2000 AD’s flagrantly plagiarised Brontosaurus

October 18, 2012

Another blast from the past:

Like the recent Compsognathus, this is a card from the “Flesh” card-game that was printed across several progs (issues) of the comic 2000 AD in 1977. This one is from the back cover of Prog 10. (Click through the picture for the whole back cover.)

What’s interesting about this one is how very flagrant a rip-off it is of Rudolph Zallinger’s 1960 painting of Brontosaurus being attacked by Allosaurus:

I know this painting best from Dinosaurs and other Prehistoric Reptiles, a 1966 book that I had as a boy, and which I believe is the same thing as the Giant Golden Book of Dinosaurs. Here is a high-resolution scan of my copy of that book, pages 24-25. (Click through for 5472 by 3669 version.)

And while I’m here, I may as well throw in my scan of the “Brachiosaurus” (i.e. Giraffatitan)on pages 20-21. (Click through for 5431 by 3162 version.)

I will leave it to others to point out which other classic piece of sauropod art this one plagiarises.

14 Responses to “2000 AD’s flagrantly plagiarised Brontosaurus

  1. “Nobody will recognize it if we color it like a giraffe!”

    Wait — is that a giraffish mane on the sauropod???

  2. Vertebrat Says:

    I think artists usually call this sort of thing “derivative”, and reserve “plagiarised” for the strict sense. (Artists traditionally consider all art derivative to some degree, so they’re reluctant to condemn that too strongly.)

  3. Bj Nicholls Says:

    Heavens! My faith in the absolute originality of comic book dinosaur illustrations is shattered!

    But I now have faith that no matter how trivial or old, no mashup “plagiarism” will go unnoticed. “Ascent of Man” plagiarists, I’m lookin’ a YOU!

  4. Mark Robinson Says:

    Plagiarised, derivative, inspired by, tip-of-the-hat, homage – it’s all a matter of perspective!

  5. Matt Wedel Says:

    You’re going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.

    Except that, no, this is pretty much a straight-up ripoff. I do like how the 2000AD Allosaurus has its hands around the sauropod’s neck, as if it is giving it a hug. A terminal hug, but still.

  6. LaMinda Says:

    From where I sit, that Giraffatitan scene somewhat resembles Charles Knight’s swamp-dwelling Brontosaurus: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3e/Pasta-Brontosaurus.jpg

  7. Mike Taylor Says:

    It does resemble Knight’s Brontosaurus somewhat — but not as closely as it resembles another classic piece of palaeo-art.

  8. John Scanlon, FCD Says:

    Sauropod-neck-biting scenes always remind me of p30-31 in the first dinosaur book I owned (one of several books published the year I was born that I always owned and never shared with older sibs; a good system!), the Collins/Nugget Dinosaurs of the Earth (1964). The artist on that book (Sol Korby) blatantly ripped off Knight, Zallinger and others, and had some problems with geometry and perspective, but for the first half of my life that was what dinosaurs looked like.

    Korby’s theft of the scenes shown above spreads over pages 28-31, but only the actual neck-bite is shown here.

  9. John Scanlon, FCD Says:

    Apologies for italics-tag fail.

  10. John Scanlon, FCD Says:

    But damn, that was a quick fix.

  11. Mike Taylor Says:

    Yes, I too grew up on Dinosaurs of the Earth. I was delighted a couple of years ago when my sister found a second-hand copy somewhere and gave it to me. I well remember the neck-biting scene you mention. At least it was better than The How and Why Wonder Book of Dinosaurs.

  12. Don Cox Says:

    I started with “So Long Ago” by E Boyd Smith, which covers not just dinosaurs but the whole history of metazoa.

    Why did those dinosaurs have such long necks? Answer – so they could spot the Allosaurs from a long way off. The higher your eyes, the further you can see.

  13. David Price Says:

    Yes I suppose you could debate whether this was “plagiarized.” Ummm what do you call it when you scan a copyrighted book and reproduce it on your blog, I wonder?

  14. Mike Taylor Says:

    I would call it copyright violation, but exceptions exist in copyright law for the purposes of critique.

    Note that Plagiarism is nothing to do with copyright.

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