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Sir Hilary and Prince Valiant

A number of years ago Gary Gianni asked me to help him on the Prince Valiant strip. Gary was working on a side project or two, and felt he could use a hand producing the weekly strip for a short while. Most of the strips I worked on featured groups of figures, all secondary characters. Gary would do rough layouts of the page, and give me selected panels. I would use his layouts to do pencil drawings tight enough that he could ink. Following are examples of Gary's layouts and my pencils.

Gary also provided me with several folders of photo reference to use. Much of the ref was given to him by the previous artist on Valiant, John Cullen Murphy.

Below are my pencil drawings for a couple panels, and Gary's inks of the same panels. You can see how Gary would adjust the drawing to suit his style.

I recall Gary telling me that he didn't know what to make of the figure on the far left, and he simply erased it before inking. l think my cartoony drawing could throw him.

When I saw how much Gary changed the figures when he was inking, I asked if I was actually helping him. He told me that just organizing the groups of figures saved him a lot of time. In any case, I was glad to help, and it was a kick to briefly work on one of the greatest of the classic adventure comic strips.

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