Tuesday, March 17, 2015

SLEAZE FEATURE: 'CAP'N DINOSAUR' ONE-SHOT (2014)



Cap'n Dinosaur dropped in July of 2014, and it was one of my favorite floppies ever printed.  And I loved it so much that it went straight into my "bloggin' thangs box" (a tub of inspiring Planet Motherfucker-y media for review) only to be neglected and forgotten because, hey, squirrel!

This comic deserves attention, and I owe it a heartfelt apology.  Lemme try to make it right.



In a tale entitled "Cap'n Dinosaur And The Carnevil Of Crime!", there's mysterious murder most impossible in Portal City, and only two-fisted narrator Cap'n Dinosaur and his lunar-powered companion, Honey Moon, can crack the case!  And their sleuthing leads to a seedy waterfront midway where madcap antics ensue involving freakish fiends, crazed creatures, and cunning Commies!



Writer Kek-W and artist Shaky Kane pack 32 pages full of lunacy and mayhem, all infused with four-color nostalgia.  But unlike other "comics based on comics themselves" (like Alan Moore's / Rick Veitch's / Steve Bissette's 1963 and Big Bang Comics' entire output), Cap'n Dinosaur isn't a pastiche.  Yes, there are numerous trappings rooted in funnybooks of yore—Aurora monster models, mail-order novelties, Sea-Monkeys—but the story plays 'em straight.  Edgy, even, if that word means anything anymore.


The art is also its own animal, in that Kane plays with the comic medium in all its forms.  He veers from traditional grid layouts to single-panel pages to splashes, and garish colors blaze on every page.  The overall effect is a trippy, pop-art fever dream.


There's a sequence in a Hall Of Mirrors that's truly inspired.  And I've never seen so many funky Frankensteins all in one place; hell, one batch made me guffaw, making Cap'n Dinosaur worth the cover price for me right there.

Make me laugh, and I'm yours forever.  *Suggestive Eyebrow Waggle*


Cap'n Dinosaur himself inhabits a vibrant world of which we only get a glimpse, and I'd love to spend more time with him and Miss Moon.  The comic evokes the works of luminaries Mike AllredBen Edlund,  and Publick & Hammer, and it stands aside them.

Buy Cap'n Dinosaur, y'all.  It's good.

My only utterly nitpick-y, gotta-find-something-critical-or-look-like-a-shill gripe is that the comic is nigh-ad-free, with the nigh in question being five whole blurbs for Kane's other projects.  I'd've liked to see Kek-W and Kane play with the format.

Yes, really.  The comic didn't have enough advertising.  There's one for the history books.

Then again, 1963 already did all that to perfection, so why bother?

You Can't Beat This, So Don't Even Try

Yeah, my complaint is bullshit.


Delightful Word Balloons That Tickle Me Pink (When Not Making Me Cackle Outright):

"That's when Portal City PD pick up the Bone-Phone and give us a call."

"Unsolved crimes are our specialty, mystery the fuel that revs our motor."

"Swami Midnite!  But I saw you dietorn apart when The Living Tarot turned on you!"

"Active 'Reptile Brain'.  Intellect off!  Dino-Crine system on max!  Rrrrunnin' on pure instinct now.  Smell... MEAT."

"Someone's using The House Of Frankenstein as hired muscle."

And my absolute favorite (that I desperately need to work into everyday conversation):

"You stink of mad science!"


RPG Relevance:  Cap'n Dinosaur combats not only carnies on their crumbling, funhouse-infused turf, but a godsdamned gang of patchwork perps.  There's spandex and hypno-coins and "ten secret super-vitamins" and gore galore and more because I don't want to gushingly spoil the whole thing (even though I totally do).

This comic IS Planet Motherfucker.  There's honestly and truly an entire campaign between the covers.


Final Review Score:  4.5 X-ray Specs out of 5.


Naw, that's garbage.  It's 5 X-ray Specs out of 5.  Seriously.  Buy it.