Suspended Animation

Michael Vance - Mark Allen
Michael Vance Books

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Xenozoic Tales

Xeno      I really like dinosaurs. I think I've mentioned that in this column, before. And, I enjoy well-done comic book material on dinosaurs. So, allow me to introduce you to Xenozoic Tales; for my money, probably the best series ever done on the subject, from both art and storytelling standpoints.

      Xenozoic Tales is set 600 years in the future, where dinos roam once more, and souped-up automobiles race alongside them. An odd combination, to be sure, but creator/writer/artist Mark Schultz makes it all work. Main characters Jack Tenrec (expert mechanic and all-around adventurer) and Hannah Dundee are as interesting as any comic characters out there today, and the storylines are fresh and engaging.

      While an above-average storyteller, Schultz's real strength lies in his artwork. He is a student of the Golden Age artists, and it shows. His mastery of the human form, mechanical structure, landscape, and, of course, dinosaur physiology, are mutually impressive.

      If it were possible for anyone to improve upon the work of such Golden Age greats as Al Williamson, Lou Fine or Wally Wood, Schultz would be the one to do so.The only snag is that Tales is an ongoing story, the newest issue of which came out over a year ago.

Xeno      Schultz's production has ground to a halt, and whether the entire yarn will ever see the light of day is unclear, but the existing material is well worth searching out.

      Xenozoic Tales is highly recommended for any and all who enjoy great storytelling and art. All are affordable, but early issues may be difficult to find.

      The series was reprinted under Marvel Comics Epic imprint in the early '90's with the title Cadillacs and Dinosaurs (It even enjoyed a short-lived cartoon series of the same name). Hardcover collections have also been published by Kitchen Sink Press. Try comic shops, comic conventions, and online auctions for best success. Call 1-888-comicbook for the comic shop near you.

      Xenozoic Tales, published by Kitchen Sink Press, 32 pages, $2.95.

      Review by Mark Allen


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