Dinosaur Sanctuary

Par Magdalena Nitchi

Dinosaur Sanctuary est un nouveau manga merveilleusement pur qui s’appuie sur une prémisse familière : les dinosaures sont vivants et la manipulation génétique a permis aux humains de ramener une grande variété d’espèces à la vie. Cependant, Dinosaur Sanctuary aborde cette situation sous un angle nouveau. L’action se déroule des décennies dans l’avenir, après qu’un incident semblable à celui de Jurassic Park ait déjà eu lieu à Enoshima Dinoland, diminuant la popularité d’autres parcs à thématique de dinosaures.

Le premier volume de Dinosaur Sanctuary suit Suma Suzume, une gardienne de dinosaures débutante, qui est ravie de travailler pour le parc Dinoland, même si ce dernier est défaillant. Elle a toujours admiré les dinosaures et souhaite susciter de nouveau l’intérêt du public envers eux. Son enthousiasme est absolument adorable, et sa détermination correspond exactement à ce que j’attendais d’une protagoniste de ce genre de manga. Même si ce premier volume a invoqué une tragédie concernant son père qui sera certainement importante plus tard, le manga se concentre vraiment sur le fonctionnement du parc et la rencontre de Suzume avec tous les dinosaures.

J’ai été bluffée par les illustrations de ce livre. Le travail d’Itaru Kinoshita est incroyable et tient compte clairement des recherches paléontologiques actuelles. Il est impressionnant que Kinoshita ait pu dessiner un théropode aussi fort et majestueux d’une manière si douce. La personnalité des dinosaures est évidente dans les illustrations. Je pense que mon dinosaure préféré est Yuki, une Gigantosaurus qui semble intimidante mais qui est secrètement gâtée par les dinokeepers.

J’ai aussi apprécié les interviews de Shin-Ichi Fujiwara à la fin de chaque chapitre du manga. En tant que consultant paléontologique, ses contributions sont inestimables. Je n’aurais jamais imaginé qu’un tricératops puisse s’asseoir comme un chat! Les commentaires de Fujiwara soulignent la nature spéculative de ce manga. Bien qu’il y ait eu de grands progrès dans la paléontologie récemment, ce domaine de recherche reste toujours très spéculatif, avec des théories sur le comportement des dinosaures principalement basées sur des animaux vivants aujourd’hui.
Si vous aviez ne serait-ce qu’un petit intérêt pour les dinosaures, je vous conseille ce premier volume de Dinosaur Sanctuary. Je suis déjà émotionnellement investie dans le bien-être des dinosaures du parc, et j’attends avec impatience le prochain tome, qui sera disponible en mars 2023.

Bones and All

By Olivia Shan

Bones and All is a deliciously deceiving film. Its poster—a classic heart-shaped silhouette of our two main leads—is the epitome of twee and sentimentality. The fact that Hollywood’s favourite heartthrob Timothee Chalamet plays Lee, the mysterious romantic interest of Maren, our teenage female protagonist, compounds this expectation. But be warned; those who go into Guadagnino’s latest film anticipating the likes of a light-hearted quirky rom-com are sure to come out of it shaken, slightly repulsed, and hopefully—as is my case—thrilled beyond belief.

Taylor Russell plays Maren, a young girl who runs away from home to find her long-lost mother. Like any other self-respecting teen, she hides a secret: all her life, she has had an insatiable hunger for human flesh. While journeying across state lines, she and her new companion Lee meet many of their own kind and must reckon with how they can fit into some kind of societal norm while living with these undeniable urges.

Like many of Guadagnino’s other movies, Bones and All, despite its jagged, quasi-supernatural edges, is ultimately an exploration of the limits of romantic love and how all of its great highs and lows are anchored by a crushing fear of loneliness. The film is also a delightful genre-bender: it presents a literal (and physical) deconstruction of the quintessential teen romance movie, infused with graphic body horror and elements of an 80s road trip movie. Most impressive to me is its bold, discerning cinematic eye, which brings you up and close during its most heart-stopping scenes, making the viewing experience sensorial and deeply memorable. While romantic in nature, Bones and All leaves no room for romanticizing—you are forced to embrace the most monstrous and the grotesque sides of its characters while still loving the parts of them that remain so familiar, so human.

Screenwriter David Kajganich (who seems to have a writerly penchant for cannibalism, considering his previous work with The Terror) has deftly adapted Camille DeAngelis’s original YA romance onto the big screen, and his work cannot be understated. A less talented writer-director team would not have been able to produce a film that is nearly as oddly endearing, nuanced, and raw. 

Down Town

By Magdalena Nitchi

Based on the Dresden Files series, Down Town is a six-issue graphic novel taking place just after the events of White Night. The story follows Dresden and his new apprentice, Molly Carpenter, as they attempt to solve a string of grisly murders committed by a massive magical creature. However, the case gets complicated when Dresden is forced to team up with Johnny Marcone—a mob boss who has begun to interfere in supernatural affairs—to track down the murderous monster and the malicious wizard animating it.

Like all of the Dresden Files graphic novels I’ve managed to get my hands on, this comic is incredibly well put-together. Carlos Gomez is a master of drawing action scenes, and the covers and other full-page spreads used to transition between issues are perfect. Noir mystery stories have always seemed to me to be well-suited to comics, but it takes a really talented team to create something this compelling.

As much as I enjoyed the illustrations, Molly was the highlight of this book for me. With her piercings, tattoos, and coloured hair, she stands out visually from the majority of the characters; Butcher’s original text descriptions cannot capture the pop of this character nearly as well. Molly’s compassion and curiosity are a refreshing change from Dresden’s cynicism, and she can stand up to Dresden and work on her own. I also appreciate that even though she is an apprentice, Dresden does not totally dismiss her as weak or incapable. Her emotional intelligence and ability to create mind-altering spells are an excellent complement to Dresden’s more bombastic powers. Butcher makes sure to emphasize that Molly is just as powerful as Dresden; she is simply less experienced in magical combat.

While I’m not sure how to feel about the monster turning out to be a golem—an element of Jewish folklore that has been appropriated and misused by many fantasy authors—I know that golems were a part of the Dresden Files canon years before this comic was ever published. I cannot blame co-writer Mike Powers for going along with this idea, but in the future, I would appreciate seeing cultural folklore elements handled with more care.

Overall, Down Town is perfect for anyone who wants an action-packed fantasy mystery. While the story is graphic at times, the violence only emphasizes the stakes. Despitemy minor criticisms, the Dresden Files will always hold a special place in my heart, and these graphic novels are an excellent addition to the main series.