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Prince Valiant: Far From Camelot Paperback – October 21, 2008
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"No one knows better than I how great Prince Valiant was when the comic strip was produced by Hal Foster himself. As conscientious as I am in maintaining a certain quality, I ultimately have no control over who or how it's printed. If I did, the strip would be presented in the same high-quality fashion as seen in the book entitled The Prince Valiant Page."
That quote is from one of the creative individuals of this adventure strip regarding the quality of this book. It's a fair point so to anyone who is disappointed by the way the book looks do not complain to the creative end. They had little to no say over what lands in your hands. Instead, contact the publisher with any complaints, also the same one that doesn't even credit this book's actual designer.
That said I highly recommend this book because there is nowhere else (other than the actual Sunday newspaper strips if you're lucky enough to get it locally, or through the King Features comic strip subscription service) to see the inspired and very successful efforts of Gary Gianni and Mark Schultz' Prince Valiant. As much as I appreciated the work of John Cullen Murphy to continue what Prince Valiant's creator had started the strip is fun again after years of PC history lessons.
Prince Valliant was created and flawlessly written and drawn by the late Hal Foster.
As he aged and became less able to keep the wonderfully illustrated, full paged, Sunday strip viable he hired John Cullen Murphy to help him out. When Foster passed away Murphy continued the strip until a few years ago when Gianni was hired to assist him and as Murphy retired Gianni became the full time artist.Read more ›
Under the ridiculous strictures of a strip that tries to advance the storyline in a quarter page (even while sacrificing some of that space for a weekly synopsis) one doesn't expect all that much from a writer, and I confess that on Sunday mornings I failed to recognize the artfulness of the plot that Schultz was weaving. The reprint book gives me the chance to read the entire story at one sitting, though, and under these conditions it's plain that Schultz is a master at working under these severe restrictions.
The story is a long one, a four year adventure in which Val and son Nathan set out from Camelot to find some respite from the boredom of court life. What starts as a simple desire to slay a dragon (!) turns into an epic adventure that eventually takes the pair as far afield as Africa. Against all odds, Schultz manages to keep this epic under control even when following up to three separate plotlines when the adventurers occasionally become separated.
Schultz not only writes a corking good adventure, a real page turner that begs to be read in one marathon bout, but his work is meticulous. His story is peppered with foreshadowing devices that sometimes don't play out for months in newspaper time.Read more ›
This volume seemed like a good time to jump back on board with a new creative team. And so it proved. I prefer Foster but this collection succeeds on its own terms just fine. The characters seem true to Foster and the plots, which I don't think Foster would have approved of, are interesting and surprisingly fast paced for a weekly Sunday strip.
The plots rely far more on the supernatural, fantastic, and exotic than Foster would have been comfortable with. Foster was a much more down to earth writer and while Prince Valiant could never have been described as authentic it was grounded in realism. The Gianni and Schultz version seems to have been influenced by contemporary trends in cinema where the fantastic is heavily emphasized. Again, I prefer Foster but there's nothing basically wrong with the Gianni and Schultz approach.
One thing that did put me off was the jarring anachronistic teasers for the next strip. "A View to a Kill", "Covert Action", "A Little Payback", "Val's Mission Statement" are just a few samples that can easily break up the mood that has been carefully built up.
I recommend this book to all Prince Valiant fans and fans of fantastic fiction in general.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Prince Valiant is my favorite comic and I enjoy the artwork.Published 15 months ago by Woods Walker
My husband received this for Father's Day. He will enjoy it but may want to order some older editions which he enjoyed years ago.Published on June 16, 2013 by Anne
I don t like too much this comic book. First of all is paper back. I don t like this but this is not the biggest problem. This is just not the Prince Valiant i like. Read morePublished on March 17, 2013 by Stanko
What's with the color
The new authors of Prince Valiant have done a great job. Schultz's text comes off much better than in the weekly papers and clearly demonstrates... Read more
I'll beggin by stating my age. I am 67 and have been a devout prince Valiant followre for many years. I have the entire collection of the strip from it's inception utill 1993. Read morePublished on August 17, 2010 by Antonio Navarro Jr.
My 14 year old grandson loved this book and yet I thought he was not only being entertained but learning about "history". Read morePublished on February 19, 2010 by Bible Believer
No one can ever equal Hal Foster's run on PRINCE VALIANT - but fine line artist Gary Gianni (THE SHADOW) comes close. Read morePublished on November 30, 2008 by John J. Pocsik