2012 Eisner Award Nominee: Best Archival Collection/Project Strips
As this fourth volume begins, Prince Valiant, haunted by the lovely Aleta, seeks Merlins wise counsel. This brief episode segues into one of Hal Fosters patented epics, The Long Voyage to Thule, which ran for seven straight months and featured Valiants return to his birthplace and reunion with his father. Of course, Fosters astonishingly detailed and evocative depictions of Vals home- land contribute greatly to this sprawling epic.
After a series of shorter adventures including The Seductress, The Call of the Sea, and The Jealous Cripple, Val finally decides he can stand it no more and sets out to find his long-lost love. Long-time fans know that his quest will eventually be successful, but Foster throws so many obstacles in the way of true love that the saga The Winning of Aleta would end up stretching a full year and a half, well into the next volume.
This volume also features the debut of Fosters charming "The Mediæval Castle" strip, and an introductory essay by Foster scholar Brian M. Kane.
With stunning art reproduced directly from pristine printers proofs, Fantagraphics has introduced a new generation to Fosters masterpiece, while providing long-time fans with the ultimate, definitive version of the strip.
Download and read a 12-page PDF excerpt which includes Brian Kane's Foreword and 9 strips (6.6 MB). Also, read editor Kim Thompson's Afterword from Vol. 1, detailing the production and restoration of these new editions, right here on our website.
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Praise for the series:
"While the oversize pages dont approach the expanse of the bygone broadsheet newspapers that were Valiants original home, this is the best showcase Fosters 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 Id read Foster before, but Id 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 ina wide-eyed early 20th century approach to fantasy with a now-vanished sincerity and wholesomeness. Its an all too rare pleasure in comics. Dan Nadel, Comics Comics
Medieval swordplay and adventure have never been as glorious as in Fosters Sunday-only comic strip. This edition has been reproduced from pristine printers 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 (Starred Review)
"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]ts 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