Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Alex Toth

Alex Toth was born today. I'll admit it, when I was a kid, I couldn't see what everybody saw in Toth's work. Too cartoony, too simplistic. Natch, now that I'm a lot older and hopefully a bit smarter, his work astonishes me. His art is the perfect example of the ' less is more ' principle. In an Alex Toth strip, there isn't a single line wasted. There's a great story where Neal Adams bet DC's longtime colouring supremo Jack Adler that he couldn't colour a Toth strip without making at least five mistakes. Adler took the bet, and sure enough, mistook the sand on a beach scene for the ocean, mistook a window on a building for a shadow, and a ton of other errors. That's the thing with Toth, it looks simple, but it really isn't. Everything's there for a reason.
Here's a great example of Alex's work, from Sal Quartuccio's Hot Stuf', a throwback to those pulp serials and radio plays of the '30's: The Vanguard! Just try colouring it, I dare ya.