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The Xenozoic Tales comic book
|Publisher||Kitchen Sink Press|
|Publication date||February 1987 - October 1996|
|Number of issues||14|
Xenozoic Tales is an alternative comic book by Mark Schultz set in a post-apocalyptic future. Publication began in 1986 with the story "Xenozoic!" included in the comic anthology Death Rattle. This was shortly followed by Xenozoic Tales #1 in February 1987. The comic series ran for 14 issues, and has been reprinted by several publishers, including Kitchen Sink Press, Marvel, and Dark Horse.
The series proved moderately successful, and under the title Cadillacs and Dinosaurs, the series spawned a cartoon series premiered on CBS, an arcade game from Capcom, a home video game from Rocket Science Games, action figures, trading cards, candy bars, and a Twilight 2000 system role-playing game. The comic book reprints from Kitchen Sink and Marvel also used the Cadillacs and Dinosaurs title.
The title "Cadillacs and Dinosaurs" and the likenesses of classic Cadillac automobiles were used with the consent of General Motors, who holds the phrase "Cadillacs and Dinosaurs" as a trademark and has licensed it for the comic, the videogame and the animated series.
Setting and characters
In the storyline, the Earth has been ravaged by pollution and natural disasters of all sorts. To escape this, humanity built vast underground cities in which they lived for approximately 600 years. Upon emerging, the humans found that the world had been reclaimed by previously extinct lifeforms (most spectacularly, dinosaurs). In the new 'Xenozoic' era, technology is extremely limited and those with mechanical skills command a great deal of respect and influence.
The two chief protagonists of the series are mechanic Jack Tenrec and scientist and love interest, Hannah Dundee. Tenrec operates a garage in which he restores cars, particularly Cadillacs. Given that the post-apocalyptic world no longer possesses the ability to refine oil, Tenrec modifies his cars to run on dinosaur guano. These cars, of course, are frequently chased by rampaging dinosaurs in pulp action-style adventure stories.
Other characters include various criminals, politicians, scientists, and inventors who populate the dystopian world of tomorrow. There is also a race of reptilian humanoids who cannot speak in a human language but instead communicate by spelling words with Scrabble tiles. These creatures have befriended Tenrec, and apparently have the ability to communicate telepathically with the dinosaurs. Added into the mix is Hermes, an allosaurus Jack raised, and who basically acts as the most threatening guard dog one could ask for.
- Shivat - Tyrannosaurus Rex: The largest carnivore in the world, sticks to the higher regions. Mates for life. A mutated specimen possessed chameleonic abilities and an ultra tough hide. Genitals are highly prized on the black market.
- Cutter - Allosaurus: A mid sized carnivore, relatively common. Hermes, Jack's half tame dinosaur, is a juvenile.
- Mack - Triceratops / Styracosaurus: Easily startled herd animal.
- Krenkel - Ceratosaurus: Mid sized carnivore whose roar sounds like a car horn.
- Mammoth, Big Woolly, Tusker - Mammoth: Ill tempered elephant. Hannah tried to catch one, and in a rage it followed them back to Jack's garage, before being killed in a run-in with a mack herd.
- Cave Bear: Large and mostly peaceful bear, dangerous if threatened.
- Rockhopper - Unknown animal: Smallish carnivore, non-hostile unless provoked.
- Wahonchuck - Stegosaurus.
- Zeke - Pteranodon: Scavenger which is sensitive to underwater predators. A flock was drawn to the city to warn of attacks on fishing boats by Threshers.
- Thresher - Mosasaur: Large sea hunter, possesses sonar.
- Sambuck - Apatosaurus: Large sauropod, lives in herds and startles easily.
- Harvestman, Cogspider - Giant Opilione: Lives deep underground in huge colonies. If exposed to pressure at sea level, it will slowly die.
- "Interview: Mark Schultz: Faster Than A Speeding Bullet". Trades. Retrieved 2010-11-13.
- Du Brow, Rick (1994-02-12). "Cadillacs Cartoon Enters Brave New World". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-13.
- "Nelvana.com - Legal Notices". Retrieved 22 October 2012.
- "A World Where Car Fan Is a Must". The Los Angeles Times. 1992-06-16. Retrieved 2010-11-13.