Sunday, February 13, 2022

Celebrating 85 Years of Prince Valiant

Valiant, Prince of Thule, as drawn by Thomas Yeates (2021),
the fourth and current illustrator of the Prince Valiant adventure strip.


Friends, today marks the 85th anniversary of the Prince Valiant adventure strip, the first “page” of which was published in newspapers around the world on February 13, 1937 (left).

Cited as “one of the finest works ever to be produced in the comic art medium,” Prince Valiant (full title, Prince Valiant in the Days of King Arthur) was created and drawn for 30+ years by Hal Foster (1892-1982). From the start, Foster’s weekly strip set a benchmark in excellence, and has long been regarded as profoundly influential.

Instead of word balloons, Prince Valiant is narrated via captions positioned at the bottom or sides of panels. Because of this, Todd H. Goldberg, in his introduction to the first edition of The Definitive Prince Valiant Companion (1992), says that Prince Valiant is actually “a massive illustrated novel presented in a comic art-like style.” To date, this “novel” has 4,436 pages (or weekly installments)!


For how I first discovered and became an admirer of Prince Valiant, click here and here.

For A Prince Named Valiant’s informative series of posts to mark the 75th anniversary of Prince Valiant, click here, here and here.

For 2017’s special 80th anniversary post featuring an insightful article by Prince Valiant scholar Brian Kane, click here.

Also, A Prince Named Valiant was launched on the 74th anniversary of Prince Valiant. To read the post that began it all, click here.


Right: Current Prince Valiant illustrator Thomas Yeates at Comic-Con 2015 . . . with none other than the Prince of Thule himself!

Yeates took over from Gary Gianni, the third illustrator of Prince Valiant, in April 2012. Gianni, in turn, had taken over from the strip’s second illustrator, John Cullen Murphy, in 2002.


For the latest installment (or page) of Prince Valiant, click here.



Above: Prince Valiant, as drawn by Hal Foster (1943). Foster began drawing Prince Valiant in 1937. He fully retired from the strip in 1980.



Above: Prince Valiant, as drawn by John Cullen Murphy (1984). Murphy’s son, Cullen, wrote Prince Valiant during his father’s tenue of over 30 years.



Above: Prince Valiant and his wife, Queen Aleta of the Misty Isle, as drawn by Gary Gianni (2004).

Above: Aleta, as drawn by Thomas Yeates (2019).



Above: An action sequence from page 4309 (September 8, 2019) of Prince Valiant, with art by Thomas Yeates and text by Mark Schultz.


See also the previous posts:
How It All Began
A Valiant First Effort, Wouldn’t You Say?
Remembering Episode 3000, 8/7/94
John Cullen Murphy on Prince Valiant: “It’s My Duty. I’m Responsible For It”
Former Prince Valiant Writer Cullen Murphy Interviewed by Terry Gross
Mark Schultz on Prince Valiant as an American Invention
Gary Gianni’s Prince Valiant: Looking Good
Prince Valiant Celebrates 75th Anniversary
Something Very Special
Thomas Yeates: “My Biggest Thrill is Seeing the Prince Valiant Logo on My Drawings”
“He Wasn’t a Superhero But He Was a Hero”
4000
Comics’ Sweeping Graphic Novel, Prince Valiant, Turns 80
A First for Prince Valiant
Prince Arn, Son of Valiant and Regent of Camelot
“We Are the Daughters of the Queen of the Misty Isles and the Prince of Thule”
The Return of Karen and Valeta
Galan to the Rescue
Nathan

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Friday, December 31, 2021

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Thoughtful


Art: John Cullen Murphy (from page 2291, January 4, 1981).
Text: Cullen Murphy
Source: Prince Valiant (Vol. 23): 1981-1982 – Hal Foster and John Cullen Murphy (Fantagraphics Books, 2020).

Monday, December 27, 2021

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Bella Grossi


Art and text: Hal Foster and John Cullen Murphy (from page 1981, January 26, 1975).
Source: Prince Valiant (Vol. 20): 1975-1976 – Hal Foster and John Cullen Murphy (Fantagraphics Books, 2019).

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Princess Mayana


See also the previous post:
Parting Words

Art: John Cullen Murphy (from installment #2377, August 9, 1982).
Source: Prince Valiant, Book Two (Kings Features Syndicate, 1986).

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Witchcraft!


January 23, 2011 is significant in the history of Prince Valiant as it was on this day that writer Mark Schultz and artist Gary Gianni revealed that Val’s wife, Queen Aleta of the Misty Isles, is a practitioner of “the craft.”

The lead-up to this revelation involves a number of disasterous incidents befalling Val and his family during a stay at Camelot. In time, these calamaties tempt Val to contemplate that a curse is upon them. He shares this with Aleta who responds by hurrying to the market where she “proceeds to judge and purchase a unique array of herbs, roots, oils – and salt. Lots and lots of salt.”

Meanwhile, a new calamity befalls Camelot and Val and his son Arn are blamed.

Writes Schultz: “Val grows despondent, and returns to his chambers, muttering, 'Can my previously charmed life grow any stranger?' He is quick to discover that, yes, it can. Before him kneels Aleta – whom he assumes he knows as well as himself – in the midst of ritual witchcraft!”


Art: Gary Gianni (from page 3899, January 23, 2011).
Text: Mark Schultz.