Friday, March 10, 2006

Mark Schultz


Mark Schultz is a comics artist best know for his creation Xenozoic Tales, otherwise known as Cadillacs and Dinosaurs, which first appeared in the eighth issue of Death Rattle, a black and white horror anthology comic from Kitchen Sink Press, in the 80′s.

The story was so successful that Schultz went on to produce 14 issues of Xenozoic Tales, many of which were collected into a pair of trade paperbacks from Dark Horse Comics, and several others were published by Kitchen Sink Press. The feature was also made into an animated TV cartoon called Cadillacs and Dinosaurs in the early 90′s.

Schultz draws the aforementioned Cadillacs, and especially dinosaurs, with beautifully rendered pen and ink line and hatching. In addition he draws wonderful lost civilizations, elaborate palaces, beautiful characters and fantastic landscapes.

Initially, Schultz seemed very heavily influenced by Wally Wood, (something I know all too much about ). At some point he was introduced to the beautiful comics work of Al Williamson, and his artistic hero, Alex Raymond, as well as Hal Foster, contemporary of Raymond and one of Wood’s great influences.

It’s fascinating to look through the Xenozoic Tales stories in sequence. Schultz isn’t afraid to wear his influences on his sleeve as he goes through a period of studying the characteristics of these great comics artists, digesting the parts he likes and absorbing those techniques into the developing whole of his own work. Recently, he has shown the influence great pen and ink illustrators like Joseph Clement Coll and Franklin Booth.

I saw some of his original pages for Xenozoic Tales at a comics convention several years ago, and they were rendered at an unbelievable level of detail, including details that you can’t even see in the printed comics.

A book of Schultz’s drawings has been published by Flesk Publications, a terrific small publisher who has also done superb collections of the work of Joseph Clement Coll and Franklin Booth, and has announced new collections of the work of illustrator and realist painter James Bama (who did those wonderful Doc Savage paperback covers), illustrator Bob Peake and contemporary comics artist Steve Rude (see my post on Steve Rude), as well as a second volume of work by Mark Schultz.

There are several trade paperback editions of the Xenozoic Tales stories: Xenozoic Tales Vol 1 After The End TP, Xenozoic Tales Vol 2 The New World TP, Dinosaur Shaman: Nine Tales from the Xenozoic Age, Scenes from the Xenozoic Age, and some under the title Cadillacs and Dinosaurs and Time in Overdrive.

Michael J. Ryan’s Paleoblog has a nice review of the Flesk book of Schultz drawings.

There in no official site for Mark Schultz as far as I know, so the link below points to the gallery on the Flesk Publications site. Schultz also writes comic books and is currently writing the Prince Valiant newspaper strip.

The Flesk site also includes an interview with Schultz.

5 thoughts on “Mark Schultz

  1. John Pawley

    Mark, You and I met at SDCC. I was the guy with the Phillies hat and we discussed the season and the Phils chances… perhaps you remember. I would like to get in touch regarding some art work and a possible commission. Rather than go on here (I’m not sure this will even catch up with you!), I’ll leave it at that and hopefully you’ll get back to me at my email address. Ihope things are going well and Go Phils! John

  2. pocho morrow

    Hello Mark, Just checking out the guest list for the Javits Ctr. Comic Con I will be attending Feb. 6th.
    This will be the first time I will be at a show since
    Gray made it to another realm. I am tearing up at the guest list and all the people Gray and I know and love. Wondering if you will be at the show?
    Was visitng Elli Frazetta not to long ago and found
    out about our dear friend Al Williamson. Do you have his address so I can write a note of support for his
    wife?
    Anyways, thinking of all the great times we had in Allentown, etc. but fond memories of the past keep me glued together! Hear from you soon I hope.
    Love and Peace always,

    POCHO

  3. Earl Dickens

    Mark Schultz has been one of my favorites for 20 years. As an admirer of Frazetta, I can’t help but appreciate the lines and brushstrokes that really add dimension to all of his work. I’ve worked for many years with pen and ink so can appreciate his lush drawings. the richness that can be achieved with a brush and the difference in line weights is what is sorely lacking in todays modern society. It’s ironic that an artist telling the story of mans future, linked with things from our past would be the lone pioneer of this lost artform. I would love to show him some of his artwork that I have colored digitally. Is there a way to contact him? Discretion is observed of course.

  4. Charley Parker Post author

    Earl, Thanks for your comments.

    I don’t have direct contact info for Mark Schultz. The best I can suggest would be to contact him through one of his publishers, perhaps King Features.

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