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Webcomic / Dawn of Time

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Dawn of Time is a webcomic by Michael Stearns. 100 million years ago, when dinosaurs ruled the earth, there was a young cavewoman named Dawn. Armed only with her determination and only a little common sense, Dawn sets out to make her way in the savage wild. Along the way, she meets and befriends a big, friendly triceratops named Blue, as well as a time traveler named Mantell. Things kind of snowball from there.

In July 2011 Stearns announced that he was putting the comic on indefinite hiatus due to other commitments.


Dawn of Time provides examples of the following tropes:

  • All of the Other Reindeer: In Blue's backstory it's shown that he hatched among a clutch of Protoceratops. Lampshaded by the title of the chapter: "The Ugly Protoceratops".
  • Anachronism Stew: The comic shows organisms from across the Mesozoic and even humans and Ice Age mammals all living in the middle Cretaceous.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The final comic before the hiatus is of this nature.
  • Artistic License – Paleontology: This is on purpose so "dinosaurs read as clearly as possible." Averted here. Also averted with ground-hunting azhdarchid pterosaurs and a more bird-like view of the hypothetical "dinosauroids".
  • Baleful Polymorph: A merman who saves Dawn from drowning appears to be attempting to turn her into a mermaid to join his little undersea harem, but she rejects it. A giant nautiloid attacks their ship immediately after.
  • Big Damn Heroes
    • Dawn and Blue return from the future to rescue Dawn from the past.
    • Blue does this in his backstory and finally gains the friendship of his Protoceratops foster sibling by saving him from a Velociraptor.
  • Blood Lust: Dawn acquires a taste for blood after being covered with it.
  • The Cavalry: The elephant god saves Dawn from the castle guards. The dinosauroids also fulfill this trope at around the same time by Storming the Castle.
  • Feathered Fiend
    • The dromaeosaurids are initially (intentionally) shown unfeathered. A feathered dinosaur shows up later in the comic, and the Velociraptor in Blue's backstory is also feathered.
    • Averted by the dinosauroids, who worship Dawn and aid the heroes.
  • King of the Dinosaurs: In Chapter 3, Dawn, Mantell, and Blue get chased by a Tyrannosaurus that tries to eat them.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Dawn, who steals a mirror, a brush, etc. And repeatedly Mantell's hat!
  • Mind Screw: The entire time traveling storyline, including Owen's plan to retcon his aging and Dawn getting sent into the future and then returning to save herself.
  • Nice Hat: Mantell's hat, which Dawn loves to steal. This guy uses those exact words.
  • Nobody Here but Us Statues: Blue, hiding from pursuit in a Victorian dinosaur park. Ironically, Blue is the only "statue" that looks remotely accurate according to current knowledge of dinosaurs.
  • Stock Dinosaurs: Played straight and averted. Fan-favorites like Tyrannosaurus rex and Triceratops make appearances, but so do less well known species like Pachyrhinosaurus and Sauropelta.
  • Storming the Castle: The dinosauroids enlist the help of pterosaurs and use Blue as a wrecking ball to do this in order to save Dawn. After the dinosauroid chief is killed, Dawn leads the surviving dinosauroids on a second charge.
  • Symbol Swearing: Not that whatever Dawn's saying is ever intelligible, but when she swears, we know it.
  • Take That!: To Dr. Horner's hypothesis that Tyrannosaurus rex was an obligate scavenger. Dr. Horner and Dr. Bakker go into the past to investigate, and, predictably, Dr. Horner gets eaten when he tries to show that T. rex would not be interested in live prey.
  • Too Dumb to Live
    • Dawn herself at the start of the comic. (Which is a little odd, as her adoptive parents later mention that it wasn't uncommon for her to leave home for a few days. How did she feed herself during those times? Or did she just go hungry?)
    • Dr. Horner. Yes, no doubt the T. rex was just a cowardly scavenger....