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Xenozoic Tales Volume 1 TPB published by Dark Horse Comics
|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, spawned an animated series premiered on CBS, an arcade game from Capcom, a Sega CD video game from Rocket Science Games, action figures, trading cards, candy bars, and a Twilight 2000 system role-playing game, Cadillacs and Dinosaurs. 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.
The original series has been collected multiple times. In 2003, Dark Horse Comics published Xeonozoic Tales Volume 1 on April 23, followed by Volume 2 on July 16, which collected all the stories by Mark Schultz. In November 2010, most of the series, apart from the stories drawn by Steve Stiles, was reprinted in one volume under the title Xenozoic by Flesk Publications. Flesk also released a limited edition hardcover of the book in 2013 after raising funds through Kickstarter. An Artists Edition from IDW Publishing was released in August 2013 and contains oversized reprints of the original art from issues 9 - 14 of the 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 style action-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 called the Grith 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.
- Jack Tenrec - The main protagonist of the comic. He is an old blood mechanic who runs a garage, old bloods are a group of people who repair machines that were leftover from the great cataclysm that forced humanity underground. Despite his gruff behavior he is considered by the people in the City (Formerly Manhattan) in the Sea more than their governors, he falls for the beautiful Wasoon ambassador and scientist Hannah Dundee.
- Hannah Dundee - The second main protagonist of the comic. She is a beautiful scientist and ambassador from Wasoon (Formerly Washington D.C.). She came to the City in the Sea in order to build relations with her people as not many trust them. Over the course of the comics she becomes the love interest of Jack Tenrec.
- Hermes - The third main protagonist of the comic. He is an Allosaurus who Jack raised after his mother was killed by poachers, although he can be vicious to others he is gentle with Jack and Hannah. He first appeared when he saved his beloved master after he was being threatened by one of the Terhunes.
- Mustapha Cairo - The forth main progonist of the comic. He is an engineer who befriends Jack and Hannah after they saved his people and their settlement from a rogue Shivat. He becomes one of their allies in their fights for survival in the post-apocalyptic world overrun by Dinosaurs and Saber Tooth Tigers.
- Hammer Terhune - The main antagonist of the comic. He is an overweight poacher who despises Jack Tenrec indicating that they have met before but on very bad terms. He tries to kill Jack and Hannah many times but he would always fail. He has two brothers named Wrench and Vice.
- Wilhelmina Scharnhorst - The second main antagonist of the comic. She is the leader of the "Moles", a group of people who search the ancient ruins in and under the City in the Sea. She despises the old blood mechanics and believes that they are not but nuisances.
- Hobbs - A shaman for the mysterious humanoid reptiles the Grith. Like them he cannot speak in human language but can communicate telepathically, he is an ally to both Jack and Hannah who are also two of the very few people who the Grith allow themselves to be seen by.
- 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, a fairly common animal.
- 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.
- Hornbill - Parasaurolophus: A peaceful and gentle animal, travels in herds.
- Brontotherium: A large rhinoceros like animal, lives in herds.
- Ginsu Shark: A large and dangerous shark, lives in the sea surrounding the City in the Sea.
- "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.
- "Xenozoic Tales Volume 1 TPB :: Profile :: Dark Horse Comics". Retrieved 14 December 2013.
- "The Art of Mark Schultz: Carbon, New Print and Xenozoic HC by Flesk Publications — Kickstarter". Retrieved 14 December 2013.
- VanderPloeg, Scott. "Mark Schultz's Xenozoic Tales Artist's Edition - Comic Book Daily". Retrieved 14 December 2013.
- "A World Where Car Fan Is a Must". The Los Angeles Times. 1992-06-16. Retrieved 2010-11-13.