So after the last two webcomics I talked about, both with highly creative artwork, Dinosaur Comics is something a little different. In fact, it's entirely unique fron any other webcomic I know for the sake of a single thing: it's boilerplate. The artwork in Dinosaur Comics is the same artwork, every day, 5 days a week. Only the dialogue changes.
So, what's the deal?
Well, in order to pull off a successful webcomic, you have to be a good writer. In order to pull off a successful webcomic where the art is a giveaway, you have to be a great writer. I don't know if Ryan North is necessarily a GREAT writer (it's hard to tell just from a talking dinosaur comic), but he pulls off fresh ideas, great humor, and creativity with enough panache that the comic works, and works very well. I also think his thoughts and ideas are pretty intelligent, and I enjoy the comic because it's both funny and thought-provoking...except for the days when it's random and weird, and I enjoy that too.
Because the art is static, it's necessary for Ryan to bring a huge amount of originality to the writing every day in order to keep people interested, and he does. Dinosaur Comics is almost always a dialogue between the main character (T-rex) and his two dinosaur friends, Dromiceomimus, and Utahraptor. Other voices occasionally enter in, such as God and the Devil, T-rex's terrifying cephalopod and raccoon neighbors, and once, a bug on the end of T-rex's nose.
The range of topics is usually about 1/3 philosophy, 1/3 introspection and conjecture, and 1/3 insanity. For example, this one is about civilization, the next one on essential truths, but then this one is about finding excuses to wear capes, and then inventing Vampire Day.
The speech in Dinosaur Comics is fun. It's usually done with a lot of exclamation points and very few contractions, and there's lots of interjections like Awesome! and Also! It's endearing.
Also! Another thing I like about Dinosaur Comics are the Easter eggs. There's always at least three. One is the title (which you see as the subject if you have "dinosaurcomics" in an LJ feed as I do). The second is a funny blurb you get when you mouseover the comic itself. The third is if you mouseover the "Comments" button (or click on it) because the text of the email feedback subject line is usually another funny blurb. It always adds to the goodness of the strip, like grated nutmeg on eggnog.
It's just really fun to see someone take the same strip and remake it into something funny and intelligent every single day. I haven't gotten bored yet.
I also like that in the first panel, no matter what it is he's saying, T-rex always looks like he's Walking Like An Egyptian.
Some of my favorite strips are:
thoughts of mortality
annnnnna bennnnnson...dot net
AN APOLOGY TO FURRIES: sorry I don't draw my female dinosaurs with knockers
a google image search for "sucky dog" is actually pretty disappointing
"everyone has better reasons for being here than *I*, t-rex"
But I think my most favorite is the series he did where Utahraptor goes to a mirror universe (so the comic is horizontally reversed, of course, which changes the usual pacing), where everyone is evil and has goatees, JUST LIKE IN STAR TREK:
1. A mirror universe, if you will.
2. LODGE a complaint.
4. Afterwards we'll discuss philosophy or something like that.
5. in a MANOR of speaking
6. make a note of that, in my LOGS.
7. back on good old earth prime