Sunday, September 02, 2007

For the Love of Adventure

I've mentioned before that my pal Cliff always saves the Sunday Funnies out of his newspapers for me. This originally started because Cliff's hometown paper, The Rome News Tribune, was running the Prince Valiant strip and that strip was taken over a couple of years back by artist Gary Gianni. Gianni is an illustrator and a comic book artist and is probably best know for the beautiful paintings and line drawings he did for two of Wandering Star's Robert E. Howard books.
But wait. It gets better. Not long after Gianni took over the art on the strip it was announced that Mark Schultz would take over the writing chores on Prince Valiant. Schultz is yet another of the illustartors who worked on the Wandering Star REH books and is also the writer/artist of the cult favorite comic, Cadillacs and Dinosaurs, which sought to recapture the 50s style look of the old EC science fiction comics.
So now we have two fans of Robert E. Howard and Conan drawing and writing Prince Valiant. And boy does it show. In the past year Val has traveled to Egypt and battled an ancient sorcerer who guarded the treasures of King Solomon. He's teamed up with Viking raiders and African tribesmen. Now it looks like he's about to run into a lost race of winged anthropoids in the African rain forest. Sounds like something right out of the Solomon Kane story, Wings in the Night.
It's the stuff of high adventure and it makes me feel very kid-like, poring over the four color panels as Val and his Viking pal run from one hairbreadth escape to the next. So thanks Gary and Mark, for bringing a sense of wonder back to the Sunday funny papers, and thanks Cliff, for seeing that I didn't miss out.

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