Monthly Archives: February 2011

Review: Prince Valiant Vol. 2: 1939-1940

Prince Valiant Vol. 2: 1939–1940 has all the virtues of its predecessor: lively adventure, painterly colors and fine-scale detail in action and rest. But where the first volume revolved around Camelot, this installment sees the titular prince roam Europe in search of adventure

Val seems to grow through these pages, replacing a bit of his carefree mayhem with the responsibilities of leadership and loss. He’s still surprising savage to modern eyes and cavalier about his safety as well. He’ll kill for sport and sheath his sword for laughter. Crusades catch him, but none as forcefully as his need for amusement.

These adventures in these pages take him to the doomed castle of Anderkrag and Rome at the height of its decline. The bulk of the story, though, is taken up with a full war against the Huns (of Atilla fame). The full-page vistas give Val sufficient space to display actual strategy and reversals. Graded on the curve of the times, Hal Foster doesn’t dehumanize the Huns too badly, even if they are full villains.

The art seems more assured here. Some of the compositions break the grid to showcase a single stop-and-stare drawing. The action is fun, leavened with heartbreak. And the story ends with an excellent cliffhanger, making me look forward to my third round with the Prince.

Marissa Kristal: What Doesn’t Kill You

One last bit of long-overdue catch up: FLYMF alum Marissa Kristal has published”What Doesn’t Kill You: A Mini Memoir About Suffering and Surviving a Brain Bleed.” It details her experience with a serious health scare–a burst vein in her brain–chronicling the changes she experienced in its aftermath. I also look forward to adding this one to my bookshelf.

Marissa’s story Trainers (And Big, Horny Dogs) was published in FLYMF’s Greatest Hits. She also contributed Standing on Street CornersThat Girl, Frostbite, Mr. Crazy and The Cheek Kiss.

Gini Koch: Touched by an Alien and Alien Tango

Something I’ve been meaning to mention for a long time now: FLYMF alum Gini Koch is having a great response to her ongoing Alien series, published by DAW books. The first installment, “Touched by an Alien,” has inspired a sequel, “Alien Tango,” and it looks like there are more installments in the pipeline. You can see all the details at her web site.

The reviews indicate the books are full of sci-fi fun. I look forward to catching up with the series!

Gini’s stories for FLYMF included…well, she wrote for us under a different name, and I’m not sure she wants to share it. But if she was published in FLYMF, you know she has to be funny.