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Xenozoic Valiant – Mark Schultz Interviewed

Since its debut in Death Rattle #8 in 1986, Mark Schultz’s post-apocalyptic adventure series has had an irregular release schedule, and been left with an open cliffhanger since the publication of Xenozoic Tales #14 in 1996. Which isn’t meant to imply that Schultz hasn’t released other work in the years since. His recent projects include the lushly illustrated novella Storms at Sea, the four-volume Carbon series collecting his illustration work, the educational graphic novel The Stuff of Life (illustrated by Zander and Kevin Cannon), and, since 2004, he has written the Prince Valiant comic strip (initially with Gary Gianni, and now with Thomas Yeates handling art).

Jason Bergman, for The Comics Journal, recently interviewed Mark Schultz
about his 36 year comics career, half of it involves writing the Prince Valiant comic strip.

A decent portion of the interview deals with Prince Valiant.

I will send Thomas my breakdown to say, “Okay, five panels, and this is what has to happen in every panel to advance the story this week.” Thomas will come back and say, “Okay, but how about if we do this a little differently, or I choreograph things this way, or we change the emphasis to this and then we can do that?” I’ll say, “Oh, that’s cool, but maybe we don’t want to lose this.” We just bounce things back and forth and invariably I think we come up with a better story that way.

Your current storyline has Val traveling with Morgan, which feels to me, very classic Prince Valiant. You’ve got this long journey with an occasional foe.

Thanks. When we decided we wanted to use Morgan le Fay, we did our research [on] what had been done with her previously in the strip, and not that much had been done. Because there’s this classic early couple of pages where Val’s a prisoner of hers, and this was back [in] 1938 maybe. It’s just one of those classic go-to pages or little storylines from Prince Valiant that all fans know. I thought more had been done with her later, but not much had been done. We decided to bring her back because she and Val make for an interesting odd couple type of thing.

Prince Valiant © King Features Syndicate; Carbon © Mark Schultz

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