From Tarzan to Prince Valiant: Hal Foster and William Randolph Hearst

ATTENTION COMICON WIZARD WORLD AND COMIC FANS

I promised to tell you about how you can get more information about Hal Foster and Edgar Rice Burroughs. the inventors of the TRILLION DOLLAR SUPERHERO INDUSTRY.

You can actually see and handle (with white gloves) Hal Foster’s ORIGINAL  black and white inked Prince Valiant pages at two locations, the library on the 6th floor of Syracuse University, and at the Wexner Art Museum’s Cartoon Research Library, street level, at Ohio State University. There is an exhibit honoring Oak Park Illinois’ native son, Edgar Rice Burroughs, at the Oak Park Historical Society.

After Hal Foster spent seven years drawing Tarzan, he was asked by William Randolph Hearst, owner of hundreds of newspapers, to create one of his own strips for the Hearst chain and its King Features syndicate. Ironically, Hearst was one of first to reject Tarzan in 1930, when he thought that the idea of an adventure strip was “too radical” an idea for the comics. Foster then started Prince Valiant in 1937. He wrote and illustrated it for forty years. He passed on the hugely successful strip to Chicago artist, John Cullen Murphy, who did Prince Valiant for another 38 years, Gary Gianni, another fine Chicago artist, did Prince Valiant for another five years, until Tom Yeates took it over two years ago. It still runs in over 300 newspapers worldwide.

Unfortunately, it has been reduced in size to one third of a page, from the original full page, thus, losing the power of the fine art work. You can also view the weekly strip on your computer screen with zoom privileges on a $ 20.00 per year subscription internet site…favorites@comicskingdom.com It contains all the King Features comics and cartoons. The web site of Milwaukee Journal.com/comics also runs Prince Valiant weekly.

For more historical information about Tarzan and Prince Valiant contained in the exhibit that was was on tour in the Chicago area for six years and seen in twenty two art centers and libraries and museums, please contact the Skokie Public Library.

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