Right here’s half two of our tentative exploration into the early 2000s with the World Atlas of Dinosaurs. A number of Todd Marshall and Luis Rey to find, but additionally I’ll inform you the actual motive I couldn’t resist this guide when I discovered it. With out additional ado:
Right here’s one half of a Tendaguru unfold by Todd Marshall. It depicts ceratosaurs in a bout of speculative intraspecific fight. The animals themselves are fully speculative; the one ceratosaur materials from Tanzania is tooth, because the textual content notes. Marhsall imagines them as merely greater variations of the American Ceratosaurus.
The Giraffatitan (explicitly talked about to be the African Brachiosaurus) on the subsequent web page is painted from an uncommon perspective, retaining its head down just a little. This makes it look much less big and majestic than it’s often depicted, and unusually humble as a substitute. Factors for originality. Marshall nonetheless makes it buky and muscular and avoids the worst of the shrinkwrapping he can typically be responsible of. What I at all times search for in sauropod depictions is that if the artist get the ft proper, and Todd Marshall doesn’t put a foot unsuitable right here. Pun completely supposed.
Spinosaurus, fishing on the shoreline. A sure film got here out a couple of years earlier than which depicted Spinosaurus doing very various things certainly. This guide retains issues a bit extra consistent with the science. However, this Spinosaurus may be very a lot of its time: principally big Baryonyx with a sail. As such, it’s alright. I like Marshall’s color schemes, and he strikes a pleasant stability between the badass, monstrous facet that appeals to my inside ten-year-old and naturalistic believablility. These claws look viscious.
Neovenator places in a really memorable look, chasing some equally well-done ornitischians (the restrictions of my scanner aren’t doing this piece any favours). The Isle of Wight theropod doesn’t typically get an opportunity to look this spectacular. Todd Marshall makes it appear like principally a cross between Allosaurus and T. rex. Marshall actually nails the attention right here, a mad, piercing, cold-hearted avian stare. An especially cool theropod, one in all Marshall’s finest items within the guide. The ornitischians it chases remind me very a lot of the blue-headed inexperienced Othnielia from Strolling with Dinosaurs.
Right here’s one thing cool. Feathered therizinosaurus have been a brand new idea in 2003 (Beipiaosaurus, the primary identified feathered therizinosaur, was described in 1999). A Strolling With Dinosaurs spinoff from the identical yr depicted it bare, so Marshall is on the vanguard right here. It actually is an efficient try, not fairly the shaggy mountains that might turn out to be the norm later (and that we’re now seeing some pushback towards) however effectively inside the realms of believability. Not even one million miles away from the way it appeared on Prehistoric Planet. The truth that it’s peacefully chewing the surroundings fairly than getting concerned in slashy battles towards Tarbosaurus is a pleasant plus, as effectively. Good one.
Right here’s one other Luis Rey piece, and it’s a bit that would solely have been made at a really explicit, very transient window in time between the invention of Microraptor and the invention that it was black and glossy throughout. Once we interviewed Luis for the podcast, he defended his use of color and argued his dinosaurs have been by no means too vibrant, however he did barely bounce the gun on this one.
What Luis did nail was the stunning iridesence, which he superbly illustrates within the tail. Not a straightforward feat. The perching one on the precise seems to be particularly good, and Luis was faster on the uptake than most round this time with incorporating the claws into the wing organically.
Right here’s Luis V. Rex (truly Tarbosaurus however who can resist a pun) chasing an ornithomimid which bumps into the margins of my scanner. Luis might be derisive of his older work however this actually is high notch stuff. The feathering on Gallimimus is conservative by fashionable requirements however the feathery collar and the stunning wattle are nice Rey logos, though the beak that you just nearly can’t see right here is purple fairly than the standard Rey yellow. I’m undecided in regards to the stripes, although. The Tarbosaurus is nearly one of the best tyrannosaur you possibly can hope to see round this time, with the bosses and grooves on its face splendidly pronounced and depraved purple highlights. It’s geat, dynamic and dramatic.
With this illustration and the subsequent, we’re developing on the actual motive I simply had to purchase and assessment this guide. Right here we see some Saltasaurus nesting within the desert. It’s not fairly up there with Mashall and Rey – the very barren panorama doesn’t do it any favours. The sauropods look nearly like ankylosaurs, small and low-slung because the artist has depicted them. However, once more, they’ve acquired the ft proper.
From the identical artist, right here is an early try at a feathered troodontid. It’s the sort of reconstruction that walks so later ones may run. We’re nonetheless an basically reptilian creature with angy eyebrows that has feathers placed on as if it’s carrying a coat. It will be some time earlier than we might see really birdlike penneraptorans in mainstream books, and I really feel like most present ones are nonetheless caught on this section. Nonetheless, it’s good that artists round this time have been attempting. It was an vital step in the direction of higher reconstructions. The Maiasaura, in the meantime, is caught up to now merely for being very Sibbickian.
Now right here’s why I purchased the guide when I discovered it at a second-hand bookstore. In the event you’ll forgive me the marginally unironed look, I personal this cover cowl that includes these very illustrations! Seeing the unique illustrations positively fired some confused neurons in my mind. The irritating factor is that I nonetheless don’t know who the artist is. Thanks, Deltas. It’s not an excellent cover cowl, but it surely’s acquired feathered dinosaurs on.
It’s a magical Liopleurodon, Charlie! In fact, the final word Strolling With Dinosaurs breakout star will get a shining look, and it’s all too clear the place the illustrator acquired their inspiration from. It’s a bit blatant, but it surely’s good to see the affect of WWD in a manner that doesn’t imply every little thing will get taken over by CG.
As you might have seen, many of the paintings on this guide has a reasonably excessive normal, largely because of the trouble of the dependable Todd Marshall and Luis Rey. However there’s some missteps as effectively, none extra so than this bafflingly terrible unfold in the direction of the top of the guide. We see three an identical, brachiosaurs unconvincingly copy-pasted into what I think is a inventory background. And for an encore, they’re wading like sauropods from the Burian era. Simply unhealthy selections throughout. This may not cross high quality management if there was any. The textual content tries to promote us that these animals are wading, to not assist their weight, however to chill off. Certain. The most important blemish upon an in any other case good guide, proving that what there’s to love about it’s right down to the artists fairly than the editors.
And that’s the World Atlas of Dinosaurs, proof that a minimum of not all post-WWD post-turn-of-the-century artwork in mainstream dinosaur books wanted to be horrible, or CG, or horrible CG. I’m nonetheless skeptical that the twenty first century will probably be a goldmine for LITC, however 2003 can nonetheless be thought of an excellent yr for dinosaur books. I’ve acquired a couple of extra within the pipeline from the identical yr. However first, I wish to get again some older stuff. I feel it’s time for some good old style Burian rip-offs from Europe.