The Definitive Prince Valiant Companion

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9781606993064: The Definitive Prince Valiant Companion

The ultimate book for Prince Valiant fans and collectors.

Out of print for over a decade, The Prince Valiant Companion has become a Holy Grail for collectors of the series. Now, in anticipation of the seventy-fifth anniversary of comics’ longest-running adventure strip, and to celebrate their own just-launched reprinting of the strip’s classic earliest years, Fantagraphics is proud to present an expanded version of this hard-to-find collector’s item. Compiled by award-winning Foster biographer Brian M. Kane, The Definitive Prince Valiant Companion beautifully and definitively showcases the careers of artists Hal Foster, John Cullen Murphy, and Gary Gianni.

In addition to updating the original version’s story synopsis section with over thirty years of material, The Definitive Prince Valiant Companion also contains rare and new articles. Included in this volume is a never before reprinted newspaper feature from 1949, Foster’s final interview conducted by Arn Saba, an extensive interview with John Cullen Murphy, and a new interview with the current Prince Valiant creative team of Gary Gianni and Mark Schultz. The Companion also contains a new, in-depth article by Kane on Foster’s artistic influences, as well as a foreword by comics historian Brian Walker, and an introduction by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ray Bradbury.

A special feature of The Companion is a sixteen-page color section of carefully selected strips from the entire run of the comic. Showcasing this section are eight pages by Foster, scanned and digitally restored from original color engraver’s proofs that had been carefully stored and preserved for over forty years. For the first time ever, collectors will be able to see Prince Valiant as Foster intended it to be seen, with all of his fine inked line work intact. Rounding out this section are four John Cullen Murphy pages from the Murphy family’s collection of proofs, and four Gary Gianni pages that were selected by the artist and digitally recolored under his supervision.

Proceeds from the sale of The Definitive Prince Valiant Companion will go to The Friends of Hal Foster Society to aid in the creation of the Prince Valiant statue in Foster’s birthplace of Halifax, Nova Scotia. 16 color and 144 black-and-white illustrations

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About the Author:

Brian M. Kane is the author of Hal Foster: Prince of Illustrators and James Bama: American Realist. He teaches in the Illustration Department at the Columbus College of Art & Design, Columbus, Ohio. He has a Masters Degree in History of Art from The Ohio State University where he is currently working on his Ph.D. in Art Education with an emphasis in Visual Culture.

Ray Bradbury was born in Waukegan, Illinois, in 1920. Growing up during the Great Depression, Bradbury began writing at the age of 11. Unable to join the military in World War II due to his poor eyesight, he began publishing science fiction stories. In 1947 he married Marguerite McClure and they had four daughters. His career as a writer included such notable works as Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, and I Sing The Body Electric. Primarily known for his successes in science fiction, Bradbury also worked on various horror and mystery stories, as well as screenplays and television scripts. During his lifetime he received numerous awards, including a Pulitzer in 2007. Bradbury passed away in 2012.

Review:

“Brian Kane, author of the Companion and surely the world’s foremost authority on the strip and its creator, Hal Foster, has once again done a herculean amount of work, and Fantagraphics has once again clothed that work in a sturdy, pretty volume. Prince Valiant hasn’t been treated this well since the ersatz King of England sang his praises.... Fantagraphics will continue to bring out deluxe volumes of Prince Valiant reprints. I imagine this new Definitive Companion will be open alongside them for years to come.”
- Khalid Ponte, Open Letters

“Elegantly presented, perceptively written, what emerges from Kane’s book is as intimate a portrait as we are likely to get of this humble, humorous and hard-working man, who transformed one page every week of the comic section into stirring American illustration and adventure fiction for millions of readers, whether Kings or commoners.”
- Paul Gravett, author of Graphic Novels and Manga: 60 Years of Japanese Comics

“In a year without a lot of good comics history books, this old-fashioned take on the Prince Valiant strip stands out more than usual.”
- Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter

The Definitive Prince Valiant Companion is the indispensable guide to the strip and a must have for its legions of fans new and old. ... No matter how long you’ve been a Prince Valiant fan...one year or seventy years, you’re certain to find this book informative and entertaining. Fantagraphics has produced another spectacular book! Grade: A.”
- Tim Janson, The Gouverneur Times

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