This is my interpretation of Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur from Marvel Comics. When their comic came out a couple of years back, I remember liking the idea of a female protagonist of color joining forces with a Tyrannosaurus rex, but wasn’t so crazy about taking Devil Dinosaur out of his native jungle and dropping him into modern times. So for my take on the duo, I decided to make Moon Girl a prehistoric/tribal twentysomething instead of the modern-day nerdy kid portrayed in the comics. Or, this could be her once she gets older and decides to move with Devil back to his original habitat.
One fact I’ve observed while looking up the prehistoric fiction genre is that surprisingly very little of it seems to feature any dinosaurs.
Of course, the fantasy of prehistoric humans (or “cavemen”) coexisting with non-avian dinosaurs has appeared in numerous movies, cartoons, and comic books. But if you look at prose literature with prehistoric human characters, dinosaurs and other Mesozoic fauna appear to be absent altogether. Instead the majority of prehistoric fiction novels, such as Jean M. Auel’s Clan of the Cave Bear or Steven Barnes’s Great Sky Woman, try to represent the prehistoric human experience more or less realistically. Literary equivalents to One Million Years BC or When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth are few and far between.
(There are the ape-like hominins in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World, of course, but that doesn’t really count as “prehistoric fiction” since it’s really an isolated lost world surviving into the late Victorian era.)
Now, I don’t necessarily have a problem with realistic prehistoric fiction. I actually enjoyed the portrayal of prehistoric African foragers and their world in Great Sky Woman quite a lot. However, I’m also a longtime dinosaur fan, and I see a lot of potential in the cavemen-and-dinosaurs brand of prehistoric fantasy that I think more authors should exploit. Instead they seem to have left it for the filmmakers and comic book artists. What’s up with that?
Deep in a Cretaceous jungle where dinosaurs roam free, this primitive bird is stretching its wings while perched on a mossy tree branch. It’s probably one of the Enantiornithes, which thrived throughout the Cretaceous Period before becoming extinct along with all the non-avian dinosaurs.
Mostly I drew this scene to sharpen my skills at drawing jungles some more.
This huntress is taking a stroll through her neighborhood, with her hunting spear in hand and a machete on her thigh. Hey, if you lived in a jungle where dinosaurs roamed wild, you’d opt for open-carry too.
The dinosaurs in the background are a Triceratops and a generic microraptorine (the flying bird-like one).
I think this Tyrannosaurus rex is eyeing you with curiosity now that you’ve entered his Cretaceous kingdom. You better hope he’s uncommonly hospitable for his species (or, if he isn’t, you’re fast enough to get away in time).
The entrance to an ancient mausoleum, carved into the shape of a skull, rises from a jungle where prehistoric creatures roam. Approaching this remote coastline is a ship of pirates hungry for treasure and adventure…