Sunday, February 28, 2010

Dinky and the Skull

Due to complaints that my comic strips are hard to read, I will now add scripts to my posts.



Panel One
Dinky: Gee, Skull, what are we going to do today?
Skull: Same thing we do every day, Dinky. Try to take over the museum!

Panel Two
Ostrom: Is it just me, or does this sound familiar?

Panel Three
Ostrom: I can't put my finger on it... And, Zahavi, turn that off.
Brain (from TV): Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?

Panel Four
Savape: Well, it could have been worse.
Ostrom: What's worse than a parody no one can name?

Panel Five
Savape: It could have been named Dinky and the Brain!
Ostrom and Zahavi: AHHH!!!

For those who don't get it, the genus name of Tarchia gigantea means brainy one. It's an ankylosaur and not a maniraptor, which is most emphatically not allowed here.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Once Proud



Panel One
Skull: Sad, isn't it?

Panel Two
Skull: Once we were proud. On land, we ruled the small predatory guilds.
Skull: The trees, too, were ours, as bigger dinosaurs couldn't seek shelter in them.

Panel Three
Skull: But look at us now! We've been banished to the skies, only gaining footholds on the most remote of islands where few mammals tread! Or else sitting on display in museums, being forced to compete with show-stopping tyrannosaurids and sauropods!

Panel Four
Skull: Fear not, however, for my colleague and I are working hard to change this!

Panel Five
Ostrom: Is that your colleague?

Panel Six
Skull: Sad, isn't it?

No points for what Dinky and the Skull (as they're supposed to be known as) is a parody of.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

To Fly Or Not to Fly?



Panel One
Ostrom: Since we are about as flight capable as a concrete block...

Panel Two
Ostrom: It's somewhat surprising that we have flying ancestors!

Panel Three
Ostrom: Zahavi, stop that.

Panel Five
Ostrom: Some eumaniraptors never lost their powers of flight.

Panel Six
Savape: But if a maniraptor is found that can match the flying prowess of pterosaurs, my mind will be blown.

Birds are maniraptors? Yes, yes, yes, YES! Seize every opportunity to ram the point home.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Introductions



Panel One
Ostrom: Hi! I'm Ostrom the Deinonychus!

Panel Two
Ostrom: This is Zahavi the Jinfengopteryx.

Panel Three
Ostrom: And Savape the Archaeopteryx.

Panel Four
Savape: What are you staring at?

Panel Five
Ostrom: You can't hold your wings that way.
Savape: Oh.

Panel Six
Albertonykus: My apologies... I overlooked that fact in my earlier drawings...

In spite of the "theme song", this webcomic isn't going to parody Animaniacs too closely, but sharp-eyed readers might find similarities nonetheless. Also, I have more Animaniacs song parodies in the pipeline.

This webcomic gives me an excuse to revamp some of my maniraptor drawing styles. For example, I used to draw all beakless maniraptors with bare-skinned snouts. Now the feathers reach their snouts, leaving only the tips bare.

A few things to note: Zahavi is meant to be pronounced "zuh-hay-vee" and Savape should be pronounced "suh-vay-pee", so their names rhyme. I originally wanted Savape's name to be Sape, after Sapeornis chaoyangensis, which is in turn named for the Society of Avian Paleontology and Evolution, but it didn't ring well. In the end I simply took SVP (Society of Vertebrate Paleontology) and stuck vowels between that acronym, so it became her name.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Raptormaniacs "Theme Song"

I originally wanted to create a blog to talk about interesting things about dinosaurs in general. However there are already many blogs that do that, most of them by paleontologists, or at least people who actually know what they're talking about. Instead, my blog will be the home of what will hopefully become a webcomic starring the "Raptormaniacs". Who are the Raptormaniacs?



Sung to the tune of the Animaniacs theme song*. If you aren't familiar with Animaniacs, go here. Listen to it a couple times. You'll catch on real quick. Trust me.

The three main singers are Deinonychus antirrhopus, Jinfengopteryx elegans, and Archaeopteryx lithographica. Other dinosaurs here are (in order of appearance): Passer domesticus, Albertonykus borealis, Caudipteryx zoui, Therizinosaurus cheloniformis, and the skull of Tsaagan mangas.

I'm not sure how difficult my writing is to read. No doubt it's probably a tad small. So, here are the lyrics.

It's time for Raptormaniacs**,
In some of us our teeth do lack.
Smaller prey we do attack,
On plants we also snack,
We're Raptormaniacs!

We have got feathered wings that can grow to be real long,
'Cept alvarezsaurids, but theirs are still quite strong.***
With our semilunate carpals we can tuck our arms away.
Just be your best,
Don't touch our nests,
Or else you're gonna pay!

We're Raptormaniacs,
We can run up trees real fast.
Our variety is vast
And not just fossil casts,
We're Raptormaniacs!

Some of us can swoop and fly to help them get around,
Others think that things are better going back down to the ground;
We need agility and speed because predators abound.
With killing claws
And toothy jaws
We prowl where food is found.

We're Raptormaniacs,
We're survivors to the max.
We went to H**l and back
When a space rock left a crack.
We're Raptorman-y,
They say we're brainy,
Paul, Gregory,
Raptormaniacs!
Those are the facts.

*Animaniacs and all related elements, including the Animaniacs theme song, are property of Warner Bros. The drawing and parody lyrics are mine, though.
**Here "raptor" means maniraptor, not deinonychosaur or hypercarnivorous bird.
***Maniraptor forelimb reduction is also found in many flightless birds, and to a lesser degree troodonts and some oviraptorosaurs. However, none of these have the strangely powerful forelimbs alvarezsaurids did.