Cap’n Dinosaur is the sort of cleverly daft comic that seems like a throwback to those glorious days of the early 90’s when British comics would bang out wonderfully experimental works just because they could. This isn’t quite up to comics from that time, but it’s close.
It plays with pop culture, more specifically those adverts which used to be at the back of American comics in the 1960’s and 1970’s which looked so exciting and exotic to kids in the UK in the terminally brown era which was then, but now look quaint and of a time far, far away. It weaves these old ads into a film noir directed by Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko which is lovely to look at as it borrows palate and colour from the Pop Artists of the 60’s.
I should declare here that I’m an enormous fan of Shaky Kane’s work, and he’s one of the nicest people you’ll meet so it’s hard for me to be neutral discussing this. Kane is one of those artists (Dominic Regan being another) in British comics with a massive Kirby influence who never seems to be getting the recognition he deserves for having this skewed vision on 20th century pop culture. In this though he draws a story where the plot doesn’t matter. That’s just there to allow Cap’n Dinosaur and his sidekick, Honey Moon to have a crazy adventure.
There’s references to hypno-discs, 6 ft Frankenstein, Aurora model kits, and sea monkeys among a sea of references to those comic ads…
This could have been a forced work of nostalgia to appeal to those sort of people who ‘ironically’ enjoy old things but secretly hate them, but this isn’t that. It’s fun and yes, tongue in cheek but it’s never mocking. It’s just a bit of fun celebrating things from the past and creating new art from old things, while at the same time having a wee nod and wink at the reader for being in on the gag.
Go buy it, you’ll have fun.