2014 Eisner Award Nominee: Best Archival Collection/Project — Strips
Hal Foster's masterpiece of adventure enters its second decade as Valiant and
Aleta journey to "The New World," a 16-month epic that allows Foster to draw
some of his spectacular native Canadian backgrounds, and during which Aleta
gives birth to Arn and acquires her Indian nurse, Tillicum. Most of the rest of
the book is taken up with the action-packed five-month sequence "The Mad
King," during which Val, back at Camelot, confronts the evil, fat little King
Tourien of Cornwall.
This volume is rounded off with an essay by Foster scholar Brian M.
Kane (The Prince Valiant Companion) discussing Foster's depiction of "Indians"
as it relates to other interpretations of the times, accompanied by various
graphic goodies including our most spectacular bonus feature yet — a double-sized fold-out page reproducing a strip hand-colored by Foster — plus a previously unpublished camping cartoon by Foster
from circa 1915, some of Foster's Mountie paintings, Foster's own map of Val's
voyage to/from the New World, and more rare photos and art.
As always, this volume is shot directly from Foster's personal collection of syndicate proofs, their glorious colors
restored to create an unprecedentedly sumptuous reading experience.
Read editor Kim Thompson's Afterword from Vol. 1, detailing the production and restoration of these new editions, right here on our website.
"While the oversize pages don’t approach the expanse of the bygone broadsheet newspapers that were
Valiant’s original home, this is the best showcase Foster’s epic creation has had since its original
appearance more than 70 years ago."
— Gordon Flagg, Booklist
"Anyone with a love for fantasy art
can only marvel at [Foster's] ability to
capture both the gritty down-to-earth feeling of the times as well as
those sweeping moments that
kindle our sense of wonder.... These books
are wonderful — rich and comprehensive..." – Charles de Lint, Fantasy & Science Fiction
“A witch named Horrit once prophesied that Val would never know contentment, but fans of the strip will find it here.” – Vanity Fair
“Sure I’d read Foster before, but I’d never found a way in. Fortunately,
Fantagraphics recently released Prince Valiant Vol. 1: 1937-38, and I was
able to absorb the material in a wholly new way.... Prince Valiant opens
up a world that I wanted to stay in—a wide-eyed early 20th century
approach to fantasy with a now-vanished sincerity and wholesomeness.
It’s an all too rare pleasure in comics.” – Dan Nadel, Comics Comics
“Medieval swordplay and adventure have never been as glorious as in
Foster’s Sunday-only comic strip. This edition has been reproduced from
pristine printer’s proofs to give the gorgeous artwork its crispest version
ever.... Prince Valiant is one of the best-drawn comics ever, and this new
edition does ample justice to its achievement.” – Publishers Weekly
"For the current Prince Valiant enterprise... Fantagraphics found better source material... [and] the present effort is wonderfully faithful to the originals: not only is the color itself much much better, but the linear detail is stunning. ...[I]t’s the fabulously high quality of the reproduction that makes these volumes a bargain at $29.99 each..." – R.C. Harvey
"Fantagraphics' Prince Valiant reprints are handsome packages, indeed. Presented in a generous 10x14-inch format and starting at the beginning of the series, Hal Foster's art virtually leaps off the page, alive with detail and vigor. With a price point of under $30 per volume, how can you go wrong?"
– John Petty, Comics Buyer's Guide