Hola amigos! This week’s Dear Dinosaur is up over at www.twoforonecomics.com, which means its time for official Dear Dinosaur commentary! This week’s new strip is a tad bizarre and wasn’t what I originally intended to run this week. Interesting, right? Well if you want to know more, you can check out the commentary below!
When I first plotted out Volume IV: Jumping the Megalodon, my plan for this week was going to be Dear Dinosaur: The Manga, done entirely in Japanese. I had written the script and wanted to have someone translate it into Japanese, which I would hand letter in the format of manga (so you’d read it right to left). Then, for the printed version, I would have someone else entirely translate the Japanese into English again. Unfortunately, the person that I had lined up to translate the book, dropped out and then the second person dropped out at the last minute.
So, this week I was left without an idea. I was going to jump forward to next week’s strip, which would require me to find a fill-in for the schedule later on in the volume. I toyed with that, but then in a moment of “genius” (maybe?), I decided to do this week’s strip in the style of a Mexican telenovela. I first planned it to be done in English, but with telenovela tropes. After reading through it, though, I thought that the gags would be much funnier if I combined the strip with the planned Japanese strip by translating the entire script from English into Spanish. Instead of finding someone who actually speaks Spanish (which I haven’t studied since high school…12 years ago), I used Google’s translation program to translate the script one line at a time. Chances are, the dialogue doesn’t actually mean what I intended it to mean.
In this strip, we see Dear Dinosaur’s “evil twin” who was originally introduced in the Volume II strip “Parallelasaurus.” That strip saw Dear Dinosaur learn about alternate dimensions, including an evil mirror universe, a gender-swapped universe, a Conan-style barbarian universe, and a universe where humans are the pets of dinosaurs. Evil Dear Dinosaur’s design originally had a bowtie and a full goatee, but I redid the design to make him more casual with a flashy Hawaiian shirt and a shaggy neckbeard. Since Dear Dinosaur constantly makes fun of Ryan the Editor for his neckbeard, it seemed funny that the evil version’s “Spock Beard” would be a neckbeard. I did keep the eye scar though, which makes him pretty menacing. You’ll see more of Evil Dear Dinosaur very soon.
The letter this week came from a character named El Guapo, who makes his first appearance in the series here. El Guapo is actually the lead character in a comic series that I started outlining a few years back before moving onto other projects. Hector Alvarez, aka El Guapo, is one of America’s most effective secret agents—the pride and joy of the Regiment for an Unequivocally Safe Homeland (RUSH). Alvarez was betrayed by a double agent and was greatly scarred, which forced him to wear a luchador mask to hide his grotesque visage. No longer able to work as a secret agent, Alvarez is reassigned to the Department for Unusual Menace Protection (DUMP). It’s a crazy, high-energy action series that I’d love to get back to eventually, potentially as an ongoing series or a new webcomic.
This week’s soundtrack song is “Hotel California” by the Gipsy Kings, made famous for its inclusion in The Big Lebowski. It is probably my favorite song in Spanish (not that I know very many songs in Spanish), despite the fact that I really don’t care for the Eagles at all. Plus any reference to The Big Lebowski is welcome (as most of you know, my dog’s name is Lebowski).
Finally, this week’s strip, along with many others is for sale! If you’d like to buy the original 11 x 17 art, it’s only $10 plus $3 shipping anywhere in the US. Shoot me an email at email@example.com if you are interested!