Fully half of this latest volume of Hal Foster's epic masterpiece 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.
12-page excerpt (download 5.2 MB PDF):
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“One of the greatest comic strips of all time and a peak in visual splendor and breath-taking adventure, the story of Prince Valiant’s 30+ year odyssey is getting a marvelous presentation in Fantagraphics’ series of books.” — Huffington Post
“Medieval swordplay and adventure have never been as glorious as in Foster’s Sunday-only comic strip. Prince Valiant is one of the best-drawn comics ever, and this new edition does ample justice to its achievement.” — Publishers Weekly
“This is the best showcase Foster’s epic creation has had since its original appearance more than 70 years ago.” —Booklist
“A witch named Horrit once prophesied that Val would never know contentment, but fans of the strip will find it here.” — Vanity Fair
“Foster’s meticulously detailed, painstakingly researched, vividly realistic, and often breathtaking illustration made him one of the most revered artists in the comic field.” — Library Journal