Most people think of Cryptozoology as a study for conspiracy theorists, that it’s a “science” that focuses on animals that don’t actually exist. In the opening page of this pragmatist’s guide to Cryptozoology, Reid Psaltis argues that a more general definition of a “cryptid” is an animal that does not fit into science’s current classifications. He throws out the question of whether or not the animals that are cataloged in the zine as irrelevant. What interests Reid is not whether the Lochness Monster or el Chupacabra exist, but the human behavior around the idea of such creatures. Some of the animals in this book do or have existed, but they’ve all had an impact on our imaginations and our culture.
Reid’s artistic specialty is drawing animals,and its obvious he takes great joy in imagining what each of these animals would actually look like. Each drawing brings these improbable beasts to life! The accompanying texts are a great joy to read, as their language is sharp and playful, and the points Reid brings up are thought-provoking. This is a great read for people who like to wonder “what if…”