Sunday, May 28, 2006

Alex Toth Passes Away

Comic book artist and animation designer Alex Toth passed away on May 27 at the age of 78. Toth was heavily influenced by the Noel Sickles-Milton Caniff school of drawing and began working as an artist in comics in the 1940's. The majority of Toth's comics work was not done on continuing characters, but he did have lengthy stays on Green Lantern in the 1940's and the Disney version of Zorro in the late '50's and the early '60's. Toth's art for romance comics in the '50's was highly respected as was his horror comics work for Warren in the '60's and '70's. He was often referred to as "the artist's artist."

His work in animation was done entirely for television. He started on Clutch Cargo and Space Angel and later moved over to Hanna-Barbera, where he was a designer and sometimes storyboard artists for shows such as Jonny Quest, Space Ghost, The Herculoids, and Super Friends. His work influenced later animation designers and comic book artists such as Bruce Timm, Darwyn Cooke and Steve Rude.

A website devoted to Toth's work can be found here.

2 comments:

Nick Sung said...

Man, the passing of a great.
Reading Alex Toth: By Design, you really get the impression that he understood competancy as excellence, and that he always pushed to make things better, to make things great--a big inspiration for all of us to follow. And what an incredible, fluent, impossible draughtsman! What an enthusiastic artist, who, even though things often didn't seem to go his way exactly, seemed to make the best of the situation and tried to rachet things up anyway!

It should be noted that he also worked at Disney Feature Animation for a couple of months, storyboarding on Robin Hood, about which he wrote: "(I) WAS ALWAYS DAZZLED BY THE CORRIDORS' GALLERIES OF ART FROM THE PAST CLASSICS--LOVELY QUALITY WORK!

BUT--THE CURRENT 'ROBIN HOOD' FEAURE JUST SHAPING UP IN STORY AND CHARACTER MODELS BY ANDERSON, SUCKED!

IT LACKED--DIFFERENCE! UNIQUENESS REASON FOR BEING! IT JUST LAY THERE--A DUD! CREAKY OLD REHASH IN TOO MANY WAYS--WITHOUT FIRE! NO HEAT! 3 YRS TO DO A BIG DUD? NO. I DON'T THINK SO--NOT FOR ME!

(DISNEY) WAS A MUSEUM TO WHAT IT WAS--"

Toth was a big man.
Thanks for posting Mark.

Jenny said...

For Jonny Quest alone I owe Toth...he certainly was a brilliant designer. I hope I go out as he did.