Friday, May 28, 2010
Vintage Dinosaur Art: Jim Conaway
Janet Riehecky's series of dinosaur books stretch the "vintage" thing a bit, having been published just about twenty years ago, but I'm not sweating it. I previously wrote about her Tyrannosaurus rex title, illustrated by Diana Magnuson, and ended the post with a teaser for this one: Baryonyx. This one is illustrated by Jim Conaway, a veteran illustrator who mainly has worked in childrens and Christian lit, as well as doing marketing and advertising work.
Like Riehecky's T. rex book, this one is pretty solid, scientifically. It reflects much of what was known about Baryonyx in the late eighties, and seems to have been selected for the dinosaur's piscivorous diet. The conjectures are usually pretty tame. There are nits to pick, but overall, it's a worthy addition to a child's library.
One thing I found funny was that a few illustrations depict Baryonyx in social groups. You'll often see illustrations of "pack-hunting" behavior, or perhaps multiple carnivores gathering to scavenge a carcass, but Conaway's Baryonyx seems to be a pretty social beast.
I'm not as crazy about these illustrations as I was about Magnuson's, but it's certainly a worthy title that gives the spotlight to a dinosaur who doesn't often recieve this sort of attention. I'd love to have the full set, and I'm interested to see what Conaway has done with another of may favorite theropods, Troodon.
Finally, we'll close up shop with the obligatory "Damn, he's biting my neck!" illo.
No dinosaur book is complete without one, really.