Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Salty saltasaurs

It recently occurred to me (well, a couple of weeks ago, while writing one of those book reviews) that Saltasaurus just doesn't get the attention that it used to in palaeoart. Twenty years ago, including a Saltasaurus in your Cool Dinosaur Book for Cool Kids was de rigueur - after all, it was a sauropod but with armour! Alas, as the specimens of weirdo sauropods have stacked up, old Salty just isn't fashionable any more.

What could we possibly do to encourage more Saltasaurus art? Why, only groaningly obvious puns could possibly suffice!

Happily, readers were more than keen to step forth and usher unto the internet their own renditions of an 'old salt-asaurus'. First on the scene (and therefore winner of two delightful Dougal Dixon-authored '90s kids' books - the sort of prize you can only win around here, I think) was the lady known as OptimisticPessimist7 on deviantArt (via a timely comment from boyfriend Matthew Inabinett). Her entry is notable as the only one to include a full backdrop, including a ship's deck, cloudy sky and the briny deep, as well as a fetching Jolly Roger with a saurian alteration. A worthy winner, I think.

Second on the scene was this rather purple and somewhat more scantily clad Salty from Talcott. Bonus points for the unfortunate hook hand on a quadrupedal animal (an idea that was to pop up a few times), and the dinosaur skull on the hat. Also, it's talking like a pirate. It's important to make these things clear.

Logan Orlowski's entry might not have been as colourful as the others, but he continued the theme of unfortunate amputations (no doubt the result of an encounter with the lengendary Mosy Dick...hurr). Where others opted for a more typical tricorner hat, Logan no doubt  decided that, due to the animal's rather small head, it would probably prefer to display piratical symbols on a tail/flagpole. Logan was also the only person to include two piratical staples - an explicit fondness for rum and a cute maniraptoran sidekick.

Much like OptimisticPessimist7, Harrison Cooper of Montana (aka buitreraptor314 on deviantArt) chose to dress Salty in a dashing red coat, which I can only commend. Happily, Harrison's Salty has both feet intact, and is thus able to model a pair of black boots that are definitely on-trend, darling.

I can't say how overjoyed I am that self-declared evil genius Ralph A. Attanasia the third (aka DoctorRat on deviantArt) chose to join in; after all, he has a track record of drawing dinosaurs in fantastic costumes. Plaudits to him for breaking with the pirate theme, instead making Salty a true 'old salt' - pipe, tattoos, armoured biceps and all. And the facial expression is perfect.

Finally, we come to this sorry thing, from some guy named 'Niroot'. It's dreadful - I hope we never hear from him again.

(I'm joking, of course - it's another beauty. The sword hilts are a particularly wonderful touch, I think. See Niroot's blog for more.)

All in all, a good turnout for a beer-fuelled idea based on a terrible pun and with a slightly rubbish prize. I should do this more often! After all, I've got quite the stack of outdated dinosaur books to pass on to loving homes...


  1. I think Talcott first shared his drawing on Twitter within seconds of Matthew posting OptimisticPessimist7's entry, so I thought I would send him a card too in lieu of an actual prize.

    Love the entries, everyone!

    1. Thank you, Niroot! And thank you, Marc for posting it!
      On a related note, I just posted a more contemporary take on Saltasaurus piracy to Twitter...


  2. The last salty is absolutely gorgeous! Love your blog by the way!

  3. I got a real kick out of seeing all of the entries, and it was great to see my piece up on one of my favorite blogs. I really enjoyed this little artistic challenge; keep them coming!


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