Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Tyrannosaur Chronicles competition: the contenders

Like undergraduate students everywhere, you lot submitted a flurry of entries for our Tyrannosaur Chronicles competition right before the deadline. But no matter! You still got in. While the final six winners will ultimately be decided by us, I thought (as with previous competitions) it'd be fun to put up a gallery of all the entrants and gather some of your opinions before we dole out the books. So, in no particular order, here's a gallery of T. rex...TRIUMPHING!

To start, here's a fine entry from Nathan Hicks, depicting a never cuter Rexy engaging in a pleasant spot of tennis, "because it is summer" after all. Gorgeous. I particularly like Rexy's birdlike, staring eye, which conveys some strange mixture of innocence, madness and reptilian indifference.

I'm very happy that every single one of our competition pieces features an enfluffened Rexy. Henry Sharpe's tyrant is a competent drummer in spite of not being able to see its instrument; for as Henry explains, "if there's one thing [he's] learned from years of drumming, it's that visual ability isn't a requirement". Based on AMNH 5027, apparently.

J. Hakken's T. rex is...not actually trying, but rather throwing a razor away in disgust. Which I feel is slightly missing the point of the competition, but hey - at least there's still a nice rebuttal here to the shamefully anthropocentric concept of another series of drawings that we might be alluding to. And the leg stripes are very fetching.

Kaek's T. rex asks "what happened?" - I'm not sure, but the first thing that Nicole said when I showed her this one was "how did it apply the lipstick?", and I think she has a point. Perhaps the giant pterosaur in the makeup department did it (there's always one). Beautifully painted though.

Robin Liesens of Belgium submitted two pieces. While he'll only get the one book if he wins (sorry Robin), top marks for effort. At top, we have T. rex flipping pancakes using its mouth. Sounds obvious, but that's exactly what that...original series missed - clearly, T. rex's arms were vastly less important to it than its seriously impressive head. Also, it doesn't half look adorable in a red apron.

At the bottom, meanwhile, we have Metal Rexy. As Robin points out, T. rex's likely repertoire of guttural, low-frequency noises would be superb in a metal band. The microphone seems superfluous to requirements. No doubt gigs would be livened up by the devouring of the bassist during the encore.

On a very different note, Ellen (aka Pakasuchus)'s entry sees Sue grabbing a pair of oversized oars to traverse a delightfully storybook sea. Reminds me of the illustrated books of children's poetry I used to read, only none of them ever featured a feathered T. rex row, row, rowing its boat while hungrily eyeing a Canada goose. Alas.

Sam Barnett's Rexy is out hunting butterflies with a net, like a dastardly Victorian naturalist. Pinning them to a display board for the wall might be difficult, however.

PiedPiperPluto had a great concept - Ballerina Rexy! "She's trying her best." Alas, there wasn't enough time to finish the piece before the deadline. I do hope it gets finished, as I'd love to see it completed.

Owain Griffiths' doodle, on the other hand, just looks unfinished. But hey, I do love the slightly surreal sense of humour, with just the tiniest hint of the macabre. Reminds me of Blackgang Chine. "No vegetarians though, they tend to stick...in my teeth..."

Speaking of...teeth...Shelby Cheyenne's (or should that be Shikra Gib's? Or TalonV's) Rexy is doing fantastically well at maintaining dental hygiene. Intriguingly, this is a leucistic individual, and while Shelby admits to lacking much knowledge on theropod anatomy, the inspiration she took from modern birds is very obvious here, and the right foot is beautifully drawn, even if it's in a questionable position. (Hey, I never said anatomical accuracy was absolutely necessary...just preferred.) Great work.

Talcott Starr's terrifyingly red-eyed Rexy is apparently very good at Dungeons & Dragons. Whatever that is. Cute, and I love the maniraptoran moving a...playing piece over the...board...thing, although those disproportionately long arms feel like cheating.

Wombatsrock (hey, give us a name!) brings us this very cool blue skiing Rexy, who don't need no stinkin' poles to totally rock the slopes. The Good Dinosaur could have been vastly improved by this, instead of having cowboy tyrannosaurs that are their own steeds and round up cattle and blah. What a great image.
I've met R Griffin before, and I still can't remember his first name. SHAME ON ME. (If I see you again at Tetzoocon, Mr Griffin, I'll make it up to you.) In any case, his entry doubles as a damning indictment on the Selfie Generation. Here, preening Rexy is too busy utilising his extra-long mobile phone positioning device to notice that he's about to be reduced to a cloud of feathers and a smoking crater in the ground. Silly Rexy.

Andrew Raymond Stück decided to recast Lord of the Rings with Maastrichtian animals. While Rexy is surely a dubious choice for a hobbit, at least those famously short arms will prevent our hero from having to be carried up mountainsides by his chubby best friend. Gandarchid the Grey, meanwhile, is quite inspired, especially the palaeoart-meme pipe (Andrew says we can blame Mark Witton).

Gordon Goldhaber is referencing Sailor Moon here, which I've heard of, but that's about it. Still, I did look up Usagi on Wikipedia just now, then looked back at this, and had a little giggle to myself. I want to see the full body drawing (with dress) now, please.

Now this reference I do get - why, it's Sue cosplaying as Bowser (i.e. Mario's nemesis), as drawn by Cabbitwocky. I did mention earlier that all of our entrants featured a fluffy Rexy, and I have now been exposed as the filthy liar I surely am. However, one can suppose that the Bowser-style hairdo and eyebrows are just strategically shaved feather patches, and we're all good.

Joschua Knüppe decided to illustrate Rexy (who sports a fetching wooly jumper, for some reason) succeeding in launching a Kickstarter campaign, apparently bludgeoning the keyboard with his noggin rather than typing and yet still managing to raise thousands of dollars for what will be the greatest simulation of tyrannosaurs hunting and devouring things the world has ever seen. Nice references to contemporary events and world politics, there.

And finally...if some variation on that last panel isn't available as a t-shirt print in the near future, I won't be too happy. Make it happen, Ost.

Thank you very much to everyone who entered, you've produced some wonderful work! We'll be deliberating over the winners during the next few days, with a post to follow accordingly. To sign off for now, I asked Dave to send me a photo of himself posing with the book, preferably while grinning cheesily. To his credit, Dave managed to rope in none other than Tom Holtz. And posed in front of the Crystal Palace dinosaurs. Thanks Dave!


  1. "...innocence, madness and reptilian indifference" is one of my favorite phrases you've ever written, Marc.

  2. Wow, after the initial quiet period I was worried this might fall a bit short but the entrants have flooded in. I'm not on the judging panel and I don't want to influence them (or other comments) but there's some great stuff here in terms of the anatomy of the tyrannosaurs, originality of the ideas, and artistic execution. Well done everyone and good luck.

  3. I felt that I saw my favourite the moment it was submitted, but of course was still eager to see the rest. At the moment, I may have to confess that the same piece still stands, but we'll see!

  4. I'm almost glad I got distracted and didn't enter. I'd've been slaughtered. Brilliant stuff!

  5. This will be a very tough competition to judge, for sure!

  6. I DID actually intend the hair and eyebrows to be carefully shaven feathers, good catch folks! Sorry I didn't make that more clear. Excellent work from everyone!

  7. Ah, I could have sworn I sent one.... oh well. They all look excellent

  8. I finished the ballerina t. rex piece! http://piedpiperpluto.deviantart.com/art/She-Is-Doing-Her-Best-614141822

  9. I could kick myself for this one, but about a week ago someone asked me to draw a T. rex holding a gatling gun, and it never even crossed my mind I could have submitted it. Oh well, hindsight is 20/20.

    For what it's worth: http://i.imgur.com/CpMB8yT.png

  10. A T.rex president would also have been a good choice. Make Cretaceous great again !

  11. Images are beautiful! keep sharing your passion and love with us. As a Wedding Photographers Serving Sheboygan i really like your post.


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