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”
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

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