Tracy Ford

San Diego Comic Fest guest Tracy Ford
I have always been interested in dinosaurs. There is not one book, movie or toy that turned me onto dinosaurs. Like many people, I drew dinosaurs when I was a kid, and I continued drawing them to adulthood. After High School (1976) I didn’t know how to get information on dinosaurs and almost gave it up.

In 1978 my parents and I went to the Los Angeles Natural History Museum and I found George Olshevsky’s book, The Archosaurian Taxa (excluding the Crocodylia: Mesozoic Meanderings n. 1, 50pp.). On a fluke I wrote to him. He was in Toronto and that book had an incredible amount of Dinosaur names which I never have heard of. A few months before that I had picked up a children’s book on Dinosaurs and they had a painting of Compsognathus corallestris (a small theropod with flippers) and I asked him about that strange and new animal.

I hadn’t heard from George until months later when it turned out he was then living in San Diego. I would go to the libraries for both of us and copy the articles. After a few years we became good friends and he asked if I’d like to go to the 1984 meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP) that was held at the University of California in Berkeley. He sponsored me and introduced me to his paleontologist friends (Jack Horner, Phil Currie, Bob Bakker, Ralph Molnar, etc). In 1986 George and I went to the Dinosaur Systematic symposium in Drumheller, Alberta, Canada. That was the best symposium I’ve ever been to! I met all the paleontologists that were attending and had made many contacts. It was amazing.

George told me that he was planning on publishing a newsletter on Dinosaurs titled Archosaurian Articulations. That was the first official use of my illustrations. Since then George has written several articles and I’ve supplied the pen and ink illustrations (for his publications as well as the Dinosaur Front line and DinoPress, each a Japanese published magazine). My drawings have appeared in several books and articles. Several palaeontologists over the years had told me that I needed to start writing papers: Jim Kirkland, Ken Carpenter, Darren Tanke, Phil Currie, to name a few. In 1996, at the 2nd Dinofest in Arizona I met Mike Fredericks, who publishes Prehistoric Times. I sat with Mike and asked him if he’d be interested in a series of articles on “How to Draw Dinosaurs” for his magazine: he was all for it and I have been doing it ever since.

I have written several articles, named three dinosaurs (one being the first named dinosaur in California), and I am well known in the field of paleontology. In 2015 I made an updated poster on why I believe theropods lacked lips. I also have published a compilation of my How to Draw Dinosaurs, volume 1, and two generic Dinosaur Skull-a-Day calendars. Early in 2016 I will have my first novel published, Dinosaur Isle. I have two websites: and