Tag Archives: Mark Schultz

JURASSiC PARK #9: SPARED NO EXPENSE

This review was due on 22nd February, click here to find out about the delay. More catch-ups to come this week.

The cover for issue nine of Dark Horse International‘s Jurassic Park is a strange beast, showing what appears to be Dr Alan Grant killing a Tyrannosaurus rex! Drawn by Gil Kane it’s completely uncharacteristic not only of Alan but for the comic too, which so far has stayed true to the book and movie. Seeing one of our heroes with a massive gun taking down one of the animals like a clichéd action hero, while a second T-rex comes up behind has nothing to do with Jurassic Park!

The cover is taken from the US comic series’ preview issue which contained two small prequel strips. It had two different covers, neither of which reflected in any way anything that happened within the stories (a pet peeve of mine). They were also seemingly drawn long before the artists even knew what the script for the movie contained. A bizarre thing to begin with then, even more so to choose it for the UK comic when so many other more suitable ones were available in the US series by now. But the real news was those prequel strips had arrived.

In fact there are no less than four strips this month, but with no extra pages some of our regulars have a little less room to breathe. Things kick off with the eight-page prequel story Genesis which shows us the moment ill-fated lawyer Donald Gennaro is shown the secret heartbeat (as John Hammond describes it here) behind the island, which up to this moment Donald thought was simply a luxurious tropical adventure park. Much of the movie adaptation team are back including writer Walter Simonson, Gil is pencilling, Renée Witterstaetter is on colours, John Workman‘s speech balloons are back and they’re joined by new-to-JP inker Mike de Carlo (Crisis on Infinite Earths, Legion of Super Heroes, Animaniacs).

Ground is being broken for Jurassic Park and Gennaro is there for the first of his many visits. Set several years before the movie there’s obviously going to be a distinct lack of dinosaurs for the most part, but this is all about the background to the story, which already had such a solid grounding thanks to Michael Crichton‘s original novel and from which writer Walter is choosing individual scenes that he thinks could have happened. There is however a baby T-rex and some lovely foreboding imagery, such as the use of an excavator’s clamp digging a deep trench beside the dirt road. It’s clear what this represents to the reader. A nice touch.

Hammond takes Gennaro to a small cabin and shows him some old monster movies, full of stop-motion dinosaurs and the like (a simple trick to get them into the comic), and gets really excited as he explains how these thrilled audiences and the advances in technology have made them more realistic and thus more exciting. Gennaro doesn’t care and soon the two men are on their way to the famous hatchery where Dr Henry Wu has summoned them to see the birth of InGen‘s very first dinosaur! It’s a tiny T-rex but Gennaro is still unimpressed.

He’s a numbers man, he wants to see the final product, the things that are going to get people spending money on over-priced tickets to get here. While that much is in keeping with the movie character, I still feel he would’ve had some form of awe towards the first living, breathing dinosaur baby in millions of years! The fact he’s actually disgusted by it seems a bit too much. For me there are also too many instances of movie dialogue being used. It’s meant to come across as clever foreshadowing, but with the amount that’s used it just feels forced and unoriginal.

Because of the overuse of this dialogue for all three characters these final scenes come off as plain silly. Gennaro saying he wouldn’t walk out of a men’s room to see the T-rex is an oddly specific thing for someone to say, and of course it’s only written here because of how he’d memorably meet his fate in the film. Perhaps without all the other movie dialogue (and especially without Hammond’s retort!) it would’ve been a nice touch to end on. All-in-all, it’s a strange little strip. It adds nothing to the Jurassic Park story and does a bit of a disservice to the characters involved.

The war is on.

Much better is the next chapter of Age of Reptiles. The ongoing Jurassic Park sequel is still in here but 11 pages of Ricardo Delgado‘s incredible creation is next up, breaking the comic up a little. After the cliffhanger last issue there are no prizes for guessing the pack of Deinonycuses are down another member. After one of their friends has his head bitten off and his body dragged back into the water we get a funny moment of the fish (which distracted him in the first place) wriggling its way across the rocks and plopping back into the lake and safety.

The two remaining members of the group, leader Dark Eye and Quetzal are spending their day stalking a giant T-rex called Long Jaw, the same one we got acquainted with last time. What are they hoping to find out? That’s for another episode. This time however, they witness from afar the ‘rex challenging the leader of a herd of Triceratops, each one beautifully and individually coloured by James Sinclair. The leader of the herd isn’t backing down and roars at the ‘rex, the giant predator remaining silent, the small bird on his nose responding instead.

However, as you can see from the second photo above, after many cries from his mate the male Triceratops takes a look at the Tyrannosaur‘s slowly opening mouth and decides to heed her warnings, leaving a miffed T-rex behind in a moment that did make me laugh. It was a fight for the sake of a fight, it was never about predator and prey, but that panel with the little squiggly line above Long Jaw’s head depicting his annoyance is a great comedy moment after a few pages of tense build up.

We rejoin our two smaller dinosaurs as they return to their nest only to find that while they’ve been following one of the Tyrannosaurs, Blue Back (who they originally ran into back in #6 when all this began) took advantage of their absence and has killed everyone else in their pack in revenge for the theft of his family’s eggs in #7. Once he sees the shocked look on their faces he simply drops the final body and leaps across the chasm in an echo of their escape from him, disappearing into the jungle. The war is on.

Once again Ricardo’s pacing is superb and his art is gorgeous, with James’ colours the perfect accompaniment. There’s action, an interesting story, individual characters and some genuinely funny humour. It was always a highlight of each issue and was the first strip I’d read every month. While it was originally released as a book I prefer getting little chunks of it at a time. It highlights the tension and obviously makes it last longer.

Every creature here is so full of character but where did I get those wonderful names from if there are no written words in the strip? Well, included in this issue is a bonus Cast of Characters page from the book. It would’ve been good to have had this alongside the first chapter but it’s better late than never. Also, there appear to be some interesting new characters to come! I can’t remember them so I’m excited to see where they fit in with everything I do recall. Exciting times ahead.

Our regular Jurassic Park strip has been cut down to only six pages but we can’t really complain when we’ve already had an addition prequel making a total of 14 pages for our title strip. Our regular sequel team return for the first (little) chunk of Dark Cargo; writer Steve Englehart, penciller Armando Gil, inker Dell Barras, letterer John Costanza and colourist/Story Editor Renée Witterstaetter. Confusingly, the story is called ‘Raptor – Part Four’ on the contents page because Dark Cargo was the second issue in the original American Topps Comics ‘Raptor’ mini-series, and the first (‘Aftershocks‘) was split across the three previous UK issues. This confusing decision to list the strip after the US comic’s individual series rather than the actual strips would continue all the way to the final issue.

Doctors Ellie Satler and Alan Grant awake locked in a cage on a cargo boat with big game hunter George Lawala in charge. The juvenile Velociraptors have been locked up separately right next to them, already wide awake and alert to everything going on around them. This is key (no pun intended for what I’m about to describe), as we see the ‘raptors in the background of nearly every panel of the humans talking, watching what they’re doing. Alan realises his belt is the one with the buckle he’s used as a substitute knife before on digs and perfect to pick the lock, before Ellie notices something happening in the other cage.

We also see the dinosaurs hissing and clicking at each other, Alan deducing they’re discussing them and how to escape. I can remember pieces of what’s to come and it’s definitely a story centred around the intelligence and learning capabilities of these juvenile creatures, and their instincts and observations of the various humans around them. I’m looking forward to reading it again after so long with a fresh set of eyes, especially after enjoying the four movie sequels (so far) which have really delved deep into this.

There’s a funny moment when Alan comments how these brothers and sisters are adolescents, the equivalent of human teenagers and says, “Not quite fully grown but wanting to take on the world! The absolute worst group to let loose!” But before they can warn Lawala of the lock picking he sprays them and the ‘raptors with a sleeping agent and off they all nod until next month. Before they pass out Lawala shows us he’s the atypical Jurassic Park villain (before there was such a thing); he’s never encountered a dinosaur before, but he’s a human, and a man, and thus is far more intelligent and can control them just like any other animal he’s hunted. We just know that’s going to work out well, don’t we?


“The necessary sacrifices were made.”

Fessenden

It may be just one small scene on board the boat, but it’s atmospheric stuff and has plenty for readers to get their teeth into, building excitement for the chapters to come. I’m actually surprised at just how much of this was could’ve been the basis for some of the main stories in the sequels, especially Jurassic Park III and Jurassic World which both did a superb job of building on the themes presented here. It also doesn’t feel like we’re being short-changed with only six pages this month because it’s a perfect little strip in its own right and acts as a prelude to the disaster to come.

Mark Schultz‘s Xenozoic Tales rounds off the issue, once more beautifully coloured by one of my favourite Transformers colourists Steve White (whose current dinosaur artwork needs to be seen) but we only get a measly four pages this time. Obviously, editor Dick Hansom would’ve had this all worked out in advance to give us as much as possible every issue, knowing we’d have extra content this month. As such, there were only four pages left of this particular story to tell, and what four pages they are!

It not only solves the mysteries of that cliffhanger but also grosses us out a little on the way to its conclusion.

So Tenrec returns to Fessenden after the shock cliffhanger and demands a full explanation. The swamp had taken over body, mind and soul of his entire research team, everyone driven to the edge of nervous collapse. But Fessenden was getting incredible results from his experiments; he could solve the food shortage crisis. As you can see above he started performing autopsies on the local dinosaurs and experimenting on his own people, deliberately cutting them off from the outside world so they’d have no choice but to take part. Soon they were thriving in the swamp and even communicating with the animals. But then the physical changes began.

He doesn’t delve deeper, instead making a sudden run for the swamp. For the final page of the story and the comic we’re presented with this below. It not only solves the mysteries of that cliffhanger but also grosses us out a little on the way to its conclusion.

At its centre it’s a typical tale of humans messing with nature and suffering the consequences, so it’s quite appropriate for a Jurassic Park comic. However, it’s told in a very engaging way, is beautifully drawn and I’m so glad Steve was brought on to colour this particular story in the series; his colours take it to a whole other level. Any fans of Mark’s comic really need to hunt these down because these particular coloured versions are exclusive to Jurassic Park.

Despite the rather average headline story this month, this is still one of the best issues yet thanks to just how enjoyable the three ongoing serials have been. It bodes well for next month that’s for sure. The next issue’s review will be here from Tuesday 29th March 2022.

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.