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TothPix: Space Ghost

Starting in 1962, Alex Toth began working in the field of animation with the semi-animated Space Angel. He then began a long stint with Hanna-Barbera Studios, doing character creation and design and storyboards on shows such as Super Friends, The Herculoids, and Birdman. But perhaps he's best known for the creation and design of the Space Ghost show and characters.

Toth's design for the character are strong, sleek and simple. It looks like he drew these straight with a  marker, fully formed, like they were traced directly from his brain, even if it probably ain't so. This first crack isn't the Ghost we all came to know, but most of the elements are there already:

Wisely, he simplified the design further, adding the black hood which gives his face/head a dark, mysterious look, while he drops the gloves, boots and tights, leaving the rest of his costume largely white which conveys ghost. I love the triangle chest logo, and that Toth moved the power ray buttons from the belt to metal sleeves - it looks better and is more functional for the character when in action.

And these various head shots show how Toth thought through how the hero would look from any angle, still keeping things as simple as possible for animation. Unfortunately, even though it was one of the best animated TV shows at the time, animators usually didn't follow Toth model sheets closely enough, placing his eyes too high on his head.

The rest of the team is rounded out by teen sidekicks Jan and Jace, as the always fun Blip - loved that little monkey when I was a kid!

Though the show was among the best of its time, the cartoons and villains are kinda silly viewing them now years later, but it was a show designed for kids, after all! Here's the weekly intro:

Many of the full cartoon episodes can be found at YouTube, so give 'em a look-see.

Extra - Check out a short Space Ghost comic drawn by Toth hisself!

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