Hal Foster's 'Prince Valiant'
WRAP-AROUND BOOK COVER ART IS DRAMATIC EXAMPLE OF ARTIST’S DETAILED DRAFTSMANSHIP
Hal Foster’s Prince Valiant was at a cultural peak in the 1950s, a short 13 years after the Canadian-American comic book artist and writer launched the newspaper tales of his Nordic adventurer.
“Few artists matched the high level of draftsmanship and attention to detail that Foster achieved in his panels,” says Barry Sandoval, director of operations for comics and comic art at Heritage Auctions. “His original art remains in high demand.” Foster stopped drawing the strip in the early 1970s.
In 1952, Foster completed wrap-around cover art for Prince Valiant Fights Attila the Hun, the second hardback book that re-told the adventures printed in 1939 and 1940. It’s being offered in Heritage’s comics and comic art auction scheduled for Feb. 23-24, 2017.
“This is a rare and incredible original wrap-around cover, as commissioned for this second book,” Sandoval says. “It’s an action-packed piece with the classic, stunning detail of Foster’s best work. We know of no book cover art by Foster that has ever come up for sale, so even collectors who own prime examples of the Sunday strip should be going after this piece.”
Prince Valiant today has been called a masterpiece of comics art. “Legendary comics artists like Frank Frazetta, Wally Wood and Jim Steranko all admired, respected and studied Foster’s pages,” Sandoval says.