View Full Version : Prince Valiant Size Change?
10-08-2006, 05:52 AM
I've got a quick question... did the Prince Valiant Sunday strip get chopped in half (size-wise) at some point in the late 1940s? I'm reading volume three of the Nostalgia Press reprint hardcovers (from the 1970s) and halfway through, it appears that the strips become 2 tiers as opposed to four (a full page).
Can anyone shed some light? It seems like the strip got cut down to a half a page, unless Nostalgia Press started futzing with it. I have a Flash Gordon collection which is all over the place, but the first two Valiants are fine.
Red Oak Kid
10-08-2006, 08:15 AM
I can't answer your specific question, but I do know that the number of tiers can vary from paper to paper.
I know for a fact that on the Ben Casey Sunday strip from the early 60s that the artist produced a three tier Sunday page every week. Some papers would use the three tier, especially if it ran on the front of their comics section. Other papers would eliminate the top tier and just use the bottom two. This usually happened if they ran the strip on an interior page. The syndicate and artist were aware of this and so nothing really important was ever drawn or written in that top tier. That way, if it was cut, the reader would not miss anything.
Sometimes when these collections are made up, they may not have copies of the original 3 or 4 tiers and they have to use the only copies they can find.
I have no way of knowing what happened on the PV strip, I just know that different newspapers can edit the size and number of tiers on a strip after they get it from the syndicate.
10-09-2006, 09:25 AM
ROK is correct. Prince Valiant was the last strip to survive as a full page (in some papers), until about 1970, but reprinters may not have had access to that layout for their efforts.
10-13-2006, 07:58 PM
Thanks for the info. I'm familiar with this 'cropping' technique with the more modern comics, like when Peanuts used to have an extra title panel and such, but wasn't aware that it took place lo those many years ago.
10-13-2006, 09:54 PM
ROK did a great job explaining the standard chopping of the top tier to crop a full page comics strip down in size. But I would like to add some other quirks that the syndicates would use depending on how the papers would order their "funnies"
This BC Sunday from the 60s demonstrates the process:
Notice for the half-size layout, no panels are lost, they are simply reduced and re-arranged. For a third-size layout again the panels are reduced, and in this example the top panels are chopped and dropped. Some of the adventures strips would identify one or two panels to drop from inside the continuity. They didn't always take it from the top.
For most of its run, I am unaware of Prince Valiant ever being less than a half-size strip. But then I stopped paying attention somewhere in the late 70s.
This method of reduction allows the entire strip to be presented at full and half size, but it does require the artist to adopt a rigid grid system for constructing the panels so they can be rearranged to fit properly.
-jb the (I'll take the full page version please) ib -
10-21-2006, 09:14 PM
John, thanks for all the examples. That was really interesting.
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