Early “Prince Valiant” art by Hal Foster sells for over £33,000

The “Prince Valiant” newspaper made its debut on 13th February 1937, an epic adventure and romantic fantasy created by Hal Foster for 35 years. Earlier this month, the tenth episode sold for $40,800 (just over £33,500) on Heritage Auctions.

Prince Valiant #10 - 17th April 1937 SNIP

Realistic in its visual execution and noble in its subject, depicting a time in which the fabled warriors of history and legends fought together for the greater good, “Prince Valiant” remains one of the great masterpieces of the medium.

“Foster’s ‘Prince Valiant’ is not just an adventure, or romance, or humour strip — though it is sprinkled with all those elements,” noted Brian M. Kane, author of Hal Foster: Prince of Illustrators and The Definitive Prince Valiant Companion, in a tribute to the strip to mark its 80th anniversary back in 2017.

“’Prince Valiant’ is a graphic novel about life, where people fall in love, wars are fought, children are born and grow older, hearts are broken, friends die in battle, couples marry, and even disfigured and disabled characters young and old, male and female, have a place and purpose in this brave world Foster fashioned.”

The sale price is lower than one later artwork, sold by Nate D. Sanders Auctions in 2017, which sold for a staggering $70,461, interest at the time perhaps buoyed by the strip’s 80th anniversary year, but while older, it is, despite being impressive art, is not as iconic.

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Prince Valiant © King Features Syndicate, Inc. | With thanks to Ernesto Guevara

The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Explorer (previously known as Star Trek Magazine) and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of "Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies" for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.

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