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Hal Foster: Prince of Illustrators, Father of the Adventure Strip Paperback – December 1, 2001

4.6 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Superb." --Ray Bradbury<br \><br \>"Pick Of The Week" --Globe and Mail (Canada)<br \><br \>"Crowning Achievement" --The Columbus Dispatch<br \><br \>"Our highest recommendation" --Bud Plant Illustrated Books<br \><br \>"Profusely illustrated...Foster was the most virtuosic comics artist of his time." --New York Times Book Review<br \><br \>"Kane skillfully blends factual and anecdotal information to tell a wonderfully rich story about the man who gave form to some of the country's most beloved characters." --Illustration magazine<br \><br \>"I cannot praise this book highly enough!" --Comic Book Marketplace magazine<br \><br \>"A rich meal. It's not to be missed." --Maggie Thompson, Publisher, Comic Buyer's Guide<br \><br \>"Indispensable." --Comics Journal<br \><br \>"Part biography, part comic and world history, all beautiful." --The Stars Our Destination<br \><br \>"A classic 'rags to riches' story of a brilliant, self-taught man who rose to the pinnacle of the comic strip heirarchy." --Edmonton Journal<br \><br \>"A welcome and long-needed biography." --South Shore Monthly<br \><br \>"An unqualified delight." --R.C.Harvey's Opus<br \><br \>"Superlative." --Comic Shop News

"A fulfilling and masterful effort." --Erbania

"Foster demonstrated more than anybody how impressive an illustrated comic could be." --National Post (Canada)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Vanguard Productions; 1st edition (December 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1887591257
  • ISBN-13: 978-1887591256
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 0.6 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,511,116 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Marco Antonio Abarca VINE VOICE on July 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
The Golden Age of American Illustration ran from the 1880's to the years immediately following the First World War. It was a highly creative period that produced such notable artists as N.C. Wyeth, Howard Pyle and Frank Schnoover. This was the skilled artistic millieu in which Hal Foster began his career as a commercial illustrator.

Foster would have probably remained a talented but obscure illustrator if the Great Depression had not begun. In need of work, Foster began as illustrator for the Tarzan adventure strip. The comic strip became very successful but Foster did not receive the monetary compensation that he believed he deserved. In 1937, Hal Foster launched his own adventure strip, "Prince Valiant in the Days of King Arthur". Within a few years of the birth of Prince Valiant, Superman, Batman, and Flash Gordon were all created and the Golden Age of Comics books moved into full swing.

Although Prince Valiant never became as iconic as Batman or Superman, there can be little doubt that Hal Foster was the greatest technical artist of that period. For the nearly forty years that he produced Prince Valiant, Hal Foster was the master of composition, perspective and figurative detail.

Brian Kane's biography is filled with many unpublished sketches and color paintings. Having received the full cooperation of the Foster family, Kane also received access to unpublished letters which give many insights into Foster's character and creative process. I hesitate in giving this work five stars because this book is more of fan appreciation than it is a serious biography. Nevertheless, if you are a fan of Prince Valiant or the Golden Age of Comics, this book is a must purchase.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book. Best known for Prince Valiant, Hal Foster brought his creativity to many other areas. He not only developed his illustrative skills but understood story flow and had a great command of writing. The work he produced only confirms the mastery and artistry he wielded . His paintings, cover work, personal sketches, and Tarzan work will bring you pleasure even if you aren't a Prince Valiant reader. The writing is informative and clean, providing a very enjoyable read. Remembrances by other artists are a nice bonus. I highly recommend this retrospective of one of the classics.
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Format: Paperback
Brian Kane has a lot going for him to begin with; the cooperation of Hal Fosters grandchildren and extraordinary access to the Foster family and private papers; but without a sensible recognition of the importance of the sequence of events which lead to the assignment of Hal Foster onto the TARZAN strip, and the eventual culmination of Fosters aspiration to produce his own strip, the storytelling and illustration masterwork PRINCE VALIANT, this pedigree could have been lost or mislaid.
However the pedigree is not lost; this books remains a standard for anyone attempting to pay due homage to a historic artist, a master of his media, and a disciplined Professional who won awards within and outside of his field as a matter of course.
And one doesn't necessarily need to be a firm fan of Popular Culture to see, on the page, the initial artworks provided through family archives, but watch the commercial illustrator become the accomplished storyteller cartoonist/illustrator to the craftsman who transcends his adopted field.
A power read, yet eyefuls of narrative,illustrative, and evocative draughtsmanship which will allow anyone owning it to want to revisit this book as anyone reading the Sunday Funnies has revisited the two classics which Foster brought to pinnacles of powerful evocation : TARZAN and PRINCE VALIANT.
An affectionate and heartful reccommendation by a long time and familiar fan of Hal Foster; impossible to imagine anyone could have completed the task with more vigor and commitment and completedness.
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By A Customer on March 21, 2002
Format: Paperback
Hal Foster is the Master of Cartoon Art, without peer, without equal, he is simply extraordinary. Little is known of his life--until now. Thanks so much for bringing us this book! Many terrific anecdotes, in depth stories of his life and influences and work habits. I have never seen many of the illustrations included here. A truly terrific book! Very handsome in every respect. I was delighted by this purchase.
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Format: Paperback
I hope today's fans of comics and sequential art familiarize themselves with Foster's work. He is quite simply the greatest illustrator of the second half of the 20th century. Some fans of Frank Frazetta may disagree, and I love Frazetta's work too. But Foster's innate storytelling sense and incredible draftsmanship leaves the reader in awe. And what a body of work.......it's truly amazing he could maintain such a high level of craft on Prince Valiant decade after decade. Do not miss this book!
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