Saturday, July 16, 2016

Reading Room DEATH RATTLE "Xenozoic!" Conclusion

...actually we haven't seen this...nor will we!
It's a "symbolic" cover, designed to hook you into reading the comic.
And, hoo boy, does it work!
On a post-apocalyptic Earth several centuries from now, a rescue team checks up on a scientific research outpost that went mysteriously silent.
They find one mutilated survivor, and the group splits up to search for others...
Wow!
Now THAT'S an introduction!
Up-and-comer Mark Schultz created, wrote, and illustrated this tribute to dinosaurs in general and EC Comics of the 1950s in particular.
Dennis Kitchen, editor-publisher of Kitchen Sink was so sure of the potential for this series, he didn't even wait to see how the sales were on Death Rattle #8, as shown by this ad in the back of the book...
The book ran for 14 issues, and sold well.
There was also a one-shot 3-D issue adapting earlier stories to the 3-D format.
Problem was that Mark Schultz, like Dave Stevens, Mike Kaluta, Neal Adams, and a number of other creatives, though incredibly-talented, was also exceedingly sloooooowww, so the book went from bi-monthly to quarterly to semi-annually.
Kitchen Sink tried using back-up tales (overseen by Schultz) by other writers and artists while Schultz did the lead stories, but the book always had trouble keeping a regular schedule.
Even with that, the series built up a devoted following and tie-in merchandise like t-shirts, action figures and other goodies were grabbed off comic store shelves as fast as they were stocked.
Marvel's Epic imprint reprinted the early tales in color under the name Cadillacs & Dinosaurs.
Interest from licensees in this version resulted in mainstream media tie-ins including a popular arcade game, home video console games, and an animated tv series...which resulted in its' own comic series from Topps that did new stories based on the tv show and sequels to Xenozoic Tales comic stories!
The stories continue to be reprinted (most recently in an IDW "Artists Edition"), and there are rumors of a feature film that could lead to an ongoing franchise!

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