Age of Reptiles: Ancient EqyptiansThe wordless graphic novel can be a tough read for some people. Without words, the artist needs to focus on their art and storytelling in order to create a well thought out story. Storyboard and comic artist Richard Delgado has effectively combined the two for his Age of Reptile series, which continues in his new graphic novel Ancient Egyptians.

This story takes readers back in time to when dinosaurs roamed the jungles of Egypt. The comic’s anti-hero is the Spinosaurus, a loner who settles into a new land populated by vicious creatures in a constant battle for survival. Among them are the enormous Paralititans and the sneaky Carcharodontosaurus, always at each other’s throats for food or vengeance. While trying to avoid the bickering packs, the Spinosaurus discovers his female counterpart, leading the two to create a new crop of dinos. But in this wild world of survival, will the new couple live to see the next day?

What makes Delgado’s Age of Reptiles series amazing is how he combines art and story. Since the graphic novel contains no dialogue of any kind, Delgado must communicate the story, setting, and characters entirely through the art. His experience working on storyboards and character designs for TV shows and movies (such as The Incredibles and Wall-E) is evident in this area, as he is easily able to capture the emotions and movement of his characters. But it is Delgado’s capability to create a narrative that flows from one panel to the next that makes this book succeed.

Delgado’s color choices also enhance his creatures’ emotions and environments. Because each page is filled with many creatures, Delgado needs his main characters to stand out, especially if they are not the same sex or age. His male Spinosaurus is a dark scaly green while his female is a mixture of pinks, oranges, and reds. The Paralititans are huge maroon brutes, but their children are a lime green color. His characters are not the only colorful objects on the page. The landscape is a colorful jungle filled with green vines, blue water, and rocky tan deserts. Delgado continues to use color for his action and dramatic scenes to express the emotion that the characters or the readers may experience. In one heart wrenching moment, an entire scene of death is depicted in only deep red hues. 

Due to its graphic violence and sophisticated storytelling, Age of Reptiles: Ancient Egyptians would attract an older audience, especially young adults. The author has included a few of his essays based on his influences and experiences within his line of work and his personal life. Richard Delgado is a devoted artist who has worked hard on his creations, aiming to provide readers with a story filled with action and emotion to keep them entertained. If graphic novel or comic readers are looking for a good story or a different type of read, they may be drawn to this series of survival.

Age of Reptiles: Ancient Egyptians
by Richard Delgado
ISBN: 9781630083601
Dark Horse, 2016

  • Gloria

    | She/Her Children's Librarian, Elmont Memorial Library

    Gloria is a full-time children’s librarian at the Elmont Memorial Library in Long Island, New York where she runs a monthly STEAM program, a graphic novel book club, and storytime for preschoolers. During her free time, she is found reading anything and everything from the classics, to poetry, to the newest best seller. Her other interests include writing, online games, exploring new areas in her home state, and spending time with friends, family, and colleagues. She has also written articles and reviews for the website Cosplay, Comics, and Geek Culture in Libraries and on her personal Goodreads page.

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