New Collection of Fossilized Failure in Hugh Murphy's "T-Rex Trying and Trying"

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T-Rex Trying and Trying

When Hugh Murphy's first collection, T-Rex Trying, hit the shelves, I shared it around the office as we all found several of the situations of the "I've got a great big head and little bitty arms" plagued dinosaur to alternate between thought-provoking and hysterical.

T-Rex Trying and Trying is the natural evolution (see what I did there?) of the series, putting our beloved and beleaguered tyrannosaur through even more mundane pitfalls, even as his own life expands to include She-Rex and, inevitably, Wee-Rex. Yes, T-Rex is now the patriarch of a prehistoric family, and they all fall prey to the same... shortcomings.

On the one hand, it's nice to see our friend in more humorous situations. On the other, the joke is something of a one-trick sifrhippus: he can't reach things, and his head gets in the way. Even so, that doesn't stop Murphy from hitting on some more hilarious gems, but the impetus here seems to be more on the development of the relationship -- and how its progress is often impeded by having little bitty arms and a great big head. Sometimes the jokes rely more on the absurdity of the situation than on the inability of T-Rex to function.

Comparing the two books, one can notice a subtle shift in Murphy's style. The original collection of T-Rex Trying had much smoother line work. In T-Rex Trying and Trying, the body of T-Rex becomes more irregularly defined, with more wrinkles and crevices. That's not a shot -- I actually like this new development, as it makes T-Rex look more harried and put-upon.

T-Rex Trying and Trying, ultimately, is more of the same. And that's not a bad thing if you liked the original. I did.

4.0 / 5.0