There should be more American comics like Yohei Sakai’s Dinosaur King volume 1.
Not that this is a great comic. Or a good comic. Or a comic that in any way makes you not want to seek out Yohei Sakai and force-feed him every Happy Meal in your local McDonald’s emporium, including the special toy Alvin and the Chipmunk figures, until his colon is completely encased in plastic, opening an anal fissure in space/time into which you can chuck him in the desperate hope that he, in turn, will be devoured by a fire-breathing Tyrannosaurus Rex, or, preferably, by a non-fire breathing Tyrannosaurus Rex so that he can confirm that no, really, Tyrannosaurus Rexes did not breathe fire, you shithead.
And then, as he’s torn into bloody, un-flaming gobbets, you can point out to him cheerfully that even if you grit your teeth and really, really try while simultaneously proclaiming your love of dinosaurs and whimpering softly about how you lost your mother at a tender age, encountering a T. Rex is still really fatal.
Where was I?
Yes, this book is bad enough that I wish hideous and improbable constipation and death on its creator and its distributor and its protagonist and, indeed, on dinosaurs, if, in their case, the death was not somewhat redundant and the constipation unlikely given the widespread absence of fossilized intestines.
But for all its manifest, egregious, bottomless badness, this book has something to teach American publishers. If you’re going to be bad, why not cater to the poor taste of the broadest possible herd? Fuck the decadent costumed multi-colored lantern corpses with the 30 years of repeatedly retconned backstory (no, not literally. What is wrong with you people?) Fuck the Forever Ultimate X-Claremont McKenna that 12 people want to read. Yes, Dinosaur King seems to say, those things suck like Youporn inhaling a vacuum cleaner. But I suck too, and I have cute baby dinosaurs and spunky young protagonists who have the amazing ability to talk to dinosaurs, and also I have full-sized dinosaurs with special ninja attacks. And, hey, I’ve got trading cards too. My artwork is even entirely decent in a stereotypical over-carbonated shonen kind of way. There are lots and lots of kids clamoring for just this kind of badness, and I aim to deliver it directly to their malleable, sugar-spasming adrenal glands and long-suffering parents.
Stop your elitist, clubby, insular dreck, American comics! You too can make dreck for the masses! I just know you can! There’s nothing you can’t do if you just try!
This review first appeared on tcj.com.