Thursday, September 4, 2014
I am not a big fan of Hal Foster's famous Sunday newspaper comics 'Prince Valiant', largely because I am not a fan of swashbuckling type of comics in general unless they feature a large dose of fantastic elements and partly because of its lack of speech balloons, but I, of course, admire its high quality art and acknowledge its sway over a large body of comics readers. In addition, 'Prince Valiant' was apparently very influential on young and aspiring Turkish comics artists in the 1940s. For all these reasons, I feel obliged to record its early publication history in Turkey.
'Prince Valiant' debuted in Turkey with a five-years delay in the last page (back cover) of the first issue, dated July 30th, 1942, of the 3rd series of the weekly children's magazine Afacan as 'Aslan Prens [Lion Prince]'. Afacan had largely skipped the first-ever three 'Prince Valiant' Sundays chronicling the arrival of Valiant's clan to Britain and started its run with the fourth Sunday from March 6th, 1937 in which Valiant's first adventure really kicks in. Three panels from this Sunday were also omitted and replaced with three panels from the earlier Sundays, including the first-ever panel where Valiant had made a solo appearance, to provide an introduction. The next installment in the subsequent issue however presented the next Sunday in its entirety:
Afacan would cease publication in 1943 due to war-time economic hardships, including shortage of paper. Prince Valiant's reappearance in a Turkish publication would come up next year, but re-titled as 'Aslan Tekin' and presented as a Turkish character, "son of the khan of the Seljuks", in the Turkish translation! Below is the scan of the first installment of this new edition in the back cover of the no.89, dated Sept. 9th, 1944, in the weekly children's magazine Çocuk Haftası: