Charles R. Knight, history’s second-most influential paleo-artist, rose from his grave in Manhattan today and shambled toward Maryland to pay respect to Gregory S. Paul, recently named the Greatest Paleo-Artist of All Time by an intergalactic committee. Though undead, Knight seemed in good spirits as he dragged his rotting carcass south along the east coast. “I had always thought that I influenced him,” said Knight of Paul, “but it turns out this whole time he was influencing me through some kind of chronological wormhole thought interface that I don’t understand completely.”
Greg Paul recently attacked every working and amateur paleoartist in the world on the Dinosaur Mailing List, essentially calling them parasites who should bow down to him and rely only on his measured, hand-drawn skeletons as reference material while not being careful not to be influenced or inspired by his art. “When I look back at some of my dinosaur restorations, especially things like Leaping Laelaps, it’s hard not to see the GSP influence,” mused Knight while chewing thoughtfully on some poor guy’s brain. “Is this guy a creationist? His frontal lobe is all squishy.” Paul could not be reached for comment, but Metatron did give a press release regarding the event. “It’s about goddamn time,” he said, his angelic voice booming triumphantly.
Metatron shook hands with Knight’s fetid corpse, which instantly turned to ash, vaporized by the awesome holy light emanating from the Voice of Paul. Knight’s ashes swirling helplessly away from the podium, Metatron continued. “Mr. Paul wishes to thank Mr. Knight for making the trip to Maryland and we wish him all the best. We intend to have Mr. Knight’s Allosaurus Feeding on Diplodocus removed from the American Museum of Natural History and replaced by Mr. Paul’s classic and far more accurate Allosaurus fragilis Skeleton in Mid-Stride in Lateral View.”
After the press conference, Metatron ascended back to Heaven and many thought they could see a crazed, paranoid old man peeking out from the closed drapes on the second floor of Mr. Paul’s house. Witnesses also claimed to see a great many cats living in or about the premises. Scott Elyard, a noted Alaskan paleo-artist, added some scope to Mr. Paul’s attacks. “He seems to be irritated that people are using his skeletal drawings as reference material, but then goes out of his way to say that nobody should bother doing their own photographs or measurements because they won’t be nearly as good as his. He’s right, of course.” Where this leads him in his own art, Elyard merely stated, “I’ve given up dinosaurs. Nobody’s as good as His Pauliness, so I’m going into plants instead.”
In addition to his illustrations, Greg Paul is also known for his unique views on dinosaur taxonomy. His recent tome, The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs, completely revised the taxonomy of the ceratopsids, or horned dinosaurs. Where once paleontologists recognized more than half-a-dozen centrosaurine genera, Paul whittled that number down to just one: Centrosaurus. “Well, of course it makes perfect sense,” said Dr. Darren Tanke of the Royal Tyrell Museum of Natural History. “The differences between, say, Styracosaurus and Pachyrhinosaurus are so minor that the average non-specialist would think they were the same animal at first glance.” Asked to elucidate this point, Dr. Tanke continued: “Styracosaurus has a large horn on its nose, but Pachyrhinosaurus doesn’t. Styracosaurus has six elongate spikes on its frill, and Pachyrhinosaurus doesn’t—it only has two short spikes. One species of Pachyrhinosaurus has a sort of unicorn horn in the center of its frill, but Styracosaurus doesn’t. Additionally, Pachyrhinosaurus is almost twice as large as Styracosaurus. So it’s easy to see how the two could be mistaken for one another.”
Greg Paul lives in the Republic of Paulonia in Maryland.