Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Dinosaur Comics #1, 1-100 [SEEN IT]

I just realized that I mentioned Piperka in the last C&H review, and then neglected to mention what in fact Piperka is! Piperka is a webcomic bookmarking and tracking service, which tracks updates for webcomics and delivers them right to a neat little page. It’s how I’m keeping track of the comics I want to review.  is the address and you are to go and give it lots of love right now.

But this is not a review of Piperka. It is a REVIEW OF DINOSAUR COMICS.

You may have heard of Dinosaur Comics as “that one comic that’s the same every time,” and you are quite correct, it is! It’s written and assembled by a guy named Ryan North, who I must mention is not only Canadian, but also kind of a genius. In addiction to the vast wealth of random trivia he displays in the comic, he created Oh No Robot, a webcomic search service, and Project Wonderful, an advertisement service used by, IIRC, Questionable Content and Gunnerkrigg Court among others. If Tycho and Gabe are the Zeus and Hades of webcomics, Ryan North is probably either Athena or Hephaestus. (More webcomic authors as Greek gods coming soon!)

Mr. North created the art for this comic from a clip-art collection back in 2003, and has not changed it since. That means all of the strip’s variance comes from the writing – which, thankfully, is brilliant, because if a badly-written strip had done this first Dinosaur Comics would have balked at its format. That comes with its downsides, though. A little of this strip, like, maybe five pages a day, is SUPER AWESOME and will ten times out of ten make you smarter. But, as it is with text-heavy comics without much (or, in DC’s case, any) variation in the art or action, a little bit goes a LONG way. You should take breaks every ten comics or so in order to avoid skimming over well-written paragraphs in fits of sheer tl;dr.

It’s somewhat gag-a-day, but also linear when it so desires to be. Things do seem to happen one right after the other. Unlike Cyanide and Happiness, it has recurring characters who we will be introduced to right after you click this link: . Again, follow the magic “next” button! <3

1. Now THIS comic has a first comic! In it we are introduced to our characters, our situations, and our stances. The green dinosaur is named T-Rex. He is in all of the panels. The third panel contains a house and a car. They do not usually talk. It also contains Dromiceiomimus, a small white dinosaur that is a woman. I had to go to the Wikipedia page to try and spell that, and I’m not going to do it again, so I’m going to call her Dromi. That’s a nice name for a girl dinosaur. The fourth panel contains a small human woman who also does not talk. The fourth and fifth panels also contain Utahraptor, a utahraptor.

This is the most general of all of the comics, I think, because the only question asked is whether stomping is worthwhile. I don’t think this question will ever be answered.

2. It is surprising here that T-Rex is aware of all his stomping as he usually ignores it in favor of treatises on existence later. We do, however, see that T-Rex has an odd personality and a very rich inner fantasy life. Also that Dromi is a little shy at the moment.

3. I often wonder at the kind of literature T-Rex reads before he goes through his daily stomping and talking routine. Probably Wikipedia! Most of these early strips are philosophy-centric.

4. LESBIANS. That word is super funny and I do not know why. I guess dating someone you already live with would be kind of bad because you already have a roommate relationship and another relationship ruins the first relationship. I have a friend who told me once not to date my friends. Love is weird.

5. It kind of disturbs me that ANYONE might have a love affair that they FORGOT. Sad thing is, it’s probably a distinct possibility for someone. See the thoughts these strips are provoking? Not only this, but an insight as to the unusual relationship T-Rex and Utahraptor have. I think North did say Utahraptor is gay. (And as for the green thing, THE TRICK IS TO LOOK AT THEIR EYEBROWS. THE EYEBROWS NEVER LIE.)

6. Um, T-Rex, that’s Dromi. You’re breaking up with the wrong light-colored dinosaur! Unless he also dated Dromi. It’s like Friends – they’ve all dated each other. I’ve never seen Friends by the way. This little arc isn’t so much a building of character as it is an examination of all people. I have to say I love that bit of Emily Dickinson at the end. And it’s very true. Because one little sigh or weep is just an avalanche on a tall mountain.

7. A TREATISE ON VITAMIN B12. Whenever the comic wants to tell us about something IT TELLS US ABOUT SOMETHING. I have to think there are times of the day when Ryan can’t think of anything to write so he goes to Wikipedia and hits “random page” and goes from there. Mr. North can totally confirm or deny this.

8. In summary, life is weird. And no human is incorruptible, let me remind you. I wonder if Utahraptor only always shows up to stop him. I wonder if he ever listens. After only eight strips, I’m already on overload and running out of steam, so I think I’ll do this concurrently with the next C&H. I wonder if you can already find a pattern with my updating schedule!

9. I think the funny thing here is that the joke isn’t funny. And it’s self aware. I love how the same punctuation can be used and it’s still cool.

10. I love how these early comics are acting like they AREN’T caught in this sequence. I find myself actually laughing at “Utaught me how to be a stupid jerk” because that is actually kind of super clever.

11. Holy crap, I never noticed just how out of scale the car was before! I’m sorry this commentary is not very active, but this is of course not very active humor. Dinosaur Comics would make a good coffee table book for actual reading.

12. Wha-wha-wait a minute. ARE THOSE PICTURES? OF BEACH BALLS? IN MY UNCHANGING COMIC? MR. NORTH, YOU’RE BREAKING YOUR OWN RULES.  8P Also, I think Utahraptor is feeling particularly passive-aggressive today.

13. Of COURSE dinosaurs have souls. In fact, we are reincarnated dinosaurs. I’m pretty sure there is a reincarnated T-rex somewhere. And it’s nice to see T-rex is enjoying the only existence he’ll ever have!

14. >All these personal revelations have left me baffled, disoriented.

You have no idea what you’re getting into, T-rex dearie. I think I like Utah’s perspective on nihilism, that we have to find our own meaning in life if existence really is meaningless.

15. Teeheeheeheehee…I AM GIGGLING. You know why? Because I can’t make shit sense of this and yet the repetition and confusion is making me laugh. (Cornwall is a county of Great Britain, forming a southern peninsula.)

16. HOLY HELL, THE WOMAN TALKED. I think the fact that they’re reading this much into a movie about stomping dinosaurs is hilarious and also self-referential. Maybe the book was a little more deep about the whole thing. I’ve never read or seen them so I’m not really qualified to judge…

17. I don’t know why T-Rex thinks he’s more in control just be being AWARE of what he’s already doing. Or maybe it’s in bullying Utah.

18. You know what I just realized? Gag-a-days are really hard to review, especially something like Dino Comics, because it’s hard to just keep analyzing what they’re saying. But I will PERSERVERE. I’m not giving up. Ooh, double negative in panel 3! Naughty naughty!

19. Something tells me that very early in here the stomppity loop was more aware and variations were few. Or something. DRAMA OCCURS FOR THE SAKE OF A PUNCHLINE.

20. Indeed was it used for the sake of a punchline – two weeks just to get a plot point out of the way? Sounds like a writer’s device to me. I think this comic is part of the reason I say “sexy exciting” in regular conversation. That, and it’s making fun of the fact we don’t know what happened over the last two weeks.

21. Wut? I do not understand what dinosaurs have to do with Deloreans. Probably just a format experiment.

22. T-Rex begins a lot of things with “today is a good day I think” and then always expects people to follow what he says…stupid git. And…um…yeah that WAS pretty awkward.

23. T-Rex has received complaints that he confuses people. Wait, who’s complaining? Is he aware of the audience? Probably, unless he really does just shout out random topics to Dromi and Utah. I love how this comic is making fun of you for not being smart enough to think of it before you did.

24. What? I don’t like how these random strips interrupt my effort to shake things up a little by trying to make this narrative linear!

25. Uh oh…now I have the words “Bill Cosby” and “ass” associated with each other in my brain! NOOOOO okay I’ve recovered. And you know, those random neurons ARE STILL PART OF YOUR BRAIN.

26. I think this comic is a good summary of the rest. I wonder why they never found evidence of the car. The girl I can understand, but the car…!

27. This is…uh, sad, and kind of thought provoking. Have you been treating your friends based on their usefulness lately? How awful are person are you on the inside? Dinosaur Comics will tell you!

28. WOAH. THERE IS A NEW CHARACTER NAMED ED. MAYBE ED LIVES IN THE HOUSE. ED IS DOOMED TO DIE OVER AND OVER AND OVER. SORRY ED. The “fin” at the end makes me wonder just how much T, Dromi, and Utah rememeber about previous adventures. Likely not much at all. I wonder if they ever make commentary about that.

29. Now usually, Dinosaur Comics is a very relaxed read. It’s not rollingly funny, it’s more clever. It’s not addictive so much as it is social and measured, kind of like any particularly formidable wine. Some people like this, some people do not, at best I appreciate it. But this, this is a bit jump around and go crazy like! It’s a good change, and these punches keep the comic alive when they come at the right spots!

>Before you can say anything, a giant meteor strikes the earth! The impact wipes out 65% of all life on the planet, including your own.

LOL. Would this have happened if one had become friends with Utah? DOES UTAH CONTROL THE UNIVERSE?

30. Self referential humor, if spaced out properly, never gets old. Not only if it is referencing the comic, but also the entire sphere of your existence. But I have to say…

>You chat for a while. You tell him of your day; he tells you about his.

Is the moral of this story that friends are poisonous to your exciting existence??? Laaame.

31. Dude, I want a band to follow me around and play music! Even if it would probably just be playing a flat A the whole time, I do not care! I wonder if Utah can be anything but contradictory. A- wait a minute. *looks at sheet music* Raptor slept with who now?!

32. *beep* sideways?! Wait a minute, how much older is this comic than Yu-Gi-Oh: The Abridged Series?!

That aside, stupid Dromi and her stupid keys! I wanted to be loved dammit!

33. Don’t mind my saying, but ALL of these interpretations are sexist! Certain attitudes are assigned to genders by society but deviations most often exist! Some are only pretending to fit in! Also, I didn’t know dinosaurs could live 22 years. Thanks for telling me, Utahraptor.

34. And now comes they only time in the comic where the art changes in any major way. Yes, I told you it does not change. As you can see, I LIED. Then again, it’s early in the comic, so it’s normal for the comic to break its own rules. Also, I like the parallel universes theory. It means that, somewhere out there, Code Lyoko exists. 8P

35. OMG. OMG. EVERYONE. HAS. GOATEES. LOOK AT THAT SEXY FACIAL HAIR. LOOK AT. IT. HAHA ohmygod. Goatees. T-Rex does not appear to be acting any different anyway. Except that the house is now Dromi’s? Who also has a goatee? I WANT A GOATEE. FOR MAYBE FIVE MINUTES.

About the only thing I don’t like about DC’s characters is that they never really develop. T-Rex is always obnoxious, Utah is always the voice of reason, and Dromi is always malleable. They never change. Just like the art. Even in alternate universes.

36. Universe of the Lesbians? What is it with the male obsession with lesbians? (About the same as the female obsession with gay men is what it is.)

But wait, I’m kind of excited for the plot now. Why is not-Utah pretending to be Utah? Does he have SECRET PLANS?

37. HE DOES HAVE SECRET PLANS. Maybe this is how the dinosaurs went extinct… and there really hasn’t been TOO much philosophical discussion in the comic yet. There are only so many modes of philosophy, you can’t really make that a gimmick to span 1,800 strips…

38. I THINK I know the difference now! While T steps on houses as a manner of existence, Evil T actively ENJOYS it.

39. Also Evil T makes super awesome puns! It’s –

>I can’t wait till he finds out I replaced his toothpaste with a COMPETING BRAND OF TOOTHPASTE.

PffffHAHAHAHAHA. Ohmygodwhatwasthat. And now everything makes even more sense –these guys have a routine too, but actively maintain and love it. That’s the only thing that makes them “evil.” Discussion of these implications to come in the next comic, duuh!

40. They must be different individuals, because the same individual cannot make a different decision with the same influences. And universe-travellers beware – your food is MINE. Well, thus ends one of Dinosaur Comics’s few story arcs. I enjoyed it. I hope I get to read a story-style comic soon, gag-a-days are hard to comment on D8

41. Wait, this is super sad, because they didn’t even have relations yet. They don’t even love each other! Why would T and Utah randomly decide to put on this dismal play? It’s weird. I don’t think time exists in the DC loop. Which would explain the modern appliances as playthings of the dinosaurs, true…

42. TEXT BASED VIDEO GAMES. I hate these things so much because you basically have to GUESS at your controls. It’s kind of annoying. And LOL THE PLAYER HAS TROUBLE SPELLING DROMICEIOMIMUS TOO.

>I don’t know how to “god damn.”

Indeed, you are a video game. Oh, wait, the GIRL is the player? Ohmigad. Hm, and she uninstalled the game. Maybe this is why she doesn’t talk anymore…?

43. This comic tells me that if I do not like math I should skip it. I am okay with math, but I do not understand this comic, so I shall skip it.

44. I despise April Fool’s Day. I don’t like being fooled. T-Rex is a meanie butt because he fooled Utahraptor in such a stupid and vapid way. D8

45. THOUGHT BUBBLES? These present a dilemma all their own! Has T-Rex broken the cycle or is he still trapped? Is there homoeroticism in the desire to play beachball? Is it way too much fun to overthink this? ABSOLUTELY.

46. I really don’t have anything to say about this. It’s a repeat. North you lazy bum.

47. There are sometimes double strips like this, in which the top contains one topic and the bottom another. In this case, sororities and babies.

> She ended up married, I think.

Did she have to buy her HUSBAND, too? …with BEER? Also, YAY BABIES. I wish I had a niece or a nephew. Except that I’m the oldest in my family so I’ll probably be a mother before I’m an aunt.

48. CUTE? Of course his arms are cute, they’re entirely useless! I can’t really relate to this comic because I am not old enough to be a successful parent, though I am biologically able to have children and would like to do so in 10 or so years.

49. It is true that T-Rexes are not cute. But a baby T-Rex would be ADORABLE. And I am not afraid of either eventually, stomping or mauling, because the dinosaurs are long dead.

50. WOO HALFWAY DONE~ Also, T-Rex has got it all wrong. Pets make YOU cuter. This is why girls profess to like guys who like cats. That and because they usually already have a cat that will claim their lap area as a beddy bye place. I want a cat…all I have is an exceptionally lazy dog.

51. UTAH? I HAD NO IDEA THAT WAS A PLACE. And I think he should name his dog “CarthagoDelenda.” Truly it is the greatest name in existence.

52. …


53. NO NO HOW CAN THE DOG BE FORGOTTEN THIS FAST D8 And I don’t think this problem has EVER been solved, dears. Try again later.

54. This…is quite literally the funniest thing I have read thus far in the comic. It parodies 18th-19th century literature PERFECTLY. I would know because I’m reading a 19th century copy of Arabian Nights right now and boy is it biased.

55. Are you ever troubled by thoughts of your own mortality? I am on occasion. T-Rex, however, will live forever, or at least as long as Qwantz’s servers are up. Or even longer, if people save or print these comics! I like dinosaur bones a lot.

56. Oh, GOOD, the dog ran away! T-Rex, you are an amusing jerk. Why are jerks so amusing? They should not be. 8/ Hooray for Utahraptor for putting him in his place.

57. “Wigged out” sounds vaguely inappropriate. I can’t think of anything else to say but that T-Rex is the id, Utah is the superego, and Dromi is the ego. Probably not.

58. More phrases on this list: “You always look so cute when you sleep.” This is because it implies that you watch this person sleep on more than one occasion. Or, “Hey, Mom, look at this neat blog I made about webcomics instead of doing my Government project!”

59. LOOK AT THIS COMIC. IT TOTALLY MEANS AMERICA. Am I right? Especially because the author is Canadian.

60. …eeeeewwwww.

61. Most comics do not censor their use of the F-word. Or rather don’t use it in the first plac- Captain Cussy Pants?


62. Ending one, look at Wikipedia like you always do! Ending two, LAAAME. Ending three, what. Ending four, huh, why? Did Roddenberry die of a B12 deficiency or something? D8

63. Practicing depression? That’s not funny, that’s just weird…

64. I don’t think un-repressed protagonists are that uncommon in period works – despite culture, people will always be people. That said, I’ve never seen Titanic. I have however read this comic

65. I always think that egoism is predominant except in cases where love intervenes. But of course that’s hard to define.

66. I hate when it feels like you’re going to sneeze and then you don’t.

67. …

DINOSAURS DON’T WEAR CLOTHES. I also think T-Rex has Wikipedia stored within his head.

68. *giggle* Ohhhh poor T-Rex. Somehow with all the awful things he does I never manage to lose sympathy for him, if only because his actions are mostly reset at the beginning of each comic.

69. LOL, SEXUAL POSITION. I have to say, that title and premise as presented in the first two panels would be really super neat if it were written by the most talented author in the world, ie not T-Rex. Because the puns…they’re just bad. It would be a cult favorite among the computer literate.

70. SO. MANY. LANGUAGES. I recognize Esperanto and Chinese. And that’s it. I wonder if there’s a translation of this somewhere.

71. I was going to analyze the influence of past events on a person’s personality but T-Rex’s punchline sort of dissolved my motivation.

72. When I read that second panel, I seriously thought it said “erection.” Sorry. And I do not support this comic because that is the modus operandi of passive aggressive bullies.

73. ANOTHER CHANGE OF ARTWORK. This it would seem is…an origin story? Perhaps for the time loop? I AM CONFUZZLED. I wonder if there’s anything in our world that works like his squashing of the girl…

74. I think this is what astrophysicists think about. Not literature-track high school seniors.

75. I just noticed that the font of this comic tried to create the roman numeral “III” with ] | [. That’s absolutely adorable and I love it. Also, apparently starting with #74, these comics are guest comics by Patrick Wisking! I love guest comics, especially here because they always provide a change in pace and artwork. I am still confuzzled sort of.

76. DINO GOGGLES? Well, I didn’t notice when I read these before that the panels were switched about… And LOL Paradox. I love paradoxes. And this is a funny one. With lots of twirling.

77. And now I suppose this flight of fancy is over! I LOL’d at Utahjerktor.

78. And now another guest comic from Victor North! How dare T-Rex think he is Lord of the Internet! Clearly I am lord of the internet. So I should go redraw T-Rex in my image.

79. I can tell this is a guest comic because the F-word is not censored! Not that the crosshatching wasn’t a tip-off either. Also, I am giggling and I cannot quite articulate why!

80. Wha - *giggle* what the hell? Is that actually a song? And is this in fact the eighties again?

81. Dromi is even more of a flat character than she is usually…so sad. I think this is a good way for the people of today to understand the story of Adam and Eve. Except no…actually…not really. But it’s funny.

82. This still appears to be guest comics, but unlike other guest comics Magaly Obas has done them in the actual style of the strip! I think the examination of whether or not stomping on other things is good or not is something T-Rex avoids on purpose…

83. None of T-Rex’s jokes are funny, but I figure that’s the point! Raptorutah’s hat is very fuzzy! This as you can tell is also a guest comic.

84. ….83



85. I, uh, I can’t read this. It has something to do with mates I believe?

86. I only wish that being a webcomic artist would bring you that much fame and fortune. But that’s just for people like Tycho and Gabe.


88. Ooooh, I like this one crosshatch guest comic. As of this comic there have been about 14 guest comics. I also do not understand this one, perhaps because I have never seen The Wedding Singer. Comics must be accessible to all, girls!

90. Wait, there’s no Comic 89? I thought we were done with this. So now we return to regular Dinosaur Comics…

WITH A PLOT TWIST. OH MY GOD. I laughed more than I should have at T-Rex’s impression of Utah, because THAT ACTUALLY DOES LOOK LIKE HIM. I wonder where T-Rex will ever find another dinosaur. Perhaps in another panel.

91. The cute thing is, that story actually does sound quite heartwarming. You know why? BECAUSE IT’S AN ARCHETYPE.

92. I don’t think misunderstandings are very hilarious, especially if you PLAN them…though I must say I run into the latter pretty often.

93. The moral of this story is, “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.”

94. I think this comic is more what 90% of the people who have not seen Jurassic Park think Jurassic Park is about, including myself. Also I should not be making up statistics. I’m four weeks into AP Stat, dammit!

95. Did you know that horoscopes are completely made up by people who have no other way to get the money while they don’t work on their novel? It’s true.

96. …

97. This isn’t so much a lesson in humility as it is a lesson in boastfulness. Everyone knows that you have to put yourself down in order to be humble! (That’s not true.)

98. I don’t think public displays of affection are gross…yes, they do want to make me sit somewhere else and cry or eat away my loneliness, but still…

99. Okay, this made me laugh even harder than that 18th century one! “Dish”? I think this boy’s about as squeaky clean as they come! I also like how it’s taken for granted that if someone’s dating a girl, they will marry them. I mean, that would be a sweet relationship, but it just doesn’t happen every day…

100. I wish all of my hopes and dreams could be achieved as easily as T-Rex does them! Though clearly T-Rex no longer has money, so I have more hopes and dreams than he does despite being broke.

And that’s 100 Dinosaur Comics! One person I showed this blog to said that the entries should be shorter. I say, BOLLOCKS. Long entries are nice. And in short enough bites they will hopefully not be tl;dr!

Though you have to admit those deer are adorable! I want to get that cross-stitch pattern now kind of.

OH RIGHT, MERCH. Dinosaur Comics has a lovely amount of merchandise, so I’ll just highlight the best. There’s a 2003-2005 compilation of the comics, with a picture of MEAT on the cover! And a GIANT HUGGABLE FAT PLUSHIE OF T-REX. There are also many shirts. Two of them are labeled “A Wizard Has Turned You Into A Whale” and “I’m Made of Meat.” They are available in larger sizes than other shirts.

ANYWAY. Friday I will be going back to Cyanide and Happiness and its own special education brand of humor, so stay cartooned!

I’m not gonna make that a catchphrase, honest.

You gotta believe me, guys…

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