|Born||June 7, 1955|
near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Area(s)||Writer, Penciller, Inker|
Mark Schultz (//; born June 7, 1955) is an American writer and illustrator of books and comics. His most widely recognized work is his self-created and owned comic book series, Xenozoic Tales, about a post-apocalyptic world where dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures coexist with humans. He is also the current writer of the Prince Valiant comic strip.
Mark Schultz was born just outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but was raised near Pittsburgh. At the age of six he discovered both comics and classic adventure films, his early favorites including Tarzan and King Kong. As a teenager he was further inspired by such fantasy authors as Edgar Rice Burroughs and Robert E. Howard and the artists who had illustrated their work, including Frank Frazetta, Roy Krenkel, and Al Williamson, Wally Wood, Howard Pyle and Joseph Clement Coll.
Mark Schultz enrolled in Kutztown University of Pennsylvania in 1973 and graduated in 1977 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting. From there, he embarked upon a career in advertising illustration, bolstered by such odd jobs as working as a security guard, but he found this work unsatisfying.
In the early 1980s, Schultz became interested in the burgeoning underground comics scene, which allowed independent artists to publish stories outside the traditional assembly-line approach of the mainstream comics industry. He also became attracted to the art of the classic stories published by EC Comics in the 1950s. At one point, he took the few boxes of 1960s and early 1970s Marvel and DC comic books he owned to a local comic book store and traded them for a large collection of EC Comics. From then on, he began to hone his illustration style to emulate that of classic EC artists.
Schultz's first published comics work was on a story called "The Sea King", featuring Robert E. Howard's character King Kull, which appeared in Savage Sword of Conan #132, published by Marvel Comics. Schultz inked over pencils by Val Semeiks. Schultz did not actively pursue further work from Marvel, however, as he was more interested in developing and publishing comics based on his own concepts.
Throughout the early 1980s, Schultz would germinate the ideas which would eventually bear fruit as Xenozoic Tales. The characters and stories he created were set in a future time period he dubbed the "Xenozoic Age", in which an unspecified cataclysm had all but wiped out modern human society. The survivors emerged from their underground bunkers to find a world transformed, where prehistoric creatures had once again become the dominant life forms on Earth.
The first story set in the Xenozoic Age that Schultz completed was "Mammoth Pitfall", but it would not see publication until Xenozoic Tales #2. The first to be published was "Xenozoic!", which ran in the anthology title Death Rattle #8, published in December 1986 by Kitchen Sink Press.
Since Xenozoic Tales, Schultz has written comics series for a number of publishers, including Dark Horse and DC. Typically these are stories based on company-owned or licensed characters, rather than his own original work.
Schultz created the underwater adventure comics series SubHuman, published by Dark Horse comics.
In 2002, Schultz contributed a number of illustrations to Conan the Cimmerian: Volume 1, a new reprinting of the Conan stories of Robert E. Howard, published by Wandering Star Books. The book has since been reprinted in paperback by Del Rey as The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian. He was also interviewed by Durwin Talon for Panel Discussions, a nonfiction book about the developing movement in sequential art and narrative literature, along with, Will Eisner, Walter Simonson and Mike Mignola.
Since November 1, 2004, he has been the writer for the long-running comic strip, Prince Valiant originally created by Hal Foster. He also wrote the two-issue intercompany crossover Superman & Batman vs. Aliens & Predator.
From 2005 to 2013, Schultz released a series of sketchbooks of his studies and finished works through Flesk Publications, starting with Mark Schultz: Various Drawings in 5 volumes released from 2005 to 2011, followed by Mark Schultz: Carbon in 2013. Also with the publisher, he contributed with other artists to the graphic novel Flesk Prime in 2011, and in 2015 Schultz released an illustrated pulp noir/science fantasy adventure novella Storms At Sea.
In 2010, he wrote three issues of the series The Spirit, spinning-off of the First Wave limited series, intended to create a new universe of non-superpowered characters like Doc Savage, Batman, Black Canary, the Blackhawks, Wildcat, The Avenger, Rima the Jungle Girl and others.
In 2015, Schultz contributed, among other artists, to bring inner illustrations to the tabletop role-playing game Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of, first published in 2016 by British company Modiphius Entertainment.
Schultz has been awarded five Harvey Awards, two Eisners, an Inkpot, a Spectrum, and three Haxturs (from the Salon Del Internacional Comic del Principado de Austurias).