Monday, August 24, 2009

Manga Monday: Dinosaur Hour

Dinosaur Hour (Volume 1)
Hitoshi Shioya
.
Dinosaur Hour is an all ages title, part of Viz's VizKids line of manga. It's a humor manga featuring dinosaurs in chapters that have nothing to do with one another. I think this is really good for kids because, besides the fact that kids love dinosaurs, there are a lot of dinosaur facts throughout the book. At the beginning of each chapter, the scene is set by letting readers know during what period it takes place, and with each dinosaurs appearance, a little fact blurb will let you know its name, how big it gets, whether it's herbivore or carnivore (and rarely omnivore), and sometimes another little something extra, like that the troodon is believed to be one of the most intelligent dinosaurs. But facts aside, the dinosaurs interact in ways more human that reptilian: bullying one another, being afraid of ghosts, pulling pranks, etc. The author is really going for the laugh factor, and often pokes fun at the misinterpreted facts of dinosaurs by scientists over the years (like a dinosaur who doesn't stand correctly in one chapter, but should use its tail to balance itself instead of dragging it, or the theory that the velociraptor was feathered). There are plenty of cute stories here, with a lot of personality attached to some of the dinosaurs, which makes for a fun read. Art-wise, things are a little too simplistic for my tastes. There's hardly any detail to the pages and sometimes the action is a little hard to understand. Background art is rarely drawn, the drawings instead focusing on sparsely-depicted dinosaurs in various states of exasperation, concentration and laughter. I think one volume is enough to get the idea, but like I said, I think kids will really dig the humor and facts of this title.

No comments: