Karl the Viking
Following its best-selling reprints of his The Rise and Fall of the Trigan Empire series, the Treasury of British Comics is bringing one of master artist Don Lawrence’s most popular and enduring comic book strips back into print.
The paperback collection from the Treasury of British Comics will be published in January 2022.
The work by Lawrence, whose work on Trigan Empire revolutionised painted comic art, on these fast-paced and enthralling stories represents not just a classic of British comic books but also the pinnacle of black and white comic book art.
Originally serialised in the pages of Lion in the 1960s, this is the story of Karl – born a Saxon but orphaned when his father dies fighting Viking raiders. Impressed by his fallen foe’s bravery, the Viking leader Eingar adopts Karl as his own and raises him to be a mighty and noble warrior.
When he comes of age, Karl succeeds Eingar and leads his tribe on wild adventures across the world, from the continent that what would one day be called America, to Egypt and even Atlantis!
in Britain, battling against wild tribes of Picts, Karl discovers with his old Saxon family, gaining an ally in his cousin Godwulf, and making an enemy of the Earl of Eastumbria!
Created by Lawrence and writer Ken Bulmer, Karl the Viking debuted in Lion in October 1960 as Sword of Eingar, which followed chieftain Karl and his rival Skurl both having pledged to recover a weapon stolen by a Saxon lord, Earl Gyrth of Eastumbria. Karl’s popularity saw the strip continue after the end of his quest – now retitled Karl the Viking – for four years until September 1964.
Extensively reprinted in Europe for many years, so strong was the series that it regularly enjoyed a new lease of life years after it finished. It was commonly believed in British comics publishing that a title’s readership would grow out of comics and be replaced by a new audience about every four or five years, so in 1966 a series of reprints of Karl’s early adventures began in Lion – but he was renamed ‘Rolf’ and the strip was re-titled Swords of the Sea Wolves. Karl’s stories made another appearance, under the title Eric the Viking, in Smash! a few years later.
Publication date: 20 January (UK) 15 February (US)
Paperback, with limitied edition hardcover available from the Treasury of British Comics webshop
Price: £19.99 (limited ed. hardcover £35)
Page count: 240