Saturday, March 19, 2016

Paleo: The Complete Collection

 I never really outgrew the childhood fascination with dinosaurs that grips most boys when they hit two or three.....If there's a dinosaur in a film, book, or TV show, I'm there. That said, Jim Lawson's PALEO: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION didn't look like it was going to be my cup of tea. Lawson is mainly known to me from his work on TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, and the cover art made the book look like an anthropomorphic piece, like THE LAND BEFORE TIME. I could not have been more wrong.

 First off, Jim Lawson's artwork here is a revelation. Each panel is a work of art. I can scarcely imagine how much time he spent on each panel. The details, both on the dinosaurs and in the backgrounds, are phenomenal and awe-inspiring. Storywise, Lawson confounds reader expectation, using our expectation of anthropomorphism against us. It's easy to expect these animals to behave in a human manner, but Lawson presents them as real, three-dimensional creatures, ruled by fear, hunger, and lust....the stories are brutal, heartbreaking, and sometimes tough to read, but they're incredibly well-done and worthwhile. I plan on picking up a hard-copy for my six-year-old son. He'll enjoy the wonderful dino art now, and come to appreciate the masterful stories as he gets older.

 This is a flat-out AMAZING collection. I can't imagine how it's possible that I haven't even heard of PALEO until now. That's a crime, because this book deserves all kinds of awards, as well as blockbuster sales figures. Absolutely THE best book that I've read in the past year...I can't recommend it highly enough.

 Dover Publications provided a review copy.