Dinosaur Comics collection: improbably fantastic re-use of dinosaur clip art

Ryan North's The best of Dinosaur Comics: 2003-2005 A.D. had me howling with laughter and passing the book around to whomever I could lay hands on to point out particularly good strips.

Dinosaur Comics is an unlikely gem of a webcomic -- the same six panels every week featuring three dinosaurs and a house, a car and a woman in danger of being smushed. What changes from strip to strip is the dialog, and man, there's a lot of it.

This is a wordy comic. The jokes are often erudite, sometimes just plain goofy. The creator, Ryan North, is mining this odd little visual vein and coming up with a seemingly bottomless well of extremely funny material. Some of it relies on the visuals, some would work nearly as well as text.

Every now and again, Satan appears and drones on about his favorite video games. Then the T-Rex will explore (in his charming, naive way), philosophy and religion. Then there's a strip about polyamory. Then several strips about etymology and word choices. Funny jokes about comic books. Then God appears and T-Rex is the only one who can hear him. Then cuttlefish move in next door and behave in a threatening manner. Fan-culture and the canon make an appearance. And so on.

This strip is so improbable, so unconventional -- and so wonderful. It's like a distillation of the funniest stuff on the web, improbably combined with clip art, unapologetically weird and interesting and fantastic.

The best of Dinosaur Comics: 2003-2005 A.D.

Dinosaur Comics


  1. Sounds realistic to me. Everyone knows cuttlefish make terrible neighbors.

    Those jerks.

    Fortunately, them’s good eating. Solves the neighbor problem.

  2. This reminds me of the LA Weekly strip (from college days): The Angriest Dog in the World

    Sure enough, do a search for it and Wikipedia has an entry and it, of course, links to Dinosaur Comics.

  3. Of all my favorite web comics, this is the only one my wife consistently laughs at as well. If nothing else, the look on T-Rex’s face as he exclaims something in the second panel cracks her up every time.

  4. Of course, the best bit of the comic is the meta-text and the mailto: link text, which you may miss out on in the book, although I can only imagine this is either included or offset by other, more awesome (and sexy!) book-only content.

  5. Kaiza @6 makes a good point, does the book include the alt-text, RSS feed title, and the comment e-mail subject? Even if I’m not feeling the comic itself, the combination of the 3 bonus lines is always enough to make me chuckle.

    This is without a doubt one of the most consistently hilarious comics I’ve ever read.

  6. Dinosaur Comics is published every weekday, not weekly. This makes it that much more amazing.

  7. This is my favourite comic. Nothing else is even close to being so consistently hilarious.

  8. I think this comic makes me laugh more consistently than any other.

    We have regular impromptu readings at my house, whether my fiance likes it or not.

  9. @6 i’m all about pokey. POKEYYYY.

    i actually haven’t read dinosaur comics. maybe i should start.

  10. Yeah, I got the book from Ryan at MOCCA last year. The book contains the alt text under each strip, but no comment email subject lines. The only thing in the book not on the website is an intro by Joey Comeau. Even so, I still love having the book; it’s a great coffee table book.

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