[identity profile] dr_hermes.insanejournal.com
Some of these classic strips can't be over-praised. Hal Foster's PRINCE VALIANT is a good example, a perfect blend of great art and great storytelling. Imagine waking up Sunday morning to see this page in your newspaper. Here's an example from 1938.

At this point in the saga, Prince Valiant is still a youth, maybe in his late teens, trying to prove himself to Arthur by deeds of valor (while also tumbling headlong in love as youths do). Val has managed to escape from Dolorous Garde, where Morgan Le Fey (HER again!) is holding Sir Gawain. Merlin promises to free Gawain if he can obtain a personal possession prized by Morgan, and Val returns with her falcon. (I've seen hunting falcons up close and to be honest, stealing one in flight agaiinst its will would not occur to me. I'd bring Merlin one of Morgan's slippers or something..)

[identity profile] dr_hermes.insanejournal.com
Here are two Sunday PRINCE VALIANT pages from December 1937. The word "epic" has been so trivialized that it's hardly useful anymore. Maybe it should be retired for a generation until it regains some of its power. In any case, PRINCE VALIANT actually was an epic in the original sense. Looking over Harold Foster's gorgeous art and getting into the solid storytelling, I'm struck by how well-done it was and how it was just one of a dozen strips you could read every week as part of your newspaper. It looks as if newspapers are declining fast and may soon be just a minor curiosity to a relative handful of readers. But certainly, as far as Sunday comics go, newspapers are just a faint echo of what they once were.

So. The young and idealistic Val is trying to prove himself to the knights at Arthur's court and he applies himself to ridding the land of the oppressive "Ogre," a lord who rules his turf through terror. Catching a goose, Valiant fashions a disguise from its body....


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