Harold Foster

Harold Foster, artist, author (b at Halifax 16 Aug 1892; d at Spring Hill, Fla 28 July 1982). Father of the adventure comic strip, Foster crossed Halifax harbour on a 12-foot (3.6 m) raft at age 8, skippered a 30 foot (9 m) sloop at 12, and after moving to Winnipeg helped support his family by hunting and fishing. He discovered a million-dollar gold lode near Rice Lake, Saskatchewan, and when he lost it to "claim jumpers" he bicycled 1600 kilometres to Chicago, Illinois, for formal art training. He twice revolutionized newspaper comics. His Tarzan (1929-37) introduced adventure and realistic artistry, and in 1937 he created Prince Valiant, an original "illustrated historical novel" with complex, realistic characters, plotting and a literate text. Foster wrote and illustrated Prince Valiant for 42 years. His work, based on visits to the locales used and on research into medieval life, has been praised by both historians and teachers.