A contemporary of Fletcher Hanks, Hal Foster must be considered to occupy pretty much the opposite end of the comics spectrum. Disciplined, controlled, majestic – he was the undisputed master (OK, we're sure somewhere out there is someone who would dispute this claim, given the chance) of the classic Sunday page adventure strip, of which Prince Valiant remains the gold standard. Comics as we know them are unimaginable without Hal Foster's work, which inspired a legion of imitators, many of whom went on to become greats in their own right; yet without ever completely breaking free of the master's influence. Fantagraphics' earliest (outside of their journalistic endeavors) and longest running publishing project was collecting Prince Valiant, so you know that it is a strip that rests close to the heart of Gary Groth. The fact that the vast majority of the fifty or so volumes of this series are long out of print, when combined with the much higher quality reproduction that is now affordably available for projects such as these, make the relaunch of this project an idea whose time has come. Enthusiasts will be happy to learn that Fanta has done a fine job this time around: the initial, 11" x 14", full color, hardcover volume presenting two full years of this epochal strip far surpasses their original Prince Valiant series at every level. Please do yourself a favor and at least take a look at this fine volume. Your eyes will thank you.
This one picks up right where the first one left off in bringing us what is likely to become the definitive version of the finest and longest running historical fantasy comic strip of all time. This eminently affordable edition leaps off the shelf and begs to be read. We're not giving you any preview of this one, as the art is simply too good to be subjected to a computer screen.
This volume contains the years considered by many Prince Valiant connoisseurs to feature Foster's best work. In other words, the best of the best. Regardless of where you stand in this debate, you'll find yourself gazing at page after page of truly superb comics. Foster's work on Prince Valiant set the bar for illustrative quality in comics and it has held ever since. Lou Fine, Al WIlliamson, Roy Krenkel, Frank Frazetta, Wallace Wood, Neal Adams, Mark Schulz and countless others looked to Foster for inspiration. And, as if this weren't already enough, another highlight of this volume is the erudite introduction by PictureBox publisher – and newly installed co-editor of The Comics Journal – Dan Nadel. Once you've feasted your eyes on this PDF preview (which also includes Nadel's intro), you'll begin (but only begin, mind you, as a computer screen simply is NOT the way to view this work) to understand why.
Another fabulous volume of Hal Foster at his prime. Readers will savor page after glorious, oversize, full color page of excellent quality, high resolution reproductions of two full years worth of Prince Valiant Sunday pages from the closing months of the second world war and the dawning of the post-war era. This volume starts off with a heartfelt forward by comics artist and illustrator extraordinaire, P. Craig Russell and closes with a brief look at "Foster the Illustrator", compiled and annotated by Brian M. Kane, who also contributes a brief commentary on Aleta as the "Water Nymph of the Misty Isles."