Hal Foster (August 16, 1892–July 25, 1982) was a Canadian-American comic strip artist and writer best known as the creator of the Prince Valiant comic strip. His artistic technique is known for its draftsmanship and attention to detail. He also wrote or co-wrote many popular comics series in the 1930s through 1950s, including Flash Gordon, Sky Riders, and Marvel Comics' The Human Torch.
Foster was born on a farm near Wallace, Ontario. He moved with his family to Detroit when he was still a child. There he learned to draw from such artists as Edward Henderson and John R. Neill. In 1914, he went to New York City, where he worked as an illustrator for magazines and newspapers, including The New York Times. His work attracted the attention of William Randolph Hearst, who hired him as one of his cartoonists. Under Hearst's supervision, Foster created the syndicated comic strip Prince Valiant in 1933. It was so popular that it ran until 1976. During this time, Foster also drew other famous comics series such as Flash Gordon and Sky Riders.
After the end of World War II, Foster moved back to New York City, where he continued to draw for various publishers. He died in Los Angeles at the age of 89.
Foster, Hal Prince Valiant in the Days of King Arthur, sometimes known as Prince Valiant, is a 1937 American comic strip created by Hal Foster. It is an epic adventure that has told a continuous tale over its entire existence, and the total length of that story currently exceeds 4,000 Sunday strips. It was one of the first comic strips to be nationally syndicated, beginning on May 10, 1938.
Prince Valiant is set in the days of King Arthur. It tells the story of Prince Valorous, who lives with his uncle Sir Ector in the castle of Caledon at the edge of a mysterious forest called the Land of Mythology. One day, while out hunting, Ector is killed by a wild boar and, after his death, Valorous vows to go to war against the evil Duke of Normandy to avenge him. But before he can leave, he is invited to become the new king of England. Reluctant to rule, Valorous agrees to go to England in order to fight for his country again. However, when he arrives in England, he finds that the world has changed: There is no longer any fighting because everyone has gone to live in peace under the leadership of a nobleman named Uther Pendragon. Believing this state of affairs to be wrong, Valorous decides to return home to battle the duke once more.
Valiant, Prince Hal Foster developed the American comic strip Prince Valiant in the Days of King Arthur, or simply Prince Valiant, in 1937. The daily strip is written by Eric Marlow and illustrated by Harry Anderson. It focuses on the adventures of a young prince who becomes the king of an ancient kingdom.
Prince Valiant has been called "the first modern comic book hero" because of its use of mythology and history as background for stories that often involve battles and romance. The daily strip appeared in more than 500 newspapers across the world.
After World War II, new characters were added to the strip, including Long John Silver, who became a popular pirate character; and Vivian, a princess who falls in love with Valiant. In 1958, another new character was introduced: Amazighen, a magic carpet owned by Valiant's friend, the wizard Shazam. This marks the beginning of what is now known as the Justice Society of America.
By the 1970s, more historical figures have been added to the strip, such as George Washington, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Abraham Lincoln. In addition, aliens, mutants, and other mythological characters have also been featured.
Foster's artwork was republished in a Prince Valiant comic book in 1973, along with a reduced narrative meant to teach youngsters to read. Fantagraphics Books Presents: Prince Valiant Since 2009, a full-color hardback compilation of the comic strip has been produced. In 2018, they finished reprinting all of Hal Foster's Prince Valiant pages in eighteen volumes. These are available at local bookstores and online through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Hal Foster started drawing Prince Valiant in 1970. By 1973, he had drawn every issue but number one. The first issue of Prince Valiant was published in January 1970. It was written by John Cullen Murphy with art by Henry Gilroy. The last issue was published in February 1991. This is an ongoing series that has been running for over seven years now. It has been praised for its characterization, action scenes, and storyline development. However, it has also been criticized for being too violent and having poor grammar.
Prince Valiant has been called "a masterpiece" and "the greatest comic strip ever created". It follows the adventures of Prince Valiant, a young knight who finds himself caught up in battles and wars while trying to find a cure for his sick father. It is believed that many artists have worked on the series during its publication time because Murphy killed off most of his main characters so new ones could be created. This also allows for more space filled with action scenes and stories.
Murphy died in September 1974 after finishing issue #18.