Saturday, May 27, 2006

He Did It Simply And Well

I just found out one of my best friends died today - and he and I never even met. I am speaking of the great comic book and animation artist Alex Toth who passed away today while at his drawing table. A fitting end to a man who left his mark in the world.

Some of you out there are saying, "Alex who?" Fair enough. Alex was an artist who worked at his craft and railed against mediocrity in all its forms. He wasn't center spotlight, but he was the guy who gaveus a lot of style even though we may not be aware of it.

In the 60's Alex drew a lot of comics for DC and Western - most notably Eclipso, Hot Wheels and of course Zorro which was later collected in an edition by Eclipse books. He was a tremendous influence on artists such as Howard Chaykin who further refined the elements of Toth's style for his own work. He was an artists' artist - never flashy with technique, but a sledge hammer when it came to design and composition. He set the bar high not only for his fellow artists but for himself.

When he moved to California, Toth began working in the animation industry and that took over as his main source of income. He was one of the "old men" at Hanna Barbera (over on Cahuenga Blvd.) and designed many of their series. For those of you who still don't know who I'm talking about, let me say these two words to put it all into perspective for you:

Space Ghost


Lee said...

Damn, that's a shame. I think the first time I saw Toth's work was in a Torpedo reprint. And even though I know Toth was the sort of man to deplore the moral tone of the book, his style was the perfect fit for the amorality of the stories. His work blew me away. He was a great talent. An extremely fine craftsman.

Sad news.

Grubber said...

I remember Space Ghost well, enjoyed it as a kid. He did good work based on that. May he RIP.

Kevin said...

The man was true to himself to the end - he died working at his drawing table.

John Donald Carlucci said...

Somewhere out in space live The Herculoids! Zok, the laser-ray dragon! Igoo, the giant rock ape! Tundro, the tremendous! Gloop and Gleep, the formless, fearless wonders! With Zandor, their leader, and his wife, Tara, and son, Dorno, they team up to protect their planet from sinister invaders! All-strong! All-brave! All-heroes! They're The Herculoids!

You and sugar-fortified cereal made my childhood so damn happy Mr. Toth.