Thursday, August 12, 2010

Toy Stories -- Alex Toth

In an earlier post I mentioned the generally dismal quality of Dell's TV and movie adaptations. You might think that comic book adaptations of toys and other products would represent the absolute bottom of the barrel. In many cases you'd cases you'd be right but there are exceptions.

As compared with adapting TV and movies, toys and other products provide an almost blank slate. Give that kind of freedom to a talented cartoonist like Jim Meddick and you will get something like the funny and inventive strip Monty (which started out as part of a now forgotten toy franchise).

Along the same lines, if you asked Alex Toth, one of the best artists in the field at the time, to draw a comic book about auto racing, you will probably get back some impressive work.

Toth may not be as familiar to the casual comics fans as a Kirby or a Ditko, but among his peers his reputation was very close to the top. Here's Gil Kane on Toth:
KANE: And I would say [Al Williamsom] is diametrically opposed to the most contemporaneous artist there is today, Alex Toth. Toth has the most contemporaneous style, with a real feeling for the angularity and pattern that is tee fleeted [sic?] in everything from mechanical design through fashion and architecture.
I would like to point up the disparity between the choices of the fans and of the pro artists. Fans tend to focus on the single artist, who is regarded as a good working professional, but hardly with the high regard that fans have; professionals, on the other band, single out people that I never read about in any fan magazine.

AE: One would be Toth?

KANE: Toth is one. Dan Spiegel is another.
I'll try to dig up some Spiegel work so you can see for yourself. In the meantime, enjoy some moments with the always impressive Alex Toth.

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