The All-Knowing PHILIPAE
This is a bit of a cheat. This review is for a toy I no longer have. I just parted ways with it a few months ago after having it for most of my life. When I moved into my current apartment this past September I had a lot of things to pack up from my old apartment. I have a tendency to hold onto things and I have a hard time letting go of even the silliest thing. Philipae was not an easy thing to let go of and even as I was putting him in the garbage bag I realized I’m probably gonna regret it one day. I set him on my windowsill and took this pic of him before saying good-bye. That was long before this website idea had ever crossed my mind, I just knew I wanted a pic to remember him by. So now this post will act as a memorial of sorts. As kids Doug and I had a ton of model kits, mostly sports cars but we had some nifty oddities like Darth Vader’s Tie-Fighter and this brontosaurus. I loved this brontosaurus statue and played with him not as if he were a delicate display piece but a peer of the many rubber dinosaurs I owned. I suppose that’s why somewhere along the way he lost both his hind legs. The legs consisted of 2 sides and a foot that was glued on the bottom. I had a couple of the pieces but not all so he remained bipedal and boxed up for many many years.
This is embarrassing to recall and I’m not even sure how it started but one day me and my best friend in high school Greg had decided to root through one of my old toy boxes so we dumped the contents out onto the floor. Two of the boxes inhabitants were this as yet unnamed brontosaurus model kit and a long gangly rubber skeleton that belonged to Doug. We were picking up random toys and for lack of a better word we played with them. We were giving them silly voices and basically doing skits with them. When I picked up the brontosaurus I dubbed him Philipae on the spot and he became a french talk-show host. The skeleton became his band leader that laughed at all of his bad monologue jokes. Other toys would come over and be interviewed by Philipae. Whenever the interviews took a turn for the worse Philipae would mug at the “camera” and shout out his freshly created catch phrase. “Ne pas les jambes!” Which is a bad translation of him yelling ” I don’t have legs!” every time he was fishing for laughs. At the time we thought it was pretty hilarious. It was a silly night, what can I say. Me and Greg continued to use the catch phrase out of context for months and nobody would know what the hell we were talking about.
It was probably a year later that I was doodling cartoon characters in my binder in English class. I would draw pervy little animals saying ridiculous things and then pass them to my friend Robbie Costello in hopes of making him laugh out loud in class. He was a giggly type of guy. What started out as a bunch of random characters like George the beached fish and Adolf the Nazi pig became a running comic strip. I dubbed the strip Costello Island in honor of Robbie and I populated the fictional tropical island with all kinds of crazy characters. Inside the volcano at the center of the island I decided to place a wise old dinosaur and who better to fill that spot than Philipae the 2 legged Brontosaurus talk-show host. As I continued to write the comic the characters evolved and Philipae lost the 2 legged talk show schtick and just became the all-knowing dinosaur that provided advice to the other zany characters. I self published Costello Island for a few years. Strange Adventures even allowed me to sell it through their shop which was awesome. I moved onto another book after a while called TRIP. TRIP starred a girl named Amy who had the ability to “trip” to other dimensions. In a 2 part story that took place in issues 4 an 5 she tripped to Costello Island and I was able to revisit the Costello characters after taking a few years off. I haven’t used the character for anything in a while but he and the rest of the Costello gang are always in the back of my mind ready to go on new adventures should the mood strike me. If you’re interested in checking out Costello Island I have an old crappy website, http://www.costellocomics.50megs.com and I have a few old animations on youtube, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kpIfrRpsB0
Though this old model kit inspired a character that I’ve used for years to come I felt the character was so much more than this broken model kit now so it seemed safe to chuck him out at the time. It’s only been a few months but already I regret disposing of him. Model kit or not, the character of Philipae will live on and keep the name of Brontosaurus alive with him. (You realize they don’t use that name anymore right?) Based strictly on the model kit and none of the nostalgia, I give this guy a 7 out of 10.