moment. This issue kicks off with them returning to their nest and communicating via sound and body movements what had just happened. Even though it was created before the movie was released, this feels like it’s building on the way the Velociraptors communicated in Jurassic Park. It’s clear they’re now out for revenge.

But first we get a few pages of the T-rex simply making his way back home, through forests and across large expanses of water. The art here is gorgeous and I find myself taking more time to ‘read’ this strip than either of the others. I just want to take in all the details, not only in the characterisations on the faces and bodies of the animals (which really do tell the story) but in the backgrounds too. Just look at this page below and you’ll see what I mean. Taking up a full page with these two panels of him simply walking home could be seen as dragging out the scene if it weren’t for Ricardo’s art, which demands this kind of space.

As you drink in these pages it also deliberately slows down the story. Ricardo is a master of pacing. You simply can’t rush through this, and if you did you’d be losing out. Just because there’s not one single written word, no captions, no sound effects screaming off the page, doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot to this in terms of characterisation, drama and scene building, and it only gets more intense as the months go on.

It’s so unfortunate the comic wouldn’t keep to this format for very long but we’ll get to that next year.

When he returns to his nest we see his family waiting. He lovingly rubs heads with the female looking after their eggs, while the other looks on a bit jealously, although we do find out she is the mother of the adolescent rex, who is currently learning to hunt by chasing a small creature about the rocks and trees. I felt transported back to this time and involved in the natural lives of dinosaurs like no prose story or documentary before it.

Subsequent Jurassic Park/World movies have built upon the original’s emphasis on dinosaurs just being animals, not the monsters of older films and books. Age of Reptiles does a great job of this too, and moments like the one below remind me of the Tyrannosaur family from The Lost World: Jurassic Park.

This instalment ends with the Deinonychuses sneaking into the nest at night and stealing all of those eggs, but the adolescent awakes and raises the alarm. Giving chase, our male closes in on them as they dart through the forest, but eventually the smaller, more agile dinos leap across a chasm and escape, the T-rex left roaring into the night. I remember roughly how this develops and it’s well worth sticking around for! Brilliant, beautiful stuff.

What a superb issue! The three strips come together to create a whole that’s hugely entertaining yet again. Yes, they may be cut down every month and as previously explained this wasn’t technically necessary, but with the three of them side-by-side like this they never felt like anything but three complete strips every issue. It’s so unfortunate that it wouldn’t keep to this format for very long but we’ll get to that next year. Before we go though, a quick look at the adverts within its pages, including news of a new magazine from Dark Horse which sounded awful to me as a kid.

I loved my computer games magazines (in particular Commodore Format and GamesMaster) but the idea of something like that with lots of comic strips in it felt like a gimmick. Although I wasn’t sure if the gimmick was comic strips in a gaming magazine, or gaming features in a comic; it sounded confused. Elsewhere, a chain of comic shops uses a painfully strenuous link to the comic to justify its advert, and a comics and sci-fi merchandise shop I’ve never heard of takes the inside back cover. It’s rather quaint seeing these now, what with comic shops being so much more prevalent today, but back then mail order was much more necessary.

So as far as Jurassic Park‘s stories go and where they’ve left us this month, it appears there’s a lot to look forward to in 2022. Or should I say 1994. The new year of dinosaur action kicks off on Tuesday 25th January.