April 17, 2009
Right about this time in 2007, the creationist cartoonist Johnny Hart, creator of the “The Wizard of ID” and “B.C.,” passed away. While many people have placed cavemen and dinosaurs together out of ignorance or artistic laziness, Hart truly believed that his cartoon B.C. contained at least a minor reflection of reality (even if it ran against all we have learned from paleontology). That’s why I have mixed feelings about plans to honor Hart by placing dinosaurs, and cavemen, around the city of Binghamton, New York.
According to a report released over the weekend, the city of Binghamton is going to honor Hart, who lived nearby, by putting up 100 five-foot-tall sculptures of a caveman riding Gronk the dinosaur in 2010. (Coincidentally, Hart believed that the world might end in 2010. Maybe cavemen riding dinosaurs are a sign of the Apocalypse.) The sculptures will be painted by selected local artists and sponsored by local businesses. If one catches your eye you can even buy one, although it will set you back about $5,000.
I am glad fans of Hart’s art have found a way to celebrate his work, but honestly if I passed by a sculpture of a caveman riding a dinosaur I would cringe a little. I would rather see a display of some beautifully painted feathered dinosaurs, but that might be a harder sell.
Sign up for our free email newsletter and receive the best stories from Smithsonian.com each week.