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Hal Foster
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    (August 16, 1892-July 25, 1982)
    Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Drew a ‘Tarzan’ comic strip (1928-29,1931-37)
    Created the comic strip ‘Prince Valiant’ (1937)
    Recipient of the Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year (1957)
    Inducted into the Will Eisner Hall of Fame (1996) and the National Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame (2006)
    His first job as an artist was drawing underwear ads for the Hudson Bay Company catalog.
    He initially considered comics an inferior art form and returned to the ‘Tarzan’ strip only because of the difficulty of finding work as an illustrator during the Depression.
    Although ‘Prince Valiant’ takes place during the reign of King Arthur (5th or 6th century AD), the strip frequently incorporated elements from the High Middle Ages and the Renaissance (nearly an entire millennium after the nominal setting).
    He said that Prince Valiant was based on himself ‘but with muscles.’ (And with a goofy pageboy haircut.)
    He bicycled a thousand miles from Winnipeg to Chicago to attend the Chicago Art Institute.
    William Randolph Hearst was impressed enough by his work to offer him ownership of the ‘Prince Valiant’ strip and a 50-50 split of the gross profits, a rare deal in those days.
    His illustrations were known for their attention to detail, naturalistic style, and use of chiaroscuro (contrasting areas of light and dark).
    He is considered ‘the Father of the Adventure Strip.’
    Ray Bradbury said he was ‘the greatest illustrator in the Sunday papers that we had, period.’
    Frank Frazetta called his work ‘a landmark in American twentieth-century art that will never be surpassed.’

Credit: C. Fishel

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