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Tag: toth

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TothPix: Aladdin

tothpix_mattel_01

One of my favorite Toth illustrations, from a never used filmstrip for Mattel, featuring Aladdin.

Wow.

Scanned from the signed and numbered Alex Toth book from Kitchen Sink and Manuel Auad (1995).

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TothPix: Foxes!

toth_fox_05

Yes, lets! Here's some of Toth's take on The Fox, the hero first drawn by Irwin Hasen.

These first few are panels from the comics Toth drew for Red Circle in 1983.

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fox_punch_color

Sketches:

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And a few small sketches of Toth's revamped Fox...

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Let us conclude, wot?

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TothPix: The Shadow

Toth. Shadow. Marker and grease pencil. 1998.

1974. Marker & pencil.

Toth's closing thoughts on The Shadow and creator Walter Gibson, drawn 12-18 months before he died at his drawing table. Look closely and I swear you can see he drew the cloak before filling it in/over with black, stripping it down to just hat and nose which reads: The Shadow.

He simplified further as he grew as an artist. We should all take the lesson.

 

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TothPix: The Land Unknown • Part 13

Leaving The Land Unknown, the crew ascends hundreds of feet straight up in their 'copter, trying to make contact with the ships waiting for them in the Antarctic.

Toth then cuts inside the vehicle for a shadowed profile. The way he's back-lit the figure and highlighted the headphones, he's aimed all the focus on the communication apparatus. Contact established in panel two, we get a straight head shot. They made it!

Moving on to the final page, unleashes a torrent of dynamic angles and action, the ships tossed to-and-fro on the wild waves. The 'copter approaches, crashes, the crew rescued on the high seas. Toth employs an array of shapes, angles, curves, positive and negative spaces, zig-zagging the reader through the page (as shown in red below), making one feels as if they're part of the action. Panel one is a bird's eye view, the helicopter framed by the jagged, white glacier far below. Those little specks in a sea of black are enormous ships, giving us a sense of proportion, depth, height and space. This is an acutely abstract composition, off center and asymmetrical, yet balanced in the stark black and white shapes. One quibble: Toth could have placed the 'copter slightly to the right, overlapping the line along the side of the glacier, further enhancing depth, avoiding couching the 'copter so perfectly within the white shape. Spinning blades, billowing smoke, a spider web of masts, splashing waves lead the eye about panel 2, back and forth between the principle elements in a largely triangular composition. All objects are on a tilt, either in the sky or on the sea. Nothing is secure. We're off balance, but naturally so, as dictated by the environment, physics and story. The layers of depth in panel 3 are astounding, the sea in the foreground cropping the helicopter as it splashes down. The 'copter enters the water at a sharp angle, blades spinning and slashing violently within the middle third. A splash of water frames the crashing 'copter, jutting across a line of water and into the ship in the background at a sharp slant on the turbulent sea. What a frame! Wordless, no sound effects - the drawing carries the action and story. More layers and tilted objects, curving waves, sharp angles, stark shadows, creating picture depth. All of this serving the story, framing the rescue launch on its way. I blew out most line art, cleaning and simplifying positive and negative space here, to showcase Toth's sense of design and composition in each panel, and from frame to frame, over the two tiers. A master at work. Once safe on a ship, though surrounded by subtle and sharp angles, the characters are firmly rooted, standing up straight, order restored. The 3-shot of panel 5 is simple, Hunter and Maggie in profile framing Hal in the middle, all excited and relieved, but blanketed by Hunter's shadow. Frame 6, the final panel of the story is a call-back from the beginning of the tale, Hal & Maggie shown once again from behind, in their element, ready for another adventure. Rather than showing their face here, Toth focuses us instead on their parity and partnership, avoiding a saccharine note on which to end. The adventurers look forward to the future, eyes on the horizon. Ah - finished! Well worth the effort. I learned a lot. And though we're finished with the story proper, I've capped the series with my last observations and my final thoughts. href="http://hairygreeneyeball2.blogspot.com/2009/11/alex-toths-land-unknown.html">Read the story in its entirety in color here.

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TothPix: Monstrous! Magnificent!

All in the eye of the beholder...