14 April 2011
Translation: Valhalla - The Compete Saga 1
By: Peter Madsen
Language: Swedish (Danish)
214 pages, colour, hard cover
Ekholm & Tegebjer 2011
The album series Valhall is literally and metaphorically the Danish artist Peter Madsen's masterpiece. Literally as the now-completed series comprised of fifteen albums in the classical European format, are now collected in five bulky, bound volumes with lots of extras; metaphorically as Madsen has spent three decades, most of his adult life, working on the series.
Valhall is a comic in the European humor/adventure genre (like Tintin or Asterix), but one of the few successfull comics in this genre that has ever been created in the Nordic countries. The narratives in each independent album are based on the old Norse myths, often viewed by two human children's eyes. The style is softly caricatured with a clear, evocative coloring; the stories seemlessly blend exciting adventures with a decidedly humane humor and historical facts.
Valhall has ended with the final, fifteenth album, and Madsen and his long-time script collaborator Henning Kure, have decided to commemorate this by putting together the end-all collection, five volumes with three episodes each, where Madsen and Kure have dug deep among 30 years of production and added a wide set of sketches, photographs and unpublished or more rarely seen comics, supplemented by texts about the series' history and the stories' historical background.
Valhall is a classic in the true sense of the word, a comic which will live on for a long time, and it is really good to see it get such a respectful treatment, and that it is published in Swedish as well. Kudos to Ekholm & Tegebjer for that!