La vallée maudite (Audax #35, September 1955)
Little is known about the artist behind the signature Val. He drew back-up stories for Capitaine Sabord by Éditions Gordinne from Liège in the late 1940s. These were later reprinted in two of Artima's Audax issues: 'Le Bracelet de Cuivre' (#34) and 'La Vallée Maudite' (#35) in 1955. It is possible that Val's real name is Valentin Dufrasne, an illustrator that was active until at least the 1950s. Val Dufrasne illustrated books like 'Histoire de la Belgique et de son peuple' by G. Groult, that was issued by another publisher from the Liège area, as well as a collection of Charles Seydel poems by Imprimerie des Sciences in Brussels called 'Bilulutades'.
Val could also be the same person as Frank Val, the artist credited with the late 1940s comic books 'Chicago-Kid' and 'Malabar, le Roi des Mers du Sud' by Publi-Vog in Nice. Frank Val (whose name is also spelled as Franck Val) also drew 8 issues of 'Rex la Brousse' for Voix Françaises in Nice in 1949-50. The signature Val also appeared in the Fayard magazines Les Belles Images and La Jeunesse Illustrée between 1928 and 1933. Possible connections between these artists are unknown.