Prince Valiant Volume 44: Karak the Terribleby Hal Foster, John Cullen Murphy
Hal Foster's Prince Valiant, with its thrilling continuities of a noble knight in the days of King Arthur, began in newspapers in 1937 and continues to this day. There had been continuity strips, and even strong elements of adventure, before Hal Foster started/i>/i>
The greatest adventure epic since Beowulf continues in this perennial, full-color series.
Hal Foster's Prince Valiant, with its thrilling continuities of a noble knight in the days of King Arthur, began in newspapers in 1937 and continues to this day. There had been continuity strips, and even strong elements of adventure, before Hal Foster started drawing comic strips, but approximately 35 years after the birth of the artform, it was Foster who introduced illustrative techniquesand the sensibilities and standards of such illustrative greats as Howard Pyleto the comics page. Realistic depictions and sophisticated compositions had been curiously absent before him. He is still considered, twenty years after his death, to be comics' supreme classicist.
Fantagraphics' deluxe, full-color library-quality editions of Prince Valiant were initially intended to end with 2000's Vol. 40, the final volume in which Foster was the chief architect of the strip's visual look. Due to overwhelming public demand, however, we are continuing the series, reprinting strips written and roughed-out by Foster and finished by Foster's prodigious assistant, John Cullen Murphy. Murphy, who had been quietly assisting Foster for several years, actively took over the bulk of the drawing chores in 1971 and immediately developed a fan following himself (although, for the most part, your average newspaper reader couldn't discern a difference between Foster and Cullen Murphy's styles).
Each volume of Prince Valiant features close to a year's worth of full-page Sunday strips, in an oversized format showcasing the strip's spectacular artwork.
Author Biography: Hal Foster (1892-1982) created Prince Valiant in 1937. Though remaining involved with the strip until his death in 1982, Foster handed the bulk of the scripting and art chores over to his longtime assistant, John Cullen Murphy, in 1971. John Cullen Murphy, a six-time recipient of the National Cartoonists Society's "Best Story Strip" for his work on Prince Valiant, continues to draw the strip from his home in Connecticut, while his son, Cullen Murphy, writes the strip in between serving as the Managing Editor for The Atlantic.
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