Mark Schultz’s Xenozoic Tales Artist’s Edition

Xenozoic Tales is the classic story of a post-apocalyptic future where mankind has retreated to vast subterranean cities to escape a world ravaged by environmental calamities. Centuries later upon emerging from their underground dwellings, they find their civilization is gone―replaced with the most fearsome beasts to ever walk the Earth… Dinosaurs! Mark Schultz delivers an epic adventure tale, one complete with romance and intrigue. Collecting issues 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14 of Xenozoic Tales, the final six chapters (so far), and with Schultz at the peak of his artistic powers.

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As with all AE format material (Artist’s Editions, Artifact Editions, Gallery Editions, Art Editions, Studio Editions, etc), this is a collection of classic comic material and I’ll be reviewing the book and not the story. For a complete list of all current and announced editions, with review links, please visit our Index. Also, see What is an Artist’s Edition and our Artist Index.

Another stunning collection of original art brought full size to the discerning reader, Mark Schultz’s Xenozoic Tales Artist’s Edition is the best presentation of this material to date.

This giant book collects the last six chapters of Xenozoic, and we won’t be reviewing the material here as Flesk has an excellent softcover collection of the entire story that I’ve previously reviewed. Here we’ll be looking at this volume from a packaging perspective, to help determine if this material and presentation are something you’d enjoy.

Mark Schultz hit his stride in these last issues of Kitchen Sink’s Xenozoic Tales, each one better than the last, utilizing that signature dry brush technique. The level of detail on each page is staggering and must be lingered over to fully appreciate. It’s worth noting the lack of corrections: I went back through the book looking for white-out but only found some pasted dialogue.

Schultz provides the introduction, giving some information as to his process, inspiration and artistic heroes including Daniel Smith. The book finishes with a brief bio of Schultz.

In what I believe is a first for Artist’s Editions two cover colour pages are included, showing the inked acetate glued on the page and over the colours so you can experience how Denise Prowell handled the painted covers. Those are included in the rear, along with full pencils and note to the printer about the colours. Wonderful stuff, this.

The book is put together extremely well, sewn to allow any page to lay flat. Superb production all around, holding true to the standard set by the predecessors of this line. Randy Dahlk has done an excellent design job once again; chapter dividers, different end papers and a unified colour scheme enhance this volume of black and white material. I did find it odd that the tale of contents listed page numbers but the book itself contains no page numbers, other than those on the original art.

All in all another stellar Artist’s Edition, but then again I’m a huge fan of Mark Schultz and this is a must for all of his fans. While a high priced item, it meets and exceeds expectation. Available through IDW direct or your local comic shop, providing a nice opportunity to drive people into local c0mic retailers. Hopefully this will spur Schultz on to work on the material.

Mark Schultz Xenozoic Tales Artist Ed HC

from Things From Another World