Dinosaur Comics

Dinosaur Comics

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Dinosaur Comics[1] is a webcomic created by Canadian Ryan North[2] in February 2003. The comic updates every weekday, consisting of the same six panels illustrating a conversation between three dinosaurs, T-Rex, Dromiceiomimus and Utahraptor.


Ryan North registered the domain name qwantz.com on November 19th, 2002. In a 2012 Ask Me Anything thread on Reddit, North stated that the name has the “same secret semantics as xkcd,” whose domain name came from Randall Munroe’s attempt at finding a combination of letters that weren’t already being used. The first Dinosaur Comics strip (shown below) was posted on February 1st, 2003 after North created the six panel layout using a clip art program with posable dinosaurs.

In 2004, Dinosaur Comics began to gain traction in the webcomics community with a review on ComixTalk[5] in April and two separate mentions in the commentary of the webcomic Questionable Content[6][7] later that year. On April 1st, 2005, graphic novelist Warren Ellis named Dinosaur Comics as one of his favorite webcomics on his blog.[8] The following month, it was linked on internet culture blog BoingBoing[9] and in June a Wikiquote[10] page for the series was created. That November, a parody site titled NewsRex[12] was created, mashing up Reuters’ RSS feed with the Dinosaur Comics template (shown below). In December 2005, Dinosaur Comics was named the Most Outstanding Anthropomorphic Comic on About.com’s Web Cartoonist Choice Awards.[11]

In 2011, a fan composed a timeline[18] of the events in the comic. As of 2013, Dinosaur Comics have been discussed on Comic Vine[25], Think Progress[26], Newgrounds[27] and Comic Book Resources[28], among many others. Additionally, creator Ryan North has participated in several Reddit Ask Me Anything threads[24] and has been interviewed by Smithsonian Magazine[29], the Torontoist[30] and Comic Book Resources.[31] Dinosaur Comics updates are available on Facebook[14], Twitter[15], Tumblr[16] and LiveJournal[17] in addition to the Qwantz.com homepage as of August 2013.



A number of other webcomic artists have emulated the Dinosaur Comics art style for their own blogs as well as guest strips on Qwantz including the artists of Wondermark[19], Sam and Fuzzy[20], Obohemia[21] (shown below, left), xkcd[22] (shown below, right) and Hark! A Vagrant.[23]

Machine of Death

In the December 5th, 2005 Dinosaur Comics strip[32] (shown below), T-Rex tells his friends he is going to write a story about a world where everyone knows how to they’re going to die due to a machine that spits out a vague word associated with the cause of their death. Two years later, North began soliciting stories about this machine from unknown authors via message board.[33] In late 2010, after being unable to find a publisher for their completed anthology, he and co-editors Matthew Bennardo and David Malki ! of Wondermark decided to self-publish the book titled Machine of Death.

The editors encouraged fans to purchase the book on October 26th, 2010 in effort to make it Amazon’s #1 bestseller that day.[34] It was successful[35], despite them not spending any money on marketing materials. In November 2010, the group launched a free podcast[38] featuring audio stories from the book, which continued through September 2012. In February 2013, they launched a Kickstarter[36] to create a party game inspired by the stories in the anthology, which raised $556,596, 2420% of its $23,000 goal. In July 2013, a second Machine of Death anthology[37] was released.

To Be or Not To Be

In November 2012, Ryan North created a Kickstarter campaign[39] to fund a choose-your-own-adventure book based on William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. In less than a week, the project raised six times more than its $20,000 goal, finishing at 2900% of that, or $580,905, making it the most-funded publishing campaign of all time.


As of August 2013, Qwantz.com has an Alexa[13] rank of 30,354 in the United States and 109,990 globally.

Search Interest

External References

[1]Dinosaur Comics – Home

[2]Twitter – @ryanqnorth

[3]Wizard – North By T-rex / 06/19/2006

[4]Reddit – qwantz’s answer to “What does ‘qwantz’ mean?”

[5]Comix Talk – Ryan North’s Dinosaur Comics, reviewed by Justin

[6]Questionable Content – It turns out that Ryan North of Dinosaur Comics is even taller than I am, and a hell of nice guy to boot.

[7]Questionable Content – For those of you still stuck at a 9 to five, why not go read Dinosaur Comics after reading QC?

[8]Warren Ellis – My Favourite Webcomics: Dinosaur Comics

[9]BoingBoing – Web Zen: Comics Zen

[10]Wikiquote – Dinosaur Comics

[11]About.com – Web Cartoonists Choice Awards 2005

[12]NewsRex – Archive from November 24th, 2005

[13]Alexa – Qwantz.com Site Info

[14]Facebook – Dinosaur Comics

[15]Twitter – @dinosaurcomics

[16]Tumblr – qwantzfeed

[17]LiveJournal – Dinosaur Comics (syndicated)</a.

[18]Wooo!pedia – Dinosaur Comics Timeline

[19]Dinosaur Comics – guest comic by david malki ! of wondermark!

[20]deviantART – ~samandfuzzy: Dinosaur Comics Guest Strip

[21]Obohemia – ‘Dinosaur Comics’ Tribute

[22]xkcd – Parody Week: Dinosaur Comics

[23]Hark! A Vagrant – Captain My Captain

[24]Reddit – Search Results for “ryan north” in /r/IAmA

[25]Comic Vine – Web Comic Spotlight: 5/30/12: Dinosaur Comics

[26]Think Progress – Dinosaur Comics and Strong Internet Ties

[27]Newgrounds – Dinosaur Comics Thread

[28]Comic Book Resources – The Top 5 Greatest Dinosaur Comics Ever!

[29]Smithsonian Mag – Interview With Ryan North, Creator of Dinosaur Comics

[30]Torontoist – Tall Poppy Interview: Ryan North of Dinosaur Comics

[31]Comic Book Resources – IN-DEPTH: RYAN NORTH

[32]Dinosaur Comics – 12/05/05

[33]Truth and Beauty Bombs – THE MACHINE OF DEATH (predicting)

[34]Machine of Death – MOD-day

[35]ABC News – Indie anthology defies literary odds

[36]Kickstarter – Machine of Death: The Game of Creative Assassination

[37]Goodreads – This Is How You Die: Stories of the Inscrutable, Infallible, Inescapable Machine of Death

[38]Machine of Death – Podcast

[39]Kickstarter –

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