Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Giant Reptiles of a Past Age

In February 1889, Popular Science ran an article by Dr. Otto Meyer titled "Giant Reptiles of a Past Age" (pages 466-473), an introduction to the lovable Mesozoic critters for the general public. It's an entertaining read. He begins with a patronizing comparison of Native Americans' dilemma with the "fallen" state of reptiles, forever doomed to remember past glory while those who usurped them cavort happily around them. Empathizing with those less fortunate than he, Meyer writes,
The same feelings of melancholy must enter the mind of an alligator of geological education, when, during a siesta in the sun, he thinks of the good old Mesozoic times and compares them with the pitiable present. "How beautiful were the Triassic and Jurassic periods, when numerous and powerful orders of reptiles were masters of the earth, when mosasaurus and other kings of the water were hunting the animals of the ocean, when gigantic dinosaurs reigned on the land, and pterodactyls populated the air! That parvenu, the mammal, was existing only in small species and struggling for an existence..."
It goes on for a while longer.

I've dabbled in cartooning for pretty much my whole life (there was a reason I asked Mark Witton if he doodled in the margins of his class notes), and that passage inspired me to engage in a little bit more. This is my first real go at producing something entirely digitally, and I don't claim to be Bill Watterson or anything. Watterson... there was a guy who could draw a good dinosaur.

Reptile on the Skids

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