Sunday, May 25, 2008

Hal Foster (1892-1980)

Prince Valiant in the New World by Harold Foster and Max Trell, NY: Hastings House, Prince Valiant Book No. 6, 1956.

This book was Hal Foster’s only Canadian work although he produced plenty of paintings of Mounties for Northwest Paper calendars in the thirties. The book has an end piece map which shows the route Prince Valiant took to the new world.

Val, following his kidnapped wife Aleta, started out in Thule (Northwest of Scandia), stopped for a battle in the Canary Islands, made a stop in Southern Iceland, and went southwest at Greenland to arrive in present day Newfoundland. Next our hero went north, made a sharp u-turn heading below Anticostia Island to a smooth sail up the St. Lawrence river against the current still on the trail of the villainous Ulfrun and the captive Aleta. The chase carries on through the Thousand Islands and out onto Lake Ontario where he catches up with his quarry and sends Ulfrun to his death. The Prince of Thule and his family carry on to Niagara Falls, turn back taking a half-circle round southern Newfoundland, straight on to Ireland then home to King Arthur’s kingdom in Britannia. Judging by the map King Arthur resided in London.

During the newspaper syndication of Prince Valiant in the New World, August 31, 1947, a son was born to Val and Aleta in the woods of Ontario. Young Prince Arn, a sturdy Canadian lad, looked a little like Sir Winston Churchill.

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