|Prince Valiant Vol. 3: 1941-1942
by Hal Foster
112-page full-color 10.25″ x 14″ hardcover • $29.99
Ships: March 9, 2011 (tentative)
With this volume, Foster reaches (by common critical consensus) the peak of his drawing and storytelling prowess – a peak at which he will remain for most of the run of this glorious strip.
Almost the entirety of 1941’s strips feature a single ten-month epic entitled “Fights for the Singing Sword,” a globetrotting adventure fueled by Valiant’s obsessive search for his bride-to-be Aleta throughout Northern Africa, with stops in Jerusalem, the Arabic deserts, and, inevitably, a harem which Val must infiltrate. Then finally, in “The Misty Isles” Valiant meets Aleta face to face but upon learning that she has had his crew killed (deservedly so, actually, but still), he flees in anger, vowing never to see her again.
“Homeward Bound,” Valiant continues his travels, with stops in Athens (where he meets the boisterous Viking Boltar, who will become his friend for life), North Africa, and Gaul (where Valiant liberates Gawain), before finally returning to Camelot. But his joyous return is short-lived as an alliance of Picts and Vikings threatens Britain’s security, and thus Valiant must journey forth with, as his ultimate destination, “The Roman Wall.”
The final pages of this volume boast a special feature: a gallery of images that were censored for being too sexy or violent (or subject to other editorial interference) prior to publication, plus another gruesome example of Foster’s art being altered for publication, all with commentary by series editor Kim Thompson.
|The late HAL FOSTER – Originally from Halifax, NS and inducted into the Canadian Comic Book Creator Hall of Fame in our inaugural year (2005) is one of the founding fathers of the adventure strip (first with Edgar Rice Burrough’s Tarzan and eventually with Prince Valiant) and extremely influential on generations of comic book creators, including Superman co-creator Joe Shuster.|
|I cannot recommend these stunning collections any higher! They feature gorgeous reproductions and the colours literally burst from the printed page. Fantagraphics has been doing top-notch work with their reproductions of classic comic strips like Prince Valiant.