April 18, 2019

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Cretaceous by Tadd Galusha

Comics mostly come to me via recommendations from my online family of friends. But lately, another avenue has opened up to me, recommendations from podcasts.

Finding my daily journey to and from work becoming more and more tedious, podcasts have made that journey fun, enlightening and feeling less solitary (I drive alone). Most of these recommendations have single-handedly come from the wonderfully informative Off Panel podcast. Off Panel is one of, if not the best podcast for all things comics related. That being said I have to send a huge thanks to the host of Off Panel, David Harper because once again David's show brought me to yet another comic I would not have heard about. And that comic is Cretaceous.

Set during, yes you guessed it, the Cretaceous period, the principal plot of the book follows the plight of a tragedy-stricken Tyrannosaurus Rex family. The whole story doesn’t solely rest on the shoulders of the T-Rex family though. Galusha intertwines it with side plots from supplementary dinosaurs that all have their moments throughout the book. Some running alongside the main narrative. A banished Triceratops, an opportunistic group of Albertosaurus and numerous others that I’m not going to attempt to type out their names.

You may be waiting for me to say this an anthropomorphic comic but it’s not. This is a comic that is free of any dialogue. A silent comic you might say, with the only text being the sound effects or onomatopoeia (as the Greeks penned the term) being utilized. No easy task for any artist/writer, even a highly successful one. Galusha though handles it with ease. You’d be surprised how the subtle use of dinosaur calls makes for a truly gripping read.

Then we have Galusha's artwork. If Galusha doesn't get approached to draw dinosaur reference books in the future then I'll be dumbfounded. His attention to detail is astounding. His knowledge of dinosaurs and dinosaur anatomy surpasses anything I have seen in any other comic book featuring these enormous and beautiful animals. Not that I’m an expert myself but from what I do know he has honestly brought a period of time to life right before my eyes. Furthermore, it’s nice to finally see some dinosaurs donning feathers.

Cretaceous is definitely a book for all ages. Kids and adults alike would love it. A little gory but no more than any wildlife documentary or Jurassic Park movie. Make this book available in schools and libraries and kids of all ages would lap it up. Come on, who doesn’t love dinosaurs!? They have intrigued humans for hundreds of years and Galusha has created a book that only grows ones intrigue towards these mighty beasts.