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Mark Schultz

Xenozoic Tales - known to most as Cadilacs and Dinosaurs, a series that is sorely missed.

Schultz's art arrived fully formed, in the pages of Death Rattle, and then evolved and further improved over the course of 14 issues of this creator-owned series. A mix of the greats - a little Frank Frazetta, some Wally Wood, a healthy dose of Al Williamson, Xenozoic tales was like EC comics' Weird Tales returned, with a continuing cast.

How Schultz arrived at this mastery was not miraculous, but it is unusual. To draw so well, in all manner of definition, composition, storytelling and pacing (and writing!), so early, is unusual. True he worked long, the skill did not suddenly occur, but to look at the early issues, any issue, it was like he was channeling Wood, Frazetta, Krenkel and Williamson.

In a black and white medium, Schultz made the best use of pen and ink, with only the sparse use of tones where needed. Tone in placing greys was often unnecessary due to his fine handling of hatching and similar techniques more common to the late 19th century pen and ink masters, than to comics.

What some may have come to know as Cadilacs and Dinosaurs from the cartoon or Topps adaptations, is really not to be compared to Schultz. Besides Stout's work - an influence on him, the interpretations where not like Mark's work.

Schultz's art in Xenozoic Tales was intentionally black and white - not "open for color". His spotting of blacks and use of lighting and rendering techniques made the work unique in the monthly comic industry of the time. It was also a schedule he could not realistically continue. Such beautiful work, meticulously crafted, took time.

The last issue released was as strong as all those before it and hopefully, his plans to return will be realized.

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