Monday, May 6, 2013

Another reason why none of my comics is in mint condition

So, I was rooting through one of the vertical files that hold my miscellaneous stuff and I came across this poster, which I had honestly forgotten I even owned:

The poster is four times as big as a comic; you can see the creases where it was folded to size. It showcases the crew from  Xenozoic Tales AKA Cadillacs and Dinosaurs. (I recognized Jack Tenrec and Hannah Dundee right away, but don't know the blond guy.) This was a series that I followed only intermittently; I think I liked it more for the concept than the execution. I always seat Mark Schultz at the same table as Dave Stevens - just as talented and idiosyncratic and always carrying just a sense of being a bit too self-contained. Schultz's series had a comparatively short history, like Stevens's Rocketeer - although it did break into the animated world, albeit with a pretty pedestrian show, at least from what I've seen.

The first thing I noticed about the poster itself was the composition. Okay, maybe that was the second or third thing, after the creepy EC-esque brain-monsters and Hannah's sexy-but-not-Escher-girl pose. Ah, for the innocent days when artists were content to show either busts or butts and didn't have to forsake all pretense at anatomy to show them both in one shot...

But anyway, to the composition: it looks like there's an awful lot of tree trunk and emptiness up there at the top. The answer is pretty obvious, and the overleaf explains it.

I recalled when I read this again that I got the poster not as an in-store giveaway but inside some reprint edition of Cadillacs and Dinosaurs; once I looked closely, I could find the staple holes. I'm not sure if it was the 1990 Marvel six-issue miniseries or one of the Kitchen Sink one-shots, and the Grand Comics Database wasn't helpful in tracking it down. I don't recall seeing the issues around; they may be in the Last Shortbox® but I'd have to check.

It strikes me as more than a little odd that this illustration contains neither Cadillacs nor dinosaurs, since that's the trope the series is associated with. Perhaps that's why the poster is not a big deal; even a Google Image Search doesn't turn it up. Hey, it's an actual rarity!

Too bad it's not in mint condition.

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