Wednesday, June 10, 2015

A World of Topps' Jurassic Park Comics

Topps, usually known for baseball cards, expanded into the new world (at least to them) of comic books from 1993 to 1998.

One of its biggest properties besides X-Files, Mars Attacks, Dracula, Xena and Zorro was the licensed adaptations of Jurassic Park (and it's sequel, The Lost World: Jurassic Park) and a few original series based on this world of Michael Crichton's!

Jurassic Park

The first series of Jurassic Park comics with 4 issues that came out in June, 1993 to August, 1993, and was an adaptation of the movie written by Walt Simonson and drawn by Gil Kane and George Perez, and covers for the first two issues by Kane and Perez (and a variant on issue #2), and the last two covers were by Dave Cockrum.

Topps also provided "collector's editions"...

....that came polybagged, and had 3 collector's cards with them (hey, it was Topps after all, cards were how they made their living for decades)...

...and they even polybagged a tradepaperback collection of these 4 issues (with a zero issue, and more cards as well!).

Well, it was the 1990s, and bagging and selling comics as collectibles was the rage!

Jurassic Park: Raptor

First up in their original comics were two issues of Jurassic Park: Raptor as the "Official Continuation of the Hit Movie" by Steve Englehart and Armando Gil (with covers by Michael Golden) in November and December, 1993 (just the two issues)...

...and of course, bagged with 3 William Stout trading cards!

Jurassic Park: Raptors Attack

The next original series up was Jurassic Park: Raptors Attack from March to June, 1994 with stories by Steve Englehart, and art by Chaz Truog, and covers by Michael Golden for 4 issues as "the biggest Blockbuster ever continues!".

Still more adventures of Dr. Alan Grant and Dr. Ellie Sattler facing off against dinosaurs!

Really neat, and reprinted in Topps' Jurassic Park Adventures #3-6, while Jurassic Park Adventures #1 and #2 had Jurassic Park: Raptor #1 and #2.

Jurassic Park: Raptors Hijack

After the dinosaurs attacked, then they'd hijack, and that was the following mini-series of 4 issues by Steve Englehart and Neil Vokes...Jurassic Park: Raptors Hijack #1 to #4 from July to November, 1994. does seem like they are just cloning these books as they go along (but, go with it, as cloning dinosaurs was the theme of the movie....), and these tales were reprinted in Jurassic Park Adventures #6 to #10.

Jurassic Park Annual

Jurassic Park had it's one and only annual (with Jurassic Park Annual #1) in May of 1995, with 2 all-new stories and art by Bob Almond, Neil Garrett Jr., Michael Golden, Ed Murr, Andrew Pepoy, Claude St. Aubin and Renee Witterstaetter...

...and, at this time, the writing was beginning to show up on the cave walls....

...but, never count a Velociraptor or a Tyrannosaurus Rex out at any time, as they return more than Jason did in Friday the 13th (also a property used by Topps Comics!).

Return To Jurassic Park

A slightly new title was made to the new series of Return To Jurassic Park that started in April of 1995 and ran nine issues until February of 1996.

Issues #1 to #4 of Return to Jurassic Park were done by Steve Englehart and Joe Staton, Return to Jurassic Park #5 through #8 were by Tom & Mary Bierbaum and Armando Gil with the storyline of "Heirs To Thunder"...

...then Return to Jurassic Park #9, the final issue of this run of the series, which came out in February, 1996, was a "Jurassic Jam" issue, featuring work by writers Keith Giffen, Renee Witterstaetter and Dwight Zimmerman and a dinosaur-sized set of talented artists including Aaron Lopresti, Adam Hughes, Brian Stelfreeze, Cully Hammer, George Perez, Jason Pearson, Jeff Butler, John Byrne, June Brigman, Kelly Freas, Kerry Gammill, Kevin Maguire, Mike Docherty, Mike Zeck, Mitch O'Connell, Pat Broderick, Paul Chadwick, Paul Gulacy, Rafael Kayanan, Ron Lim, and Walter Simonson and a cover by John Bolton!

The Lost World: Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park had a sequel in 1997 called The Lost World: Jurassic Park, set four years after the original movie, and it dealt with more dinosaurs (as well as the return of Ian Malcolm) to deal with the mistakes made when John Hammond unleashed these cloned dinosaurs on the world as the Bowman family dealt with new threats off the coast of Central America (and Peter Ludlow, the nephew of John Hammond), tried to take over InGen (the parent company that started this mess) and the dinosaurs.

This time around, for the comic series of The Lost World: Jurassic Park (May to August, 1997), Walt Simonson provided the covers, Don McGregor did the comic writing, and the art was provided by Jeff Butler for The Lost World: Jurassic Park #1 and #2, and by Claude St. Aubin for The Lost World: Jurassic Park #3 and #4.

Also added this time around were photo cover variants for the issues....but, soon after this, Topps Comics was as dead as the dinosaurs.

IDW To The Rescue

Still, IDW Publishing got the rights to Jurassic Park, and it made tradepaperback collecting these series...Classic Jurassic Park #1 has Jurassic Park #1 to #4Classic Jurassic Park #2: Raptors Revenge has Jurassic Park #0, Jurassic Park; Raptor #1 and #2, and Jurassic Park: Raptors Attack #1 to #4, Classic Jurassic Park #3: Amazon Adventure! has Jurassic Park Annual #1, and Jurassic Park: Raptors Hijack #1 to #4, Classic Jurassic Park #4: Return to Jurassic Park Part 1 has Return to Jurassic Park #1 to #4, and Classic Jurassic Park #5: Return to Jurassic Park Part 2 has Return to Jurassic Park #5 to #9.

IDW has even made its own adaptations as well, continuing on the work started by Topps, and continuing the hard work to resurrect dinosaurs, with its own 5 issue Jurassic Park series from June to October, 2010 (by Bob Schrek and Nate Van Dyke), 5 issues of Jurassic Park: Dangerous Games from September, 2011 to January, 2012 (by Erik Bear and Jorge Jimenez), and 4 issues of Jurassic Park: The Devils In The Desert from January to April, 2011 (by John Byrne) ....when will they ever learn not to clone things from left behind DNA?

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