200 Words with Paul Dini #25 – Montauking About Monsters

August 7, 2008

“What do you think of The Monster?”

I’ve been asked that question a lot lately. The monster in question is the waterlogged carnivore that washed up on Long Island a few weeks ago. Dubbed “The Montauk Monster” the rotting mammal has been described in such Barnumesque terms as a hawk-billed rodent, a shell-less turtle, or a sea-going form of chupacabra. I’ve seen pictures of the creature, which, if not a pure creation of photoshop, looks like a hairless raccoon carcass with an exposed nasal bone. Paradoxically, while questions concerning the monster’s origin continue to devour headlines, far less attention is being paid to the more interesting discoveries now taking place in the animal world. The world’s smallest snake, just under four inches long, was recently found on Barbados. Last week naturalists revealed the presence of 125,000 previously unknown gorillas in Central Africa. Impressive as those findings are, there’s something about the word “monster” that sparks fantastic images of creatures that lie just beyond the world we know. We humans have always craved our dragons and unicorns, never mind their mundane origins. So when people ask me “What do you think of The Monster?” I just smile and say: “Incredible!”


Paul Dini is the Emmy and Eisner Award winning writer of Batman: The Animated Series,Superman: The Animated Series, Detective Comics, Countdown among many, many other things. You can find him online at either kingofbreakfast.livejournal.com or http://www.jinglebelle.com/.



  1. Looks like a baby Tokka from TMNT II: The Secret of the Ooze. Thing is peculiar looking. I love how nowadays whenever a curious pic like this pops up, you can find forty different blogs telling you that viral marketing is suspect. Okay – whatever your selling, I’ll take two.

  2. personally, i think it’s a weather balloon.

  3. The gorilla news was cool…but then you find out that the gorilla’s habitats logging rights have been sold for years, and logging was the reason for the exploration…. the news not so cool.

  4. Wait, you’re telling me they discovered Gorilla City???

  5. "There are more things in heaven and earth than your philosophy dreams of, O Horatio"

    Ain’t it the truth.

  6. I used to visit Mantauk and the Haptons. BELIEVE ME! There are wierder creatures than that prowling the bars there at 2:30 AM!