From c0-writer Terry Jones and co-writer/artist Richard Fairgray comes Blastosaurus. Blastosaurus tells the past, present, and future story of a mutated triceratops as he fights mutant raptors, robots, and just generally tries to fit in with a world that isn’t very easy to fit in with when you’re a six-foot tall mutant dinosaur. Originally posted online and printed for conventions in Fairgray’s native New Zealand, Blastosaurus now seeks to find a much wider audience and is now on Comixology via the Comixology Submit program.
The story opens in the present with some kids have a play interrogation, a man being asked about his failed mission, and Blastosaurus going to jail, for no other reason than “being a dinosaur, I guess”. Then the story cuts to the future where the reader again sees the kids from the earlier scene, before the story cuts to the past. In the past, the origin of Blastosaurus and the mutated raptors is revealed, all before he jumps around from past, present, and future even more. There’s mutant dino-fights, child interrogations, robot attacks, and even a scene that might make the opening of Bambi seem a bit happy.
Jones and Fairgray work together to take a mutant dinosaur cop, a concept which could easily be a Saturday morning cartoon, and make it something almost mundane. Sure, Blastosaurus is full of action, adventure, sci-fi concepts, and humor, but Blastosaurus seems almost nonchalant about it all. Bored, even. Life isn’t easy when you’re a mutant dinosaur and the sort of odd humor of that shines though in this issue. The use of three different time periods, all with the same central cast, is an interesting one, and one that works pretty well for Blastosaurus. At times, it’s a bit much as it jumps around, but I have a feeling things get a bit easier to follow as the story progresses, once the basis is done being set up.
Fairgray’s art lends well to the idea of Blastosaurus as a Saturday morning cartoon. There’s a lot of detail that goes into Blastosaurus and the mutated raptors, with their transformation scenes being some of the single most interesting comic panels I’ve seen in quite a while. Fairgray also is quite adept at having most of the more gruesome scenes in the book be off-panel and implied, making the story still fairly friendly for some younger readers. The characters, even the non-human ones, are well portrayed, having great body language and facial expressions that allow for easy understanding of the scene, especially in the mostly silent ones.
Blastosaurus is likely an undiscovered gem for most, but this comic from a couple of creators in New Zealand is one quite unlike anything else out there today. Part crime story, part Saturday morning cartoon, part dry humor, it’s all pretty good. The triple-timeline might throw some off, but all in all it’s a good read. And for just $1.99 on Comixology, it’s a steal.
Parental Concern: Maybe not for youngest kids. Comixology says 12+.