Thursday, July 2, 2009

When Good Comics Become Bad Cartoons

Another one of the best comic books that you've probably never heard of is "Xenozioc Tales" by Mark Schultz. Set on an earth of the far future that had suffered environmental ruin and then been reclaimed by dinosaurs, it centered on the adventures of Jack Tenrec, who modified old cadillacs to run without oil, and his love interest, Hannah Dundee. But the best part was Schultz's beautifully detailed artwork (as you can see at left), with its Frank Frazetta and Al Williamson resonances. It took Mark Schultz so long to draw the book in this way, however, that only 14 issues were ever published, all in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
These comic books were originally published in black and white. But to bring them to a larger audience, they were later published under a different, and perhaps more approachable title, "Cadillacs and Dinosaurs." And it was under this name that a heavily hyped but truly terrible saturday morning cartoon was aired on CBS in 1993-1994. As you can see if you watch the one minute intro embedded below, the cartoon was devoid of any of the comic book's trademark lavish artwork. Mercifully, it lasted only 13 episodes. Though I saw the accompanying toy line languish in bulk on store shelves for well over a year afterward. 

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