Friday, April 27, 2007


A brilliant cartoonist whose work graced the pages of many a comic book line was Alex Toth, a very spirited and independent individual who, despite his enormous talent, never became well-known to the average person, though his later work, mostly in animated television cartoons, was seen by millions (more later). Mr. Toth, recently deceased, drew a good deal of pages for DC COMICS, in it's various incarnations (in the 1960's), such as "Eclipso", in HOUSE OF SECRETS, and a tremendous team-up of "The Flash & The Atom" in THE BRAVE & THE BOLD and a teriffic romance comics serial "20 Miles To Heartbreak", in the 1970's, as well as an astounding BATMAN story in that decade, plus a beautiful "Challengers Of The Unknown" story, and an absolutely astounding SUPERMAN & BATMAN team-up, in a SUPERMAN ANNUAL, in that decade also, and, for MARVEL COMICS, EC COMICS, and he has owned his own creations, such as BRAVO FOR ADVENTURE, THE FOX, and THE VANGUARD. In the 1980's Mr. Toth drew some beautiful work for RED CIRCLE, recalling the hard-boiled pulp mahazines of days gone by, these works included the title THE BLACK HOOD. Alex also drew many superb pages for the romance comic books of STANDARD PUBLICATIONS (in the 1950's), and these works are beautifully designed and sophisticated examples of comic book story telling. Mr. Toth also drew materials for The U.S. Armed Forces.Toth's best-known comic book work, though, is probably his superb and vigorously rendered art for DELL's issues featuring Walt Disney's ZORRO.Toth drew only a small number of ZORRO books for DELL, but the exquisite drawing by Toth for these books is so appreciated by comic book enthusiasts that the stories he drew have been collected in book form by two different publishers, ECLIPSE COMICS and IMAGE COMICS.Toth also drew such television based titles as 77 SUNSET STRIP, and a whole slew of movie adaptations.Much of the late part of Toth's career was occupied with drawing "storyboards" for animated cartoons, for such series as SPACE GHOST and BIRDMAN & THE GALAXY TRIO, for Hanna-Barbera Productions, SKY HAWKS and HOT WHEELS, for Ken Snyder Productions (HOT WHEELS was also a DC comic that Toth also drew five issues of), and also the cult classic show SPACE ANGEL.
Alex was also well-known for the wonderful hand-lettered missives he would send out to friends and fans, I received one of these in about 2001 or 2002. You have to see these to believe them, they have doodles as well as Alex's intricate personal style of hand-lettering. I will print some pictures here when I can get at them, perhaps of some of the excellent animation model sheets by Alex that are in my collection.
Many have described Alex as an eccentric or curmudgeon, but he was a rugged individualist who had no time for nonsense, especially after the passing of his wife, Guyla, but he always had time for a friend.

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