Friday, October 5, 2012

Here be dragons!

Beware my 'singing sword.'
Let's delve into ancient times, when knights subdue lake-dwelling dinosaurs yclept dragons (no anachronisms need concern us here!); stumble upon "Solomon's Cursed Gold"; hole up in mirage-like fortresses off the coast of Iberia; do battle with Norsemen and Picts; reconnoiter with comely African princesses; grapple with bat-winged harpies; and at last hie them home to their pulchritudinous wives, after satiating their yen for "knighting about" (as in: "Val is eager for home and his beloved Aleta. For the time being, he has enough of knighting about and the illusion of personal glory.") All great fun, these mythical adventures and more live on in the vibrantly colored, action-packed panels of Prince Valiant: "Far From Camelot." Here's how it opens:
"A tonic for a castle-bound regent—Val [Prince of Thule] is about to go on holiday as a knight-errant and Nathan [his son; is there a Jewish side to this family?] is to accompany him as squire! The preparations cannot go quickly enough for Val."
King Solomon, Russian icon from first quarter ...
"Dude, did you really find my gold?" King Solomon, 18th century Russian icon.
Seriously though, February 13, 2012 marked the 75th anniversary of this classic adventure strip, which is just as fun and eye-catching as when Hal Foster created it, lo these many years ago.
Love the princely borrowing from the Bard!

11 comments:

  1. Prince Valiant is alive and well in the NY Daily News, and I do keep up with its kitschy Camelot tales. Val is currently being held by a lovely rebel fighting to free her people from a lord bent on growing tea in England.
    Imagine that! An addicted nation able to supply its wants from within...no Opium Wars, no sleeping China!
    I don't know which side to root for.

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  2. They just don't make them like this anymore!! Foster has quite the interesting story. Apparently he lost his memory due to prolonged anesthesia and didn't remember anything about Prince Valiant. Soooo sad:(

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    1. Sounds like a malpractice lawsuit to me.

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  3. Prince Valiant
    He got all royal romances of note sporting that heinous hairdo!
    Still miffed,
    Baron Mugenhausen

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    1. That hair is literally the worst.

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    2. Seeing the image of him with the sword, a certain person looked over my shoulder and inquired "Who is that ugly woman?"
      Heinous indeed!

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    3. haha too true he looks pretty silly

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    4. Hey, try cutting your hair with the edge of a sword!

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    5. Sir Galahad was the pretty one--hair like rippled honey, and the face of an angel! We had to keep him locked in his room, so he would be "fit" to get the Holy Grail. (One of us had to be!) The girls would call out to him all night long...
      I had them all changed to alley cats, courtesy of a recipe sent me by Circe.

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  4. I had no idea Hal Foster was Canadian, nor did I know he illustrated the Tarzan comic strips for a period of time. COOL POST today!!!!

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  5. Love the princely borrowing from the Bard!

    Yes, but (speaking of borrowing) that panel with the lake dragons looks right out of Calvin and Hobbes.

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