Easily one of the most overlooked titles from Dark Horse, Age of Reptiles consisted of a number of mini-series created by Ricardo Delgado that focused on day to day survival during the Mesozoic era. The original series, published in 1993, was called Tribal Warefare and focused on a sort of gang war between two species. The next run, The Hunt, was published in 1997 and followed a baby Allosaurus that was continually hunted by a pack of Ceratosaurs. The last run, titled the Journey and released in 2009, centered on a sprawling migration of numerous herds as the landscape slowly started to change.
While Ricardo Delgado’s comic work isn’t widely acknowledged there’s a pretty hefty chance that you’ve already enjoyed projects that he has had a hand in creating. His art design credits include Avatar the Last Airbender, Green Lantern the Animated Series, The Incredibles, The Matrix, Men In Black, and tons more. He even designed the actual Deep Space Nine space station, so his overall contributions are pretty impressive.
The key thing about Age of Dinosaurs is that it is entirely devoid of any narration or dialogue. The strength of the story relies fully on Delgado’s sequential narrative abilities and he more than delivers an enjoyable and often breathtakingly beautiful story. His art demands that your eye lingers on the page to take in every detail as he balances an insane amount of line work with a sense of simple direction and panel flow. The stories are worth it alone, but you get the added benefit of collecting an art series as well.
The single issues don’t cost too much and the series isn’t the hardest to find. That being said, because the single issues aren’t too pricey they actually become sort of rare. A lot of retailers will just dump these books into cheap quarter bins, so you might have to do some hunting. There were trades made for the first two runs, however there is an Age of Reptiles Omnibus that collects all three runs that Dark Horse released back in 2011. The problem with this collection though is that while it’s only $24.99 for 400 pages (that’s actually a fantastic deal), the Dark Horse Omnibus format shrinks the pages down to 6”x9”.
I believe that to be a crime considering you lose a lot of the finer detail in the artwork and this series is meant to be oversized, much like the Geof Darrow drawn runs of Big Guy and Hard Boiled. Plus an eight page short story titled The Body was published in Dark Horse Presents #5 fairly recently, so the Omnibus is not only short but it’s incomplete now.
I definitely recommend hunting down the original issues and trades to enjoy the artwork to the fullest extent, and the single issues should be fairly cheap if you’re willing to put the work in to hunt them down.