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Prince Valiant, Vol. 1: 1937-1938 (Prince Valiant (Hardcover) #1)

4.22  ·  Rating Details ·  383 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
Universally acclaimed as the most stunningly gorgeous adventure comic strip of all time, Prince Valiant ran for 35 years under the virtuoso pen of its creator, Hal Foster. (Such was its popularity that today, decades after Foster’s death, it continues to run under different hands.)

The giant Sunday-funnies pages (Valiant ran only on Sundays) gave Foster a huge canvas upon w
Hardcover, 120 pages
Published August 18th 2009 by Fantagraphics (first published January 1st 1978)
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Feb 17, 2011 James rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
When I was kid, Prince Valiant was the living fossil of the comics page. Intricately drawn, with the captions weirdly bundled beneath the illustrations instead of being bound in bubbles, it dealt with swords and mail and bloodshed. Sure, the Phantom was still kicking, Dick Tracy was chasing crooks, but Prince Valiant was so beautiful, archaic and weird that it may as well have been scrimshawed on an ostrich egg.

After reading the first volume of Fantagraphics excellent reprinting of Hal Foster’s
Apr 16, 2014 Aildiin rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
This is a very nice book collecting the original strips by Hal Foster. The art and the color are stunning and the huge size of the book allows to read the strips as they were originally published. I find however that the story itself is only average but this is a very nice book to own for any collector or anyone interested in comics history.
Mar 06, 2016 Stven rated it really liked it
Years ago, when Calvin and Hobbes was still running in the newspaper, I handed my sister the paperback book collection of the strip. "But I don't like Calvin and Hobbes," she said. I was taken aback because I thought everybody liked Calvin and Hobbes. Extemporizing, I suggested, "I think you might like it better if you read it from the beginning."

It was a lucky guess which turned out to be true. And now it has worked on me for Prince Valiant, a Sunday color feature whose narrative charms had alw
Dec 07, 2014 Angela rated it it was amazing
After 70 years or so, the first Prince Valiant volume remains surprisingly young at heart. When I was a teenage girl, the Sunday Prince Valiant strips by John Cullen Murphy were the antithesis of cool, yet to my embarrassment, I had found myself caring about the characters and becoming immersed in its rich, Byzantine world, waiting impatiently for the next week's installment. Yet despite my enthusiasm, by this time, Prince Valiant already had a wife and grandkids, an impenetrably long backstory, ...more
Elijah Kinch Spector
Dec 18, 2010 Elijah Kinch Spector rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
This was the best kind of Hanukkah gift: something I had never really thought about or desired, but which I immediately realized I needed, once I got it.

These original Prince Valiant cartoons are amazing. They are so beautifully drawn and colored, in just the right way as to lift very good storytelling to great storytelling. Val is a classic youthful hero type, who is much better, smarter, and tougher than just about every adult he ever comes across (famous knights of the roundtable included), b
Jan 15, 2016 Norman rated it it was amazing
Absolutely gorgeous reprint of the Prince valiant colour Sunday strips from the start. The size of this series makes them manageable to hold (not too heavy) and the colour reproduction is amazing. Every detail is visible and you'll have a blast with the story. It hasn't aged except in that, we no longer read this sort of material! I will be buying the rest of the series until money or space dries up
UGH. "Prince Val" (a.k.a. Gary Stu, Billy Budd, Nice Guy of the 1930's/Camelot) made me roll my eyes SO HARD they fell out of my head and rolled away and were gobbled up by a giant sea crocodile. Thanks a lot, Val.
Jan 12, 2015 Evan rated it it was amazing
Prince Valiant is energetic and timeless, a sword-and-sorcery adventure that will surprise any modern reader with its excellence, its eminent readability. Valiant himself is a great hero: bloodthirsty (he slits quite a few throats), clever, reckless—drifting into King Arthur's throne-room on a horse is one of many ~radical~ hijinks. The characterizations are strong and the art is, of course, inimitable. These Fantagraphics reproductions are some of the most loving treatments of a classic comic I ...more
Mar 26, 2010 David rated it it was amazing
This is a terrifically packaged book of the first year of Prince Valiant's Sunday comic strip. I had read these before in one of the earlier cumulations, but this volume replicates the full size of the strip from the newspapers and the quality is significantly better, plus this book includes an interview with Hal Foster. Prince Val's adventures hold up well as he establishes himself in the Court of King Arthur as Sir Gawain's squire and fights beasts in the English fens and kills a dozen or so ...more
Jul 01, 2009 Rick rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
The most influential adventure strip ever produced, Foster's gorgeous Prince Valiant inspired generations of artists. While the Sunday-only strip has been reprinted several times, this edition contains for the first time images shot from Foster's own color engraver's proofs. Published at the strip's original dimensions and complete with an introduction by Hal Foster biographer Brian M. Kane and the insightful 1969 Hal Foster interview with Fred Schreiber, the hardcover Prince Valiant Vol. I: 193 ...more
Rob Hermanowski
Nov 04, 2013 Rob Hermanowski rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, comics
As a kid, this Sunday-only comic adventure comic strip always intrigued me. It was incredibly beautiful, but the story seemed impossible to break into, so I'd glance at the drawings and then skip over to "Wizard of Id", "Doonesbury", and the rest. Fantagraphic Books (also the publisher of the fabulous "Complete Peanuts" series) is now releasing the entire Harold Foster-penned "Prince Valiant", beginning in 1937, so it can be read sequentially. This is apparently the first time it is being ...more
Feb 04, 2016 Salsabrarian rated it really liked it
Shelves: all, ages, comics, king, arthur, medieval
As a kid, Prince Valiant looked so boring on the Sunday comics pages, so I always skipped over it. Reading this opening compilation as an adult however, I see how skillful Hal Foster was at adventure storytelling and maintaining the interest of a storyline on a weekly basis. I guess you really have to be into King Arthur and medieval times to get into Prince Valiant! My only quibble is that the strapping, resourceful Prince Val looks rather, uh, fey...
May 17, 2016 Nutkin rated it really liked it
Wow, Hal Foster's art was better than I ever expected! In addition to that, he made the stories really move along in so few frames and gave you a sense of how the characters were feeling. I'm tempted to continue working my way through Prince Valiant even though there are ~40 years worth of comics because they were that good!

It's also exciting to know that Foster was from Halifax! I can't believe we don't celebrate him more.
Mary Craven
Feb 10, 2014 Mary Craven rated it it was amazing
One of the best Christmas gifts ever! My daughter has gifted me with Vol. 1 - 3. I have loved Prince Valiant for as long as I have been old enough to read the Sunday comics. This book is the first in a series that reprints the magnificent work of Hal Foster. My first chance to see and read adventures written long before I was born.
Deborah O'Carroll
A 6-star rating should exist just for things like "Prince Valiant".

This series is hands-down my favorite Arthurian thing ever, with the best illustrating I've ever seen and a thrilling adventurous saga of one of my favorite heroes ever... Prince Valiant himself -- "in the days of King Arthur."
Incredible in every sense. Foster's artwork is some of the best ever drawn, and his stories are constantly compelling. Fantagraphics once again proves themselves in this beautiful volume, truly the only way this strip should be viewed. Foster deserves a place in the pantheon of the great comic artists.
James Beech
Apr 09, 2012 James Beech rated it liked it
Fun read. Or look-at, since the pictures tell so much of the story. Fun analyze? That just sounds awkward. Anyhow, it was cool to see a knight depicted as a superhero figure and be made to realize how similar those two roles are. Reminded me a little of Gene Wolfe's Wizard-Knight, though significantly less trippy. Needs some strong female characters for me to totally get on board.
Feb 05, 2016 Erik rated it really liked it
Shelves: comic-strips
Gorgeous oversize book. Art is fantastic. Foster's drawings were unlike anything else at the time and his writing set the standard for adventure strips. In this volume, Val is driven from his homeland, meets King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, and chases after his kidnapped love.
Norman Howe
May 22, 2015 Norman Howe rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
This is a reprint of the first two years of the “Prince Valiant” comic strip"," and it's brilliant. It's sacrilege to even call it a “Comic strip","” the art is so good"," and the story so compelling.
Dec 02, 2009 Ed rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The very best reproductions ever, published in eye-popping tabloid size. Fun stories, amazing artwork. Viva Hal Foster! Can't wait for volume 2. Thanks for another great reprint series, Fantagraphics.
Rachel Rogers
May 27, 2015 Rachel Rogers rated it really liked it
Heard constant good things about this series so I decided to try it. Enjoyable, much like reading Malory with the amazing deeds.
Michael Gilbert
Jul 18, 2012 Michael Gilbert rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful strip! As a boy, I'd cut it out of the paper and tack the comic to the basement walls. I'd forgotten how well done it was. It was my introduction to the Arthurian cycles.
Jan 04, 2014 Kenny rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Great art presented on large pages; an active plot featuring a hero who uses both strength and brains. My 8 year old nephew enjoyed this too. A must-read for adults reading with children.
Feb 19, 2015 Mark rated it really liked it
Beautiful Sunday comics by an artist/illustrator with an incredible style... and they (as the title says) are collected from 75+ years ago.
Erik rated it really liked it
Mar 13, 2013
Pedro rated it it was amazing
Aug 26, 2012
Carl Gouveia
Carl Gouveia rated it it was amazing
Feb 14, 2014
Scott Longo
Scott Longo rated it really liked it
Aug 14, 2011
Flynnbox rated it really liked it
Jul 10, 2015
M.A. Ray
Jan 08, 2016 M.A. Ray rated it liked it
The art is, of course, breathtaking. Found the story pretty clunky though.
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Harold Foster, also credited as Hal Foster, was a comic book artist best know for Prince Valiant.
More about Hal Foster...

Other Books in the Series

Prince Valiant (Hardcover) (6 books)
  • Prince Valiant, Vol. 2: 1939-1940
  • Prince Valiant, Vol. 3: 1941-1942
  • Prince Valiant, Vol. 4: 1943-1944
  • Prince Valiant, Vol. 5: 1945-1946
  • Prince Valiant, Vol. 6: 1947-1948

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