Creators: Richard Fairgray, Paul Eiding, and Terry Jones
Golden Apple, 2018-2020
WHEN I LAUGHED OUT LOUD WATCHING the birth, growth, and instant demise of Mr. Meatball on the floor next to the dining room table, I knew I had unwittingly slipped into the dinosaur story. Sure there’s a dinosaur here, and he turns out so believable that farther-out lunacies are pinned on him, making it apt at one point for the irradiated triceratops BLASTOSAURUS, with an origin story somewhere in Issue 3, to conclude with an unexplainable thumb to the chin, “You’re right. If I wasn’t a dinosaur … that’d seem insane.”
The fantasy escalates and reverberates with queer monsters like a tentacled robot that constructs itself, a vengeful meatball related to the aforementioned brother smashed on the floor, and a wild raccoon, all believable, like its happening around the corner in Freak Out City, the burb where these oddities occur, located according to another origin story in Issue 2 somewhere near Hollywood, California. Maybe true, maybe not.
BLASTOSAURUS creators Richard Fairgray, Paul Eiding, and Terry Jones are not demented. Action fills the panels with a bark bark bark terrier facing a big pigeon, or juggling green heads looking down at a concert crowd, or a big pink sky framing a rampaging spaghetti-and-meatball man surrounded by hungry crows, all colorful, absorbing, and reorientingly real, all the more because the characters, even dino, are so down to earth. Not crazy. Though it looks like dad may be an interdimensional creature of some kind, we’ll see. Freaky things keep happening.
A comedian friend once told me all comedy is derivative, and that point is planted in BLASTOSAURUS possibly on every page. I can’t track it, maybe the authors can’t either, though some evident copying and rendering traces familiar scenes from movies, comics, and cartoons, so the pages resonate with familiar imagery, good for appreciating as an adult. Yet the story is splendidly written for kids, with clearly plotted dialogue and humor as in an i-phone photo mom shows of “my son Richard,” one of our young heroes who discover the dinosaur. There he is, fist overhead blocking a sign that says ANTIQUE BUTT.. CHURN, with an antique butter churn on display in the foreground, scatology so often appealing. And then, I have to keep reading to see what happens to the chicken.