Fully half of this latest volume of Hal Foster’s epic masterpiece — again
scanned from superb syndicate proofs — is devoted to the remaining chapters
of “The Winning of Aleta,” a 20-month (!) epic in which Valiant obsessively
pursues his bride to be. Not surprisingly this is followed by a sequence called
“Matrimony,” which ends with a newly wed queen adjusting to the luxurious,
exciting court life at Camelot.
But Val’s marriage does not signal an end to his adventures, quite the contrary. In “War in the Forest” Val is sent out to spy on encroaching Saxons —
unknowingly aided by Aleta, who, disguised as a small knight (and dubbed
“Sir Puny”) helps prevent disaster. But the 1946 strips end with Val and Aleta
unable to return to Camelot and the displaced couple journeying to Thule…
Half the strips in this volume also include the delightful “The Medieval
Castle,” Foster’s chronicle of two young boys growing up during the time of the First Crusade — but by the end of the
1945 strips this series has ended and the Valiant portion resume its full-page glory.
This volume also features a Foreword by P. Craig Russell, a gallery of Hal Foster's commercial illustration work and an essay titled "Aleta: Water Nymph of the Misty Isles" by Brian M. Kane.
With stunning art reproduced directly from pristine printer’s proofs, Fantagraphics has introduced a new generation to Foster’s masterpiece, while providing long-time fans with the ultimate, definitive version of the strip.
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
You may also be interested in:
The Definitive Prince Valiant Companion [Softcover Ed.]
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