Perhaps like me, you've known for some time that the print version of the Prince Valiant adventure strip has a little something extra . . . an additional panel featuring an illustration under the strip's banner. Although unrelated to the narrative of the story, this illustration nevertheless relates somewhat to the current adventure. Thus it may remain unchanged for weeks, even months at a time.
I dare say the addition of this "banner panel" is to do with the fact that most newspapers print the strip in a horizontal manner (see below) rather than the vertical one that's found online and which Prince Valiant illustrator Thomas Yeates originally creates the strip. One thing's for sure, I enjoy periodically checking the local Sunday paper that runs Prince Valiant to catch the latest "little something extra"!
Artwork:Thomas Yeates (from Prince Valiant, page 4095, as printed in the St. Paul Pioneer Press, August 2, 2015).
True, "tattered" could be a reference to the young Prince of Thule's clothing in this illustration (he is, after all, depicted as the sole survivor of the siege of Andelhrag), but it's actually describing the state of the cover of the first volume in a series of Prince Valiant comic books my father, Gordon Bayly, collected in 1954-55.
This series was published and distributed in Australia by Associated Newspaper Ltd. of 60-70 Elizabeth Street, Sydney, and printed by Sungravure Ltd, Forbes Street, Woolloomooloo. Although they were published in the mid-1950s, the stories contained in these comic books were reprinted were from the early days of the Prince Valiant adventure strip; 1937-1942 to be specific.
For my 2011 interview with my Dad about his interest in and collecting of Prince Valiant, click here.