The Indie Index – Review – Sharkasaurus
Sharkasaurus is a book that delivers on it’s title and so much more. It’s creationists vs paleontologists vs a prehistoric shark out for blood on a golf course…yes a golf course!
Creator, writer, and director Spencer Estabrooks brought Sharkasaurus to life in a 2014 short film. It’s tremor meets jaws premise traveled the festival circuit with bloody success. Estabrooks was not fulfilled by this great short film. His imagination was beyond the budget of a short film and he wanted to tell a bigger story, with a bigger and more diverse cast, and of course with a bigger Sharkasaurus.
In June 2016 Estabrooks launched a Kickstarter to fund a Sharkasaurus graphic novel with Tyler Jenkins (Peter Panzerfaust). It didn’t take long for the book to be funded and they moved full steam ahead with the project. Unfortunately, due to Jenkins’ success on the Matt Kindt series Grass Kings, he was unable to continue working on Sharkasaurus. No doubt, many backers were sad to see him go, but Estabrooks, with the help of Jenkins, secured a worthy replacement – Jethro Morales (Green Hornet, Army of Darkness/Vampirella).
Two things have benefitted Sharkasaurus since it’s live action debut: time and the comic medium.
Time has allowed Estabrooks to hone his craft as a story teller and the pace of Sharkasaurus doesn’t let up with the action, gore, and laughs. The wit his character’s boast is zany and brilliant and the violence he sets upon them is brutal and hilarious where no character is safe from Sharkasaurus’ wrath.
The comic medium has allowed Estabrooks to expand his vision. The desert setting remains but the story is now transported to a creationist’s themed golf course. The elements a themed golf course brings to the action and comedy creates a fantastic sandbox for Morales to play in. From the detail of Sharkasaurus impaling victims (including the elderly!) to flaming airborne gophers setting a romantic mood, Morales steps up and brings an energy in his line work that matches Estabrooks
This all comes to life with Adriano Augusto colours. With it’s desert backdrop and a story that preaches death it resurrected memories of Matt Hollingsworth’s and Pamela Rambo’s amazing work on Preacher. The colours are vibrant and bring humour and gusto to Sharkasaurus’ many kills.
This could have been a by the numbers B-grade monster story. But Estabrooks, Morales, and Augusto have raised the bar and created an exhilarating story with madcap antics in a beautifully illustrated book.