Writer/Artist: Martin Smith
Publisher: Self Published
A low brow buddy comic teaming up a clueless actor, a cynical cyborg T-Rex, a Welsh city on Mars and a ludicrous title – Attackosaur should be wrong on all levels. But it’s the finest thing I’ve read all year.
Dan Chance, star of film classics like the Teen Wolf rip-off Wolf Cup Final, Space Badger Baseball and The Shark Wore Corduroy, is sent to Dinas Galath, Mars’ sole city to research for a part in a cop movie but finds himself lined up as the unwitting assassin of the President of Earth. He is partnered with Rex, a jetpack-wearing dino with a steel jaw capable of delivering 80's style put downs along with some gruesome deaths of perps unlucky enough to cross his path. Think Judge Dredd crossed with Gorehead.
Smith is undoubtedly a better writer than an artist but his manga stylings perfectly suit this funny, satirical take on bad buddy movies. Chance plays the freshman finding himself on Mars, acting as the reader’s cypher for all its alien quirks. Those who venture outside the protective force field are called fish, because that’s the noise they make when they briefly burst into flame before suffocating. Some of the greatest minds from countries like France, Russia and England now inhabit the heads of the Robotic Dinosaur Police Force. Whose personality haunts scarred Rex is unknown, but clues to possible Oriental heritage are noted when seen offering incense sticks to a figurine of a Sensei, praying for restraint from stomping the hapless Chance.
The scene-stealing Rex plays the Arnold Schwarzenegger role with a genuine freshness and the script is littered with classic lines like “I smell like a sheep’s tail” and “Have at me ladies, time for bed” when robotic arms strip the dinosaur of his armour. There are few things funnier than the sight of an elevator door opening up on a cramped T-Rex who breaks the news to a parent of his daughter’s death by smashing through the front door, eating all the spaghetti in sight, and saying "confiscated" before deducing the victim had the same pasta aftertaste as the food snack, because he ate her too.
Smith credits the Arvon Foundation’s graphic novel course for his skill, taught by the legendary Bryan Talbot and others but warns the rest of the six-part mini-series will take months of lead time because he’s “mega slow at drawing and plays too much Tekken 6”.
We have to agree with Attackosaur’s tag line: part robot, part dinosaur, all awesome. As a bonus those who bought it at the Bristol International Comic and Small Press Expo got a free copy of Smith’s tragi-comic Moonopus! King of All Space and the chance to do their own dinosaur doodle for the Attackosaur website. Check out our reviewer’s humble effort here: http://attackosaur.com/pictures/bristol-2011-draw-a-dinosaur/