Thursday, February 7, 2013

"A Broken Heart 'Twixt Twin Maidens, Rampant"

Prince Valiant and Queen Aleta's daughter Karen has been smitten by a brash and cocksure young squire named Marcus.

"Just wait," he tells her, "I will win top honors at [the tourney at] Pentecost and you will bask in my reflected glory."

Karen also has an admirer in Alp Arslan, a young man from the Misty Isles whom she first encountered months earlier in Dalmatia.

"It's not fair," Karen's twin sister Valeta complains to Prince Valiant. "Karen now has two admirers and I have none at all."

"Perhaps," her father responds, "you will have a secret admirer who will fight for your favor in the tourney. But Valeta, who is as much in love with love as her twin, but not half as lucky, is not consoled.

Undeterred, Prince Valiant soon finds himself visiting Camelot's armorer . . .

. . . and with luck teach that young Marcus a lesson or two.

Next: The Melee

Art: John Cullen Murphy (from installment #2467, May 20, 1984 and installment #2468, May 27, 1984).
Text: Cullen Murphy.
Source: Prince Valiant, Book One (Kings Features Syndicate, 1986).

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Captured, Stripped, and Bound

. . . [In] every other story [Prince Valiant] gets captured, stripped, and bound in some ridiculous fashion. This is hugely important. If adventure heroes didn't get captured, no James Bond movie would ever have three full acts. This distressing image (from 1944 and the newly released fourth volume) suggests both DaVinci's Vitruvian Man as well as the sad future of the comics page itself: The full-page Prince Valiant strip would in later decades be shrunk and shrunk again, which Foster accidentally foreshadows here by chaining a ripped and furious Val inside the Family Circus circle.

– Alan Scherstuhl
Excerpted from "10 Reasons Prince Valiant Bests All 2011 Adventure Heroes"
San Francisco Weekly
October 12, 2011

Art and text: Hal Foster (from installment #370, March 12, 1944).
Source: Prince Valiant (Vol. 4): 1943-1944 – Hal Foster (Fantagraphics Books, 2011).