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Tommysaurus Rex Paperback – August 18, 2004

4.3 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


TOMMYSAURUS REX was nominated for two Eisner awards in 2005:

Best Graphic Album-New
Best Publication for a Younger Audience


* "TenNapel's colorful illustrations are filled with energy and life."--SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, starred review

"TenNapel is a terrific cartoonist and in fine form here."--BOOKLIST


*"A clever, old-fashioned adventure with some modern twists and a light-hearted tone, this, like TenNapel's previous work, is not to be missed."--BOOKLIST, starred review

*"TenNapel has crafted another rip-roaring adventure with wide audience appeal."
--SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, starred review

Praise for CARDBOARD

* "An exceptionally seamless blend of action and philosophy, two elements that usually do not mix easily; TenNapel handles this masterfully. Utterly brilliant."--KIRKUS, starred review

"A boldly imaginative and ambitious tale."--THE HORN BOOK

"[TenNapel] provides moments of great sweetness and heaps and heaps of bizarre fun, a quality that has become his veritable trademark."--BOOKLIST
--This text refers to the Library Binding edition.

About the Author

Doug TenNapel was raised in the town of Denair, California. In 1994, he created the immensely popular Earthworm Jim. Doug's first graphic novel for Scholastic, GHOSTOPOLIS, was a 2011 ALA Top Ten Great Graphic Novel for Teens, and his follow-up, BAD ISLAND, is a 2012 ALA Great Graphic Novels for Teens as well as one of School Library Journal's Top 10 Graphic Novels of 2011. His most recent graphic novel from Scholastic, CARDBOARD, has been published to critical acclaim. Doug lives in Glendale, California. --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: IMAGE COMICS (August 18, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582403953
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582403953
  • Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 6.5 x 10.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,365,492 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

When I was in 6th grade, I thought I wanted to be an animator. But doing 24 drawings to make a character take two steps across the room was more an act of micro management than an exploration of life. I told stories through movies, video games and television cartoons before finding paradise in the art form of making books.

I'm 6'8" so that makes me stand out of the crowd in a literal sense. My artwork naturally followed suite by coming out a little off center. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to sell out just a little bit more and fit in better with the crowd. If I was happy sticking out I wouldn't spend so much time slouching. But I can no more write different books than I can stop being 6'8".

Once you know that I'm a convinced Christian, married 20 years to the most amazing woman I've ever met and trying to be a good father to four kids that are every bit as miraculously unique as you are, there isn't much more to learn about me. Okay, that and I like newts. Wait, and that I read G.K. Chesterton and smoke a pipe every Sunday afternoon with my friends. Hold on, I also ran two Marathons this year, mostly because I didn't think I could do it. I play loud music from the 70s when I write and listen to lectures while I draw. There's nothing better than ice cream buried in caramel.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Doug TenNapel and Flannery O' Connor have a lot in common. Though they use different genres to get their point across, their message is truly one that uses outlandish characters and situations to bring the tiny barbs of truth that eventually set our hearts free. Tommysaurus Rex is not simply a `boy and his dog' story, it is much, much more. As I read this book for the first time, some of the nuances were lost on me, but as I reread, and looked carefully at the words and the artwork, I realized something was happening on a much larger scale than a boy spending the summer with his grandfather and stumbling across a rare find. There was something more cosmic, more apocalyptic, and grander in scheme that was interwoven into this friendship.

The `Easter Eggs'-both figurative and literal-that are scattered throughout the pages reveal statements about love, faith, redemption, and forgiveness one doesn't often find in a `mere comic book'. Ely's journey is summed up so perfectly by his father when he tells him that a boy does a lot of growing up when he loses a dog. For the theologically minded, Tommysaurus Rex brings questions to bear that might not always be easy to answer, but sure are fun to think about.

In short, Tommysaurus Rex is a great story that keeps getting better every time I read it. Well done, Mr. TenNapel. Creature Tech made me an admirer, Tommysaurus Rex has made me a fan.
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Format: Paperback
Doug TenNapel has done it again!!! From the man who brought us earthworm Jim, the Neverhood, gear, and creature tech comes a book so unforgettable that you have to be crazy not to buy it. This book has it all witty humor, an enchanting story, hidden Easter eggs, poop jokes! But most importantly: the moral in the end of the book. It will make you sad and happy at the very same time. Who knows, maybe you'll even squeeze out a tear or two.... i did. Anyway, Tommy. Is a story about a kid named Ely who loses his dog in a tragic accident and is sent to his grandpa's farm for the summer. There he meats randy and gets of to a bad start with him instantly. Luckily he also finds a friend at the farm, a big and smelly friend who acts suspiciously like his dead dog Tommy. And so begin the series of events that will make more then one person happy. The thing I liked most about Tommysaurus rex was how the bad guy had reasons to do what he did, he wasn't a mindless zombie of a character he had feelings as well, and in the end he was both the ultimate hero, and the ultimate villain.

Ladies, and gentlemen (drum-roll) Tommysaurus Rex!!!!
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Format: Paperback
Doug Tennapel is a man of ideas and while the ideas in Tommysaurus Rex aren't as insane as those in Creature Tech, they do have a heart and soul to them that isn't often seen in comics these days. This is easily a book that children will love - what young boy hasn't dreamt of owning his own dinosaur? (hell I still do) and anyone looking for a simple story will not be dissapointed. It is easy to read and non-offensive with some excellent morals.

Yet at the end I was left wanting more. And after going over the comic again I realised what it was I wanted - I wanted Doug Tennapel to slow down. The pacing, art and the length of this book give off the impression that this book was made in a hurry and I felt it deserved more time. The pacing is lightening quick that the book ends much earlier than you want it to. Events come and go, things just happen with no build up and you want more time with these characters.Most importantly, the pacing of the story doesn't lend much time for the reader to get to know the most important relationship in the book - the relationship between Ely and Tommy. Tennapel has an excellent skill in creating warm and interesting characters that you want to know more about.

The themes covered in the book are also very broad and ambitious and Tennapel is to be commened for tackling them. The themes in Tommy are twice as big as Creature Tech, yet the book is about a third of the size, maybe more.

Again better pacing and more pages would have drawn these themes out rather than making them suddenly appear. Sadly I can't go into all them in detail as part of the the joy of the book is discovering them for yourself, but when two characters openly talk about forgiveness, it's kind of obvious that the theme of forgiveness is going to come up later.
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Format: Paperback
With GEAR, artist/author Doug TenNapel populated his story with talking cats, dogs, and mantids. In Creature Tech, an athiest scientist battles an effeminate mad scientist and his legion of demonic cats and space eels. This time around, save the large T-Rex of the novel's title, the story contains only humans. And it is human emotion that TenNapel focuses on his third graphic novel outing.

The story follows Ely, a young boy with youthful energy and a pure heart like we haven't seen since "Leave it to Beaver." He goes to spend the summer on his grandfather's farm after his dog is accidentally run over and from there, his journey begins. He is faced with not just hard farm work, but the taunts of Randy, the bully. After a particularly ruthless prank, Ely stumbles across Tommy, a living, breathing, life-sized Tyrannosaurus Rex who acts a bit like a dog. Ely must then convince the town that his dinosaur is safe.

Fans of Creature Tech's tight drawings and richly developed story may be disappointed upon a first reading. The drawings are looser and less refined than CTech and the story moves along at a break-neck pacing. Upon a second and third reading, the story shines through. This story is less about spectacle and much more about heart.

For those needing a break from superheroes, have finished reading their Bone saga, and are looking for some fine reading and great artwork, then look no further. TenNapel delivers again in his most accessible work to date.
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