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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

Valley of the Dinosaurs: The Temple of Nepa-Talu "The Temple of Nepa-Talu"
Valley of the Dinosaurs #8 (Charlton)
Art and story: Fred Himes
June 1976


The Butlers build a new hot-air balloon.


Story Summary


The Butlers build a new hot-air balloon and Katie and Greg, along with Digger and Glump, soon find themselves accidentally aloft in it. An angry flock of Pteranodons attacks the balloon, bursting it and sending it crashing to the ground. John and Lok witness the event and race through the jungle to rescue them.


Our crashed heroes survive, of course, and Greg brashly tries to lead them back home. But they instead come upon the ruins of an ancient city.




Didja Know?


"The Temple of Nepa-Talu" is an 11-page story appearing in Valley of the Dinosaurs #8.


Although this part of the story (Part 1) is called "The Temple of Nepa-Talu", the temple does not really play a role until Part 2, "Secret of Nepa-Talu".


Didja Notice?


On page 1, we see what may be a Pteranodon and Stegosaurus, along with an unknown theropod. The theropod has four claws on its forelimbs, so it may be a ceratosaur. "Secret of Nepa-Talu" identifies what seems to be the same beast as an Allosaurus, but they had only three-clawed forelimbs.


On page 2, the ceratopsid sleeping at the base of the stone column on which the story's title is "carved" looks like a Protoceratops.


On page 2, the Butlers have finished building a two-wheeled, flat-bed cart. John says that Lok and Gorok are bringing the "classy chassy". "Chassy" should be spelled "chassis". "Classy chassis" is a CB (citizens band) term for a nice truck, but has been appropriated as a somewhat common idiom for a nice car (or even for a woman with a nice body!). It should also be noted that the chassis is the internal framework of a vehicle, which is closer to what the Butlers have already built than to the giant turtle shell gondola Lok and Gorok contribute to the endeavor.


The Butlers build a hot-air balloon in this story. But it seems to ignore that they had previously built one in "What Goes Up". Either that or "What Goes Up" ignores that they built one here! In the aforementioned episode, I asked why don't the Butlers build another balloon after the one there escaped their control? For continuity's sake, we can assume that's what is happening here, with some minor changes in dialog. 


In "What Goes Up", the Butlers built a large wicker basket for the gondola of the balloon. Here, they use a giant turtle shell instead (which actually makes more sense).


The interior of Katie and Greg's sleeping area in the cave, as seen here, is very similar to that seen previously in "Creatures", though Katie seems to be on the opposite side of the partition from Greg this time.
Butler cave
Butler cave in this story Butler cave in "Creatures".


On page 6, panel 3, two sauropods are seen. Something was wrong with the color correction in this panel, as the sauropod in the foreground is half red and half yellow! And on page 7, two sauropods are entirely red!



The pterosaur in the sky on page 7, panel 3 appears to be a Pteranodon.


The Pteranodons that attack the balloon appear to be quite a bit larger than the real beast was in its day.


On page 9, Greg refers to himself as Broadway Greg after making a great shot with a torch hurled at the attacking Pteranodon. This is a reference to the "Broadway Joe" nickname of NFL quarterback Joe Namath, who played pro football in the 1960s through '70s.


As the balloon crashes on page 10, either Katie or Greg asks, "What would the Red Baron do in a case like this?" This refers to the famous WWI German flying ace, Baron Manfred Albrecht von Richthofen, nicknamed the Red Baron for the color of his plane.


On page 11, panel 3, in another anthrocentric example of comic relief, Glump is seen kissing the ground after the crash of the hot-air balloon.


When Katie decrees after the crash that they need to find their way home, Greg proclaims, "They don't call me 'Daniel Boone' for nothing!" This is a reference to the frontiersman known for his exploration of the American frontier in what is now the state of Kentucky.


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