Dino Drac’s Cruel Summer Starts Now!

Dino Drac’s CRUEL SUMMER… has begun!


Consider this my attempt to rediscover the joys of summer, because I gotta tell ya, it’s been my least favorite season for years now. The heat! The traffic! Those bugs! We spend our youth thinking of summer as a two-month blessing to be our preferred selves, but as adults, it’s just a super muggy version of everyday life.

Course, it only seems that way when we let ourselves get cynical and garbagey. Even for us myrmecophobes who don’t have beach bods to show off, there’s everything from roller coasters to ice cream to the relaxing hum of ten-year-old air conditioners. We can make this shit work.

For the next month or so, I’ll be examining some of the finer points of the summer season, all while throwing in generous dashes of horror. (After all, for people like me, it’s practically Halloween!)

Expect a whole bunch of articles and videos to carry the event, starting with these:

To kick off Dino Drac’s Cruel Summer, I’m doing my first video review since Christmas. Go check out the amazing Talking Cryptkeeper doll from 1993, which is appropriately dressed like a beach bum.

…then hop on over to a new article, wherein I spend a thousand words gushing about the legendary Super Mario Bros. 3 Happy Meal. (Seriously, this was one of the biggest things McDonald’s ever pulled off!)

…and when you’re done with that, check out Dino Drac After Dark, which is back in action after a too-long hiatus. Random videos every day at midnight, along with a great comment section filled with friendly night owls.

Oh, and one more thing:

If you’re still on the fence about summertime, here are five things you can easily do to make the most of it…

#1: Sample a new summer treat!

By “new,” I only mean new to you. I went with an ice cream soda. Ever since Jay mentioned those on our last podcast, they’ve been stuck in my brain.

Just like he suggested, I mixed strawberry ice cream with 7UP. I skipped the syrup and the cherries and whatever else is traditionally in there, but it still tasted heavenly. Made me feel like a goddamned Beach Boy.

#2: Find a dark ride!

Even if you don’t live near any static amusement parks, surely some random traveling carnival will land within reasonable driving distance between now and August?

Your challenge: Locate and go on a dark ride. If riding dark rides isn’t for you, then just stand next to one and take a billion pictures. Trust me, they’re gold on Instagram. When done, reward yourself with cotton candy, because that stuff tastes so much better when you can hear kids screaming about bootleg Pokemon dolls.

#3: Hit some yard sales and flea markets!

Even when I was at my most anti-summer, this was the one pastime that made me appreciate the season. It’s not about what you buy, either. If you can score the Dream Warriors soundtrack on vinyl, great, but it’s really about the miniature adventures.

Winding drives around parts of your city that you’d otherwise never see. Memorably awkward conversations with strangers, usually about board games from 1976. Maybe a pit stop at 7-Eleven. Yard sales and flea markets are how people who don’t like being outside love being outside.

#4: HOLE UP!

Wait for a really, really hot day. Wait until it’s so hot and so disgusting that the very idea of stepping outside repulses you.

Use that day to completely veg out in a darkened room. Close the blinds, crank the air conditioner and order a few pizzas. Binge on trashy movies and/or shark documentaries. Act like it’s some mutant Negaverse version of having the flu.

It sounds dopey, but this was one of my favorite things about summer vacations as a kid. It’s rewarding to live each day like it’ll be your last, but every once in a while, it’s good to treat a day like it just doesn’t fucking matter.

#5: Draw Summer Monsters!

Whenever I’m struggling to come up with a fifth entry for a list, I always resort to crayons.

Grab a bunch and cook up some seasonally-appropriate beasts. You don’t have to be any good at drawing, because as you can see, I’m not. It’s therapeutic, and it’s a great way to pass the time when refreshing the usual six websites is driving you batty.

Thank you for being a part of Dinosaur Dracula’s first annual CRUEL SUMMER.

Get set for frisbees and freakshows.

PS: If you’re viewing Dino Drac on a desktop computer, there are a few extra treats for ya. First is another incredible header from the amazing Jason Week, who also designed this year’s Cruel Summer logo. (Thanks as always, Jason!) Also, look for the little jukebox graphic on the right-side column… Dino Drac’s ancient Summer Jukebox is back!