Borealis, 1-1, Summer 1978: 26.
Born August 16 1892 in Halifax Nova Scotia he moved with his family in 1906 to Winnipeg Manitoba. At age 18 he quit school to support his family as a prize fighter, a wilderness guide and a gold prospector.
In 1921 he travelled to Chicago on a bicycle to attend art classes at the Art Institute. From there he went to the National Academy of Design and the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. He then worked as an illustrator and advertising artist and soon gained a solid reputation from his illustration and poster work.
In 1928 Joseph H. Neebe a literary agent who had acquired the rights to adapt Edgar Rice Burroughs’ “Tarzan” into comic strip form approached Foster to do the adaption and Foster accepted although he agreed to do only the first episode (January to March 1929). He then went back to advertising. In September 1931 he came back but only to draw the Sunday page.
In 1937 Foster created “Prince Valiant” the saga of a knight in King Arthur’s court. In 1944 to 1945 Foster gave “Prince Valiant” a companion strip “The Medieval Castle” – a tale of the Middle Ages. In the 1960’s the aging and overworked Foster left more and more work to his assistants and in 1971 he ceased to illustrate “Prince Valiant” although he still wrote it.
As Maurice Horn has said, “Harold Foster’s reputation as one of the foremost cartoon strip artists is secure. He never made use of the balloons but instead enclosed his text within the frame of the image (a throwback to earlier European usage) but as an illustrator rather than a cartoonist he brought to the comic strip a number of new techniques as well as a knowledge of anatomy and a sense of space. As Coulton Waugh wrote in 1947, ‘Foster possesses also the true illustrator’s passion for periods and authentic detail. He is a remarkable figure among comic artists and his place in strip history is unique.’”
“Foster has exercised a decisive influence on the following generation of comic strip artists, from Clarence Gray and Alex Raymond to his successor on “Tarzan” Bruce Hogarth. He has also been the recipient of a number of cartooning awards (the Ruben among them) but in view of his achievement these seem rather trivial.”
BOOK GRAPHIC COLLECTION:
Prince Valiant Scrapbook. Car., Hal Foster. Bill Crouch Junior, 1981. Facsimile Manuscript Limited to 1500 copies.
Content serial & Cover book front:
Prince Valiant …. Car., Hal Foster. Fantagraphic Books,
|v. 01: The Prophecy. Fall 1987.
v. 02, The Singing Sword. Summer 1988.
v. 03, Knights of the Round Table. Fall 1988.
v. 04, The Menace of The Hun. November 1988.
v. 05, The Sea King. Spring 1989.
v. 06, Journey To Africa. Spring 1989.
v. 07, The Roman Wall. August 1989.
v. 08, Price Of Thule. January 1990.
v. 09, Journey To The Misty Isles. June 1990
v. 10 Aleta. September 1990.
v. 11, Intrigues At Camelot. December 1990.
v. 12, The New World. Summer 1991.
v. 13, The Sun Goddess. Summer 1991.
v. 14, Sword & Sorcery. September 1991.
v. 15, Young Geoffrey. December 1991.
v. 16, Love & War. Spring 1992.
v. 17, Return From Rome, Winter 1992.
v. 18, The Stolen River, Spring 1993.
v. 19, Duel In Ireland. Summer 1993.
v. 20, The Pilgrimage. Fall 1993.
|v. 21, Prisoner Of The Khan. Winter 1993/1994.
v. 22, Homeward Bound. Winter 1993/1994.
v. 23, Kings Of Cornwall. Winter 1995.
v. 24, The Red Stallion, Spring 1995.
v.25, The Curse, Summer 1995.
v. 26, Lithway’s Law. Summer 1984.
v. 27, Eternal Quest. Winter 1985.
v. 28, Savage Girl. Fall 1985.
v. 29, Monastery Of Demons. Spring 1986.
v. 30, Arn Son Of Valiant. Spring 1987.
v. 31, A Joust For Aleta. Summer 1987.
v. 33, Tillicum’s Counsel. Spring 1998.
v. 34, Mordred’s Revenge. Summer 1998.
v. 35, Doppleganger. Fall 1998.
v. 36, The Dead Warrior’s Sword. Spring 1999.
v. 37, Adventure’s Of Sir Gawain. Summer 1999.
v. 38, Prince Arn’s Exploit. Fall 1999.
v. 39, Knight’s Blood. Spring 2000.
Content serial & Cover dust jacket front:
Prince Valiant In The Days Of King Arthur. Car., Hal Foster. Nostalgia Press Inc. 1974.
Prince Valiant Companions In Adventure. Car., Hal Foster. Nostalgia Press Inc. 1974.
Content serial & Cover dust jacket front & back:
Tarzan … Car., Hal Foster. Beall, Minous, Chine Publishing Inc. ….
|Vol. 1, 1931 to 1932. 1992.||Vol. 3, 1933 to 1934. 1993.
Vol. 4, 1934 to 1935. 1993.
|Vol. 5, 1935 to 1936. 1993.
Vol. 6, 1936 to 1937. 1994.
The World Encyclopedia of Comics, Ed., Maurice Horn. Chelsea House Publishers, 1976: “Foster Harold (1892 – ).” Writ., Maurice Horn: 259 – 260.
The Comics Journal, 102, Sept. 1985: “Harold Foster: Drawing Upon History.” Interviewer, Arn Saba. 61-84.
Nemo, 9, Oct. 1984: “Hal Foster Interview.” Interviewer, Fred Schreiber: 7-19.
From Tarzan v. 6 (1936-1937): Front cover.