What happens when a well-respected paleontologist and two science artists create a book about monsters? You get Cryptozoologicon, a brilliant, funny book that conjures up the magic of your favorite cryptids, from chupacabra to the yeti, while also subjecting them to scientific scrutiny. This is perhaps the greatest, and most beautifully illustrated, work of speculative evolutionary biology you'll ever read.
What's so fascinating about this book, written by paleontologist Darren Naish, and artists John Conway and C.M. Kosemen, is that it respects both the legends behind these monsters and the science that debunks them. It's a complicated merger between speculative fiction and scientific analysis, which the group also showcased in their previous collaboration, All Yesterdays. In that book, the group explored new directions in how to depict ancient animals, with often mind-blowing results. With Cryptozoologicon, they are trying something more speculative still. They've put together an extensive collection of cryptids from around the world, drawn them in gorgeous panels, and provided both a scientific debunkery as well as an enthusiastic, fictional endorsement of the creature's existence.