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Saturday, November 08, 2008

Prince Valiant #45: The Mark of Cain - From 2003


This forty-fifth issue reprints Sunday pages from a seminal masterpiece that influenced decades of comics writers and artists. For the uninitiated, methinks Prince Valiant is set "in the days of King Arthur", and recounts the rousing, pseudo-historic adventures of a restless knight as he gallops through what became Western Europe.

Pioneer comics genius Hal Foster established the beautiful, realistic style of art and word that is continued by John Cullen Murphy, and the quirk that distinguished it from almost everything else in comics. Both prose and dialog are printed at the bottom of the art. This creates a sense that readers observe instead of participate in events.

This series should be in every library. Highly recommended for all literate ages.

Prince Valiant #45: The Mark of Cain/$16.95 & 44 pgs. from Fantagraphics Books /sold in comics/book stores, and at www.fantagraphics.com.

Review by Michael Vance

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