I'm a bit prone to tucking away wacky drawing contests in my posts, which the cynical among you might take to be my way of measuring exactly how many people are reading them all the way to the end. But that's a terrible thought, and you are quite awful and horrid people for contemplating it. On the contrary, it's simply the case that I'm well aware of the great many talented artists we have among our readership, and love to encourage them to produce the sort of glorious, preferably very amusing and quite meta artwork that you just wouldn't see pop up on any other blog (except Pteroformer. And possibly Mark Witton's blog. Oh, whatever).
In any case, back in December I requested that readers submit a satirical '1990s dinosaur' - the sort of mildly barking restoration of a dinosaur that would have slotted in nicely inside a popular book from that decade (95% of which were written by Dougal Dixon). The winner will receive my copy of How to Draw Dinosaurs, along with a nice card or something that I'll seal with a kiss. First, however, I'd like to throw the entries out to the floor, to see which one LITC readers is most worthy of being crowned The Glorious Winner. Onward!
Gareth Monger's entry, while recycled from a blog post, is nevertheless an amusing take on an '80s or '90s-style speculative reconstruction, sporting a modern-style Paulian look while remaining horribly outdated. It depicts Deinocheirus, then known only from its arms (the rest of it having been lost down the back of someone's settee), as a knuckle-dragging ornithomimosaur of murderous intent, with claws able to tear off a sauropod's vulnerable lower leg with ease. Those of a certain age will remember many therizinosaur reconstructions along these lines (if normally without the brutal carnivory).
Ralph A Attanasia Mk3 (aka Doctor Rat) submitted this lovely sepia-toned piece, depicting another animal given a dramatic overhaul last year - Spinosaurus. Some may argue that this piece is a little too retro, given the animal's upright posture. However, I'd draw attention to the very birdlike legs and sunken face as evidence that it does fit the bill better than a cursory glance might suggest. While croc-snouted spinosaurs did start to appear in the '90s, there were still a large number of the old 'carnosaur head' versions around, and the head and arms on Ralph's creation are gloriously generic.
At the other end of the chubbiness spectrum, we have Orcface's swampy hadrosaurs. The plumpness is the result of a certain stylisation (in keeping with the rest of the artist's deviantArt gallery). This one probably is a little too retro for the '90s - hadrosaurs tended to be out and about on the land by that time, typically getting mauled by various slobbering theropods. All the same, a very charming piece with great attention to detail (I love the webbed fingers on the Parasaurolophus).
Pokémon Lover Wally) thought that she'd "throw me for a loop" by submitting a feathered dinosaur, but one employing as many '90s-style clichés as possible. Hence, one butt-ugly Archaeopteryx, complete with featherless 'raptor' hands, body-hugging fuzz and a bafflingly pebbly head, chasing a dragonfly past a lone cycad over a cracked patch of dirt. Colours would've been welcome, but I still think this one nails it.
And finally...Chris DiPiazza (who he?) has submitted a typically bold and colourful painting, which doubles as concept art for Jurassic World (although Colin Trevorrow wouldn't approve of the dromaeosaur mohawks - they're far too progressive). Mostly naked dromaeosaurs? Check. Wildly coloured Archaeopteryx-like bird with lizardy head and superfluous digits? Check. Angry angry mountains? Check. The terrifying demon-pterosaur thing flying overhead may be a silly step too far, but for the most part, this is a good 'un.
Please do weigh in! I'll announce the winner in a week or so. My decision is final. So there.