In one of the all-time triumphs of comic art, the finest draftsman ever to hold a pen, Hal Foster, was inspired to begin a saga set in the days of King Arthur, Prince Valiant. Beginning in 1937, when it first appeared as a full tabloid page in the nation’s newspapers, this meticulously crafted ongoing adventure has continued to run weekly, winning worldwide acclaim for its detailed realism and heroic scope.
At the heart of the story is a nordic prince who comes to Camelot, and befriends Merlin, Arthur, and his fellow knights. Armed with the magical “singing sword,” he sets forth on a neverending adventure that has thrilled generations of readers.
Harold (“Hal”) Foster is considered one of the most important artists in the history of comic strips. His rendering showcases a realistic attention to detail and dynamic anatomy which stands as the benchmark by which all such work is measured. Recognized with numerous awards over his career, Foster passed away in 1982. While subsequent artists continuing the story have also been very skilled, including the current illustrator Gary Gianni, it is Foster’s unique graphic style that defines Prince Valiant.
When collectible-statue producer ReelArt Studios acquired the rights to make a Prince Valiant statue, they felt it was vital to capture the Hal Foster essence as a three-dimensional piece. They selected the noted sculptors of Florida’s Joy and Tom Studios to re-create one of Foster’s most iconic panels in 1/8 scale.
Dark Horse President Mike Richardson, who is also a major Hal Foster fan and collector, upon reviewing the prototype, remarked, “Wow! They picked a tough assignment and really nailed it. This is one of the best Prince Valiant items ever, and that is coming from a tough critic who owns almost everything that’s ever been done.”
Depicting Prince Valiant in full gallop waving an unsheathed sword aside a lunging charger, the sculptors picked just the right moment to “freeze” into reality, creating an animated feeling that conveys an illusion of movement and drama. The oversize statue measures nearly 12² in height, stretching 15² deep and 10 ¾” wide. Strictly limited to only five hundred hand-numbered, prepainted statues, Prince Valiant is scheduled for release in December 2008.
ReelArt Studios is a producer of top quality resin statues and busts, specializing in movie, pulp, and comic-book characters. Dark Horse Comics, the nation’s third largest comic-book and graphic novel publisher, produces and distributes a collectible merchandise program under its Dark Horse Deluxe imprint.