Mark Schultz in the Comics of Hal Foster

The Scranton Sunday Times features a profile of current Prince Valiant writer

Mark Schultz on the front page (but below the fold).

Scranton Times-Tribune staff writer Jim Lockwood interviews Mark about

his comics career in general and his years writing Prince Valiant in particular.

“Basically what we’re try to do now is just not screw things up. We want to stay true to the characters,” Schultz said. “I hope I continue the legacy of ‘Prince Valiant’ in a manner that is in keeping with the original intent.”

That brings in Prince Valiant scholar Brian Kane to discuss the history of the comic strip.

© King Features Syndicate

About this time next year Mark will have scripted his 1000th Prince Valiant page, his first was #3,537.

How long will he continue on the strip? Mark says:

“My feeling right now is that when Thomas (Yeates) decides to cash in his chips, I’ll probably be ready to go, too,” Schultz said. “To get on board with a new artist just seems probably, after this amount of time, it’s probably time for me to move on and let a new writer give a try at it. Who Knows? That might be a long time” (to come).

January 30 edit: Yahoo News has the article with no paywall.

Two things – the article says Prince Valiant runs in “about 300 Sunday newspapers in the nation.” I would like it to be much closer to 500, though I’m sure book licensing, both foreign and domestic, keep the strip well worth while to continue. (Overseas the Schultz/Yeates pages are published in hardcovers.)

And: The article says Mark is the third writer after Hal Foster and Cullen Murphy; but in the last half of the 1970s Bill Crouch wrote a half dozen stories that were mixed in as Foster was breaking in Cullen.