The comics artist's comics artist
May 29, 2006 12:39 AM   Subscribe

He created Space Ghost, The Herculoids and made Saturdays worth getting up for with his Super Friends. In addition, he was a prolific comics artist. Comics great Alex Toth is dead at 77.
posted by DonnieSticks (36 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
As usual, Mark Evanier has a good explanation of why Toth was significent... and very very good.
posted by wendell at 12:53 AM on May 29, 2006

Or maybe you've seen this. If you're a fan of Space Ghost Coast-to-Coast, Sealab 2021 or Harvey Birdman, you owe Toth a tip of the hat. No Alex Toth, no Adult Swim as we know it. R.I.P.
posted by DonnieSticks at 12:53 AM on May 29, 2006

Sorry, that prolific link is bad, but any Google image search will prove my point.
posted by DonnieSticks at 1:02 AM on May 29, 2006

It was Toth's simple, clean drawing style that made the low-budget superhero toons of the '60s possible, and, therefore, the even lower-budget early Adult Swim toons possible. If I haven't already made it clear:


Totally off-topic: Last month I was made aware of a news story about a couple who had won $40 million from the Florida lottery and now were accused of tax evasion on the money. (Like there was any chance nobody would notice?) The man's name was Alex Toth, but absolutely NOT the same Alex Toth. Still, when his mug shot was published I noticed a certain resemblence...

posted by wendell at 1:08 AM on May 29, 2006

posted by JHarris at 1:49 AM on May 29, 2006

Toth was a favorite. RIP, sir.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:07 AM on May 29, 2006

Who will make us things to reanimate now?
posted by TwelveTwo at 2:45 AM on May 29, 2006

posted by Faint of Butt at 3:37 AM on May 29, 2006

posted by Smart Dalek at 3:54 AM on May 29, 2006

posted by trip and a half at 5:28 AM on May 29, 2006

posted by WhipSmart at 6:15 AM on May 29, 2006

posted by Eideteker at 6:23 AM on May 29, 2006

posted by Fuzzy Monster at 6:26 AM on May 29, 2006

Man, I kinda regret that his biggest fame came from the TV shows. His comics work was amazing, especially his sense of line. The motherfucker was CLEAN! And that's hard to do.
posted by klangklangston at 6:43 AM on May 29, 2006

It is sadly gratifying to read that Alex passed away at his drawing table: he went quick, and he was doing something he liked to do.

I hope I get as much respect from the Reaper when my number is called.
posted by rdone at 7:00 AM on May 29, 2006

His style took me awhile to appreciate. Seemed almost too simple--not enough lines. Until I realized every line there was in exactly the right place. And the way he knocked in those blacks; just beautiful.

posted by Bron at 7:48 AM on May 29, 2006

In the Superfriends image, who is that dork next to Aquaman?
posted by bingo at 7:58 AM on May 29, 2006

posted by dig_duggler at 8:20 AM on May 29, 2006

bingo, that would be Marvin White.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:20 AM on May 29, 2006


I was planning an FPP that featured the awesome annotated gallery on, but here's as good a place as any.

posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:46 AM on May 29, 2006

B For Blog also has a couple of features on Toth worth looking at.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:51 AM on May 29, 2006

I remember waking up on Saturday morning as a kid seriously looking forward to Space Ghost. Such a great cartoon...

posted by Skygazer at 9:00 AM on May 29, 2006

posted by shmegegge at 9:25 AM on May 29, 2006

Toth was a master of the narrative comic form.

I was lucky enough to spend some time with him at a pre-convention party during my comic con going days in the 1980's. He was a complete gentleman, but also had more than a touch of the crusty old curmudgeon (in a good sort of way). He told a story about when he was drawing comic book adaptations of movies. Apparently Danny Thomas thought his nose looked too big in Toth's artwork and he wanted it changed. Toth said that he told Thomas: "If you want your nose fixed go to a damn plastic surgeon."
posted by marxchivist at 9:50 AM on May 29, 2006

There's some great Toth art in the newish "House of Mystery" black and white compendium—every time I'd come across his work, I'd be surprised, go back to the table of contents, and find out it was his.

I've been reading about him for years (especially his influence on the amazing Steve Rude), but only just started seeking him out. Sad.
posted by interrobang at 10:46 AM on May 29, 2006

(I should add that there is not a lot of Alex Toth in the above-linked "House of Mystery", but what is there is very, very good.)
posted by interrobang at 10:50 AM on May 29, 2006

posted by Stynxno at 12:27 PM on May 29, 2006

that would be Marvin White.

Oh. Interesting. I watched the Superfriends religiously as a kid, and I don't remember him. Looks like he was eliminated in 1977. Surely I was watching the show before then, but maybe I just can't remember back that far.
posted by bingo at 12:40 PM on May 29, 2006

I've love Alex Toth's work from the day I saw my first Space Angel cartoon (with the magic of Synchro-Vox!).
He will be missed.
posted by Nyrath at 5:10 PM on May 29, 2006

posted by evil holiday magic at 5:34 PM on May 29, 2006

posted by Scoo at 6:26 PM on May 29, 2006

"Much more 'adult and mature' are the stories no one can, or will, write about and illustrate: Joy, wonder, love honor, humor, wit, intelligence, invention, compassion, trust, respect, duty, character, sacrifice, sentiment, family, discovery, exploration, history, the myriad peoples, customs, and stories abounding out there in the world -- human stories! It's just too easy and predictable to grind out incessant repetitions of the doom and gloom, post-armageddon bilge, garbage anti- and non-heroic bumbling 'heroes', to feed the sickness of its own making -- damn how well it may be written or drawn! It's garbage! Created by the young for the younger and youngest readers -- who, for twenty years of it, almost two generations now -- keep buying it! It's beyond me! I fear for our future -- if we're to have one (?) -- if such is 'entertainments' for our fathers and leaders of tomorrow! What might their offspring be like, then, I wonder." - © 1991 Alex Toth.

posted by ZachsMind at 8:01 PM on May 29, 2006

He hated Sealab 2021. sorry Mr. Toth.
posted by clunkyrobot at 8:43 AM on May 30, 2006

posted by Smedleyman at 11:10 AM on May 30, 2006

In case anyone looks at this later, here's an excellent compilation of links, quotes and more about Toth.
posted by DonnieSticks at 10:22 PM on May 31, 2006

interrobang, Right on bout the Toth influence.

I collected comics as a kid. It is a great joy to identify a comic artist ("Oh, that's definitely Steranco. Look at the psychedelic inking!"). I liked playing this game on Toth, cuz it can take several panels before you're sure. His style just offerers so few clues!
posted by xtian at 7:08 AM on June 3, 2006

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