Saturday, January 16, 2010

CFP Arthurian-Themed Comics Collection (1/30/10)

This was posted last November on the regular blog for The Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages. A second call for papers will follow in the spring.

CFP Arthurian-Themed Comics Collection (1/30/10)

In commemoration of the upcoming 75th anniversary of Prince Valiant, we are seeking brief proposals (apx. 200-500 words) for a collection of essays on comics (comic strips, comic books, graphic novels, web comics, and adaptations into other media) based on or inspired by the Arthurian tradition. The collection will be edited by Michael A Torregrossa and Jason Tondro. Please submit proposals to the editors by 30 January 2010.

Michael A Torregrossa
The Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages
34 Second Street
Smithfield, RI 02917-3627
United States

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Prince Valiant Reprints

Both old and recent adventures of Prince Valiant are now be reprinted by Fantagraphics and Andrews McMeel, respectively. These are also available from online booksellers at a reduced rate.

Prince Valiant Vol. 1: 1937-1938 (Vol. 2: 1939-1940 is due out in May 2010)
Click here for a preview.

Details for this: Book
Author: Hal Foster
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 120
Dimensions: 10.5" x 14.25"
Colors: full color
Year: 2009
Publisher: Fantagraphics
ISBN-10: n/a
ISBN-13: 978-1-60699-141-1
Additional Details: n/a

Price: $29.99


Universally acclaimed as the most stunningly gorgeous adventure comic strip of all time, Prince Valiant ran for 35 years under the virtuoso pen of its creator, Hal Foster. (Such was its popularity that today, decades after Foster’s death, it continues to run under different hands.)

The giant Sunday-funnies pages (Valiant ran only on Sundays) gave Foster a huge canvas upon which he was able to limn epic swordfights, stunning scenes of pomp and pageantry, and some of the most beautiful human beings — male and female — ever to appear in comics. And he matched his nonpareil visual sense with the narrative instincts of a born storyteller, propelling his daring young hero from one crisis to another with barely a panel to catch one’s breath.

Prince Valiant has previously been widely available only in re-colored, somewhat degraded editions (now out of print and fetching collectors’ prices). Thanks to advances in production technology and newly available original proof sheets, this new series from the industry leader in quality strip classics is the first to feature superb restored artwork that captures every delicate line and chromatic nuance of Foster’s original masterpiece. Comic strip aficionados will be ecstatic, and younger readers who enjoy a classic adventure yarn will be bowled over.

Volume One is rounded out with a rare, in-depth classic Foster interview previously available only in a long out-of-print issue of The Comics Journal, as well as an informative Afterword detailing the production and restoration of this edition, which you can read in its entirety right here on our website.

Prince Valiant: Far From Camelot
by Gary Gianni and Mark Schultz
Click here to access a preview.

U.S.: $19.99 Canada: $21.99
Format: Paperback
On sale: October 2008
Category: Comics and Humor

Prince Valiant is a high-art comic novel that follows the exploits of the iconic knight errant. Originally created by Hal Foster and now sketched by award-winning creators Gary Gianni and Mark Schultz, Prince Valiant is an epic comic adventure that has maintained a continuous story line since its debut in 1937. Noted for its realistic panoramas and its intelligent, humorous narrative, Prince Valiant depicts events taken from various time periods spanning from the late Roman Empire to the High Middle Ages.

This collection follows Prince Valiant and his son Nathan as they prepare for battle following King Arthur's abdication. The knightly father and son encounter danger and adventure as they right wrongs throughout each step of their journey. Meanwhile, Aleta, Valiant's true love, holds court back at Camelot while facing challenges of her own.

Prince Valiant appears weekly in more than 300 newspapers nationwide. Strips dating from November 21, 2004, to May 11, 2008 are included within this collection.

Detailed Specifications

Prince Valiant

Far From Camelot

by Gary Gianni , Mark Schultz
U.S.: $19.99
Canada: $21.99
ISBN-13: 978-0-7407-7737-0
ISBN-10: 0-7407-7737-8
Trim Size: 8 1/2 x 10 7/8 in.
Page Count: 192 pp
On sale: October 2008
Existing Title
Format: Paperback
Category: Comics and Humor

Definitive Prince Valiant Companion

Coming soon from Fantagraphics:

The Definitive Prince Valiant Companion (HC; SC) [click to order and to view a preview; a more in-depth preview can be found on]

Details for this: Book
Author: Compiled & Revised by Brian M. Kane
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 160
Dimensions: 8.5" x 11"
Colors: black & white/color
Year: 2009
Publisher: Fantagraphics
ISBN-10: n/a
ISBN-13: 978-1-60699-306-4
Additional Details: Introduction by Ray Bradbury; Foreword by Brian Walker

Ships in: December 2009 (subject to change)
Price: $39.99

Details for this: Book
Author: Compiled & Revised by Brian M. Kane
Format: Softcover
Pages: 160
Dimensions: 8.5" x 11"
Colors: black & white/color
Year: 2009
Publisher: Fantagraphics
ISBN-10: n/a
ISBN-13: 978-1-60699-305-7
Additional Details: Introduction by Ray Bradbury; Foreword by Brian Walker

Price: $24.99

Out of print for over a decade, The Prince Valiant Companion has become a Holy Grail for collectors of the series. Now, in anticipation of the seventy-fifth anniversary of comics’ longest-running adventure strip, and to celebrate our own just-launched reprinting of the strip’s classic earliest years, Fantagraphics is proud to present an expanded version of this hard-to-find collector’s item. Compiled by award-winning Foster biographer Brian M. Kane, The Definitive Prince Valiant Companion beautifully showcases the careers of artists Hal Foster, John Cullen Murphy, and Gary Gianni.

In addition to updating the original version’s story synopsis section with over thirty years of material, The Definitive Prince Valiant Companion also contains rare and new articles. Included in this volume is a never before reprinted newspaper feature from 1949, Foster’s final interview conducted by Arn Saba, an extensive interview with John Cullen Murphy, and a new interview with the current Prince Valiant creative team of Gary Gianni and Mark Schultz. The Companion also contains a new, in-depth article by Kane on Foster’s artistic influences, as well as a Foreword by comics historian Brian Walker, and an Introduction by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ray Bradbury.

A special feature of the Companion is a sixteen-page color section of carefully selected strips from the entire run of the comic. Showcasing this section are eight pages by Foster, scanned and digitally restored from original color engraver’s proofs that had been carefully stored and preserved for over forty years. For the first time ever, collectors will be able to see Prince Valiant as Foster intended it to be seen, with all of his fine inked line work intact. Rounding out this section are four John Cullen Murphy pages from the Murphy family’s collection of proofs, and four Gary Gianni pages that were selected by the artist and digitally recolored under his supervision.

Proceeds from the sale of The Definitive Prince Valiant Companion will go to The Friends of Hal Foster Society to aid in the creation of the Prince Valiant statue in Foster’s birthplace of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Muppet King Arthur Updates

The following details were culled from the Mile High Comics' New Issue Comics Express online catalog, however, as there were some delays in the creation of the comic, the information on numbers 1 and 2 may be inaccurate.

(W) Johanna Stokes (A) TBD Many have sought the Holy Grail, and many have failed. Now the Muppets present some very good reasons why, as they recount the fantastic quest of King Arthur and his Muppets of the Round Table! This classic tale of adventure, romance, and magic is told once again, but this time with more frogs, chickens, bears, and Whatnots than you can shake Excalibur at! In the words of Fozzie, it will be a 'knight' to remember! Covers by Amy Mebberson and Mouse Guard's David Petersen.

(W) Paul Benjamin, Patrick Storck (A) David Alvarez The epic tale of King Arthur continues, as only the Muppets can tell it! Featuring covers by David Petersen (of Mouse Guard fame) and Amy Mebberson!

MUPPET KING ARTHUR #3 (OF 4) (C: 1-0-0)
(W) Paul Benjamin, Patrick Storck (A) Dave Alvarez The characters you love retell the legend you thought you knew, as King Arthur and his Muppets Of The Round Table set off on a quest to find the Holy Grail. A tale of swords, sorcery, frogs and bad one-liners as only the Muppets can tell it! Covers by Amy Mebberson and David Petersen of Mouse Guard fame.

MUPPET KING ARTHUR #4 (OF 4) (C: 1-0-0)
(W) Paul Benjamin, Patrick Storck (A) David Alvarez Every great quest must come to an end, and for now the Knights of Arthur must be tabled. But not before the epic battle against Mordred (Robin), as he attempts to claim the throne! Can Arthur (Kermit) defeat his son in the most deadly form of combat known to man - a pun-off?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Ex Occultus: A Matter of Britain (New/Recent & FREE!) is currently offering the following comic for a free download as a watermarked PDF. I am unfamiliar with the Ex Occultus series and, at this point, do not know if there have been any additional references to the legend.

Ex Occultus: A Matter of Britain

1875. Wakefield and Hollander are sent to investigate the ghostly goings-on in a cave near a small village, where they discover the exiled Lancelot du Lac, fabled knight of King Arthur’s Round Table. The intrepid occultists first find themselves in awe of the famed warrior, but soon discover the madness the knight has endured after centuries of isolation.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Muppet King Arthur (New and Recent)

Boom Studios has announced the release of Nos. 1 and 2 of Muppet King Arthur, a re-imaging of the legend featuring the Muppet characters. The series, which will should be available on Boom Studio's website for purchase soon, follows on the heels of the publisher's Muppet Robin Hood and Muppet Peter Pan. is now taking pre-orders for the collected edition of Muppet King Arthur due out this July in both hardcover and paperback editions.

New and Recent: Fate/Stay Night

Happy New Year and welcome to the Arthur of the Comics Project Blog. Soon, I will be posting a preliminary bibliography of studies related to the study of Arthurian comics, but, in the meantime, readers can expect some notices on new and recent comics like this one.

Out this month is No. 6 of Tokyopop's manga series Fate/Stay Night. The manga is based on a twenty-four episode anime series, adapted from a 2004 computer game by TYPE-MOON, that aired in Japan in 2005. The anime series, now available in the West on DVD, features a character named Arturia Pendragon, a female incarnation of King Arthur, who, as "Saber," is summoned from the past to participate in an epic struggle featuring master mages and their servants (Saber included) for possession of the Holy Grail, a talisman of incredibly powerful magic capable of reshaping reailty. Nos. 1 through 5 of the manga set up the struggle for the Grail and introduce the main characters, while No. 6 (Jan 2010) sets the stage for the revelation of Saber's true identity (to occur in No. 7 due out in March), when her weapon is revealed to be Excalibur.

More details on the Fate/Stay Night franchise can be found on its Wikipedia page. Previews of the manga can be found on Tokyopop's web site.