Prince Valiant

From Academic Kids

de:Prinz Eisenherz da:Prins Valiant es:Príncipe Valiente

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Prince Valiant USPS stamp

Prince Valiant In the Days of King Arthur, or simply Prince Valiant, is a comic strip created by Hal Foster. The comic is an adventure/drama epic that has had a continuous story for its entire history. Today it stands out for its incredibly realistic panoramic drawings and its narrative written with all text in subtitles instead of the usual balloons (a Foster signature).

The setting is Arthurian. Valiant himself is a Nordic prince (from the faraway Thule - apparently, it is located somewhere near the city Trondheim on the Norwegian west coast). Early in the story, Valiant comes to Camelot and becomes fast friends with Sir Gawain, Sir Tristram (see Tristan), King Arthur and Merlin, and becomes a Knight of the Round Table. 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 historical and mythological elements of Prince Valiant were initially chaotic, but soon Foster attempted to bring the facts into order. Some of the elements of the story (for instance, the death of Attila the Hun in 453, the murder of Aetius in 454, though different from the historical version (Valiant and Gawain are blamed for the murder and must flee), and Geiseric's sacking of Rome in 455, which Prince Valiant and Aleta witness), place the story in the 5th century. Some slightly fantastic elements, like "marsh monsters" (a dinosaur-like creature) and witches, are present in the first volumes but are later downplayed (as are Merlin's and Morgan le Fay's magicks), so that by the fifth album, the story is in most aspects a realistic one not only in drawing style but also in content.

Prince Valiant was first published on February 13, 1937. In 1970, Foster invited John Cullen Murphy to collaborate on the strip; Foster illustrated one half the pages and Murphy the other half. In 1978, Murphy drew the entire strip while Foster wrote the script until his death in 1982. Murphy then drew/wrote it full-time, moving the setting of the narrative to the Byzantine; Emperor Justinian repeatedly appeared as a villain, threatening Aleta's realm ("The Misty Isles"). In recent years, Murphy's son, Cullen (editor of The Atlantic Monthly), wrote the scripts and Murphy's daughter, Mairead, did the lettering and coloring. In March, 2004, Murphy retired, and turned the strip over to his hand-picked successor, illustrator Gary Gianni. Prince Valiant appears weekly in more than 300 newspapers nationwide, according to its distributor, King Features Syndicate. The full stretch of the story is some 1800 panels.

In 1995, the strip was one of 20 included in the Comic Strip Classics series of commemorative postage stamps.

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

Cultural references

A parody of this strip, Prince Violent, appeared in the old Mad Magazine (comic book format).

Movie adaptations

External links

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