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TothPix: The Land Unknown • Part 10

We begin this week of The Land Unknown analysis with a classic Toth panel, a strong foreground silhouette, about to give Hunter a whack. Toth's figure is solid black save for a thin slash of light cutting into the hair and a small slot of white on the collar. Hunter's head is framed and cropped by the dark figure and club, Maggie's face by the shirt sleeve.

Now without that set-up and context, this next frame would be less clear. Any other cartoonist would show more, maybe more pedestrian, but readable. This is one of his weakest panels of the story, the artist probably trying to hard to mix it up or be different. How 'bout if we just see a hand on the club? A slip, thankfully infrequent.

That next frame is cool, Steve's face cropped at the nose, his hand firmly gripping the club. The hands tell the story here. Hunter is portrayed in a vulnerable position and interesting angle, turned away from the viewer, looking askance at his attacker.

A nice shot, Hunter's face cropped by his clothing...

I love the look on Steve's face here as Hal draws his weapon...

This is just beautiful. Another frame I could stare at for hours! The curves, angles, spotted blacks, textures, repeating shapes (leaves, vines, star & propeller) - Oh, my!

Toth moves us below, looking up at Steve on the 'copter. What a startling angle! Smart composition, what with the blade, arms akimbo, etc. This is not an easy shot to pull off, and Toth does it with ease, all while serving the story. The crazy angle reminds one of the film compositions of Orson Welles, especially as in Lady from Shanghai (1947), Othello (1952) and Touch of Evil (1958).

Ah, now that's better! Here's a similar shot to a frame from earlier in the story, much improved! Better composition and dinosaur.

Page 26, panel 6 (left) and page 12, panel 6 (right).

Part 11 is but a click away! Or visit the Land Unknown page for an overview and insta-links to all separate other 14 parts of this blog series. As always, one can read the story in its entirety on line.

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