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Prince Valiant

Prince Valiant is a comic strip created by Hal Foster, initially with the byline "In the Days of King Arthur". The comic is an adventure/drama epic that kept moving for the entire time it was produced. Today it stands out for its incredibly realistic drawing and because it was written with all text in subtitles instead of the usual balloons (a Foster signature).

The setting is vaguely Arthurian. Valiant himself is a Nordic prince (from the faraway Thule - apparently, it is located somewhere on the Norwegian coast). Early in the story, Valiant comes to Camelot and becomes fast friends with Sir Gawain, Sir Tristram[?], King Arthur and Merlin. Later, he meets the love of his life - Aleta - on a Mediterranean island. He fights the Huns with his magic Singing Sword, Flamberge, he travels to Africa and to America and he helps his father regain his lost throne of Thule.

The first panels of Prince Valiant were published in 1937 and the comic was continually published until the death of the author in 1982. From 1970 on, Foster illustrated half the pages, and John Cullen Murphy the other half. In 1978, Foster stopped drawing, and from then on only wrote the manuscript (illustration was done entirely by Murphy during those years). The full stretch of the story is some 1800 panels.

Chaosium produced a role-playing game with the name Prince Valiant.

Movie adaptations

  • A 1954 US movie starring James Mason and Robert Wagner
  • A 1991 US television series
  • A 1997 UK/Ireland/Germany movie

External links: http://www.bpib.com/illustra2/foster.htm (http://www.bpib.com/illustra2/foster.htm) - material about Foster, but also includes some of Foster's illustrations.

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