Tuesday, October 05, 2010

A Change Of Pace

I didn't wanna wear you out with all that crazy cartoony stuff so thought I'd take a left turn and show some killer Alex Toth comic book work.

I'm not that big on "realistic" comics in general but I do admire skill when I see it. This stuff really wows me.

Toth is not as splashy as some of the superhero comic artists and his style is more subtle.
He draws like a sonuvabitch though and I'd love to know where he studied and how he learned to do this.
His human characters are pretty much from his own stock stable, but he is able to draw them from any angle.
These dinosaurs are something else though. It's not like he could actually copy them from life, but he is staging them in poses and from angles that are really challenging. That open mouth above is pretty convincing.
I like these teeth and assume he just made them up.
His compositions are spare and yet really well balanced.
I like the way he drapes the wrinkles around the forms of the dinosaurs. They really feel like reptile flesh.
I've never been able to draw a hand holding a gun. It baffles me.
I'm also impressed by artists who do just intricate hair.
I wonder how he achieved the texture on the icebergs below. Maybe he painted a black foundation and then created the texture by painting white strokes over the black. Pretty clever.
He has a knack for drawing buttocks wrapped in khaki.
His wrinkles help describe not only the forms of the fleshy globes underneath but also the tactile feel of the fabric pulled around them.

They knew what kind of subject matter kids liked: huge primeval monsters, sexy women wrapped in hideous slimy tentacles...


18 comments:

Rooniman said...

That is some killer drawings. Toth sure can draw like a son-of-a-gun.

HemlockMan said...

A local guy was a huge fan and pal of Toth's. He's written a couple of books about him. His name is John Hitchcock. Owns a comic shop in Greensboro, NC. If you can't find a way to get in touch with him I'll ask around.

HemlockMan said...

You can probably get in touch with him if you have any questions at his comic shop website:

http://www.partsunknown.net/

Zartok-35 said...

It's such a shame that this talent was wasted on conservative aniamtion that could never convey the realism this artwork demands.

There. I had to say it.

Operation GutterBall said...

Great! The Lost World movie adaptation by Toth. I have a version in black and white, his compositions are more apparent, genius and underrated.More like this please!

Mitch K said...

Wow! Great inking style too!

Scrawnycartoons said...

Even if you're not a fan of realistic comics, you have to respect the ones that have a real talent for it.

I'm going to go read some Nordic Yogi bear.

John Paul Cassidy said...

Operation GutterBall,

The movie you're thinking of is THE LAND UNKNOWN (Universal; 1957).

And I'm surprised to see that it was adapted into this comic-book! And by Alex Toth, no less!!!

Jeffery Wright said...

Who knew Toth was so talented? All I knew him from were those cheesy Space Ghost cartoons... awful if taken serious, but superb camp value!

These drawings are amazing, and at least I would never have known it, if it weren't for this awesome blog!

David Germain said...

Wow! Those drawings really catch the eye. Amazing stuff.
I'd never have the patience to draw all those complicated winkles and such (as will be evidenced in my soon to be published comic book).

BillF said...

I believe Toth may have created the texture on the icebergs by brushing on a thin layer of rubber cement in some areas, laying ink over that, then removing the cement with a pickup eraser. This was a technique often used by Jesse Marsh, the Tarzan guy, whose work Toth admired.

BillF said...

I believe Toth may have created the texture on the icebergs by brushing on a thin layer of rubber cement in some areas, laying ink over that, then removing the cement with a pickup eraser. This was a technique often used by Jesse Marsh, the Tarzan guy, whose work Toth admired.

Kirk said...

"They knew what kind of subject matter kids liked: huge primeval monsters, sexy women wrapped in hideous slimy tentacles..."

Or, maybe at this juncture they realized they had a significant readership among shiftless young men. Have you seen the advertising in comics of this vintage? It's all vocational training fumetti- "No sir, I'm not gonna work this crummy job, I'm going to learn a trade!" Very good stuff. Y'know what I mean.

Jorge said...

Alex Toth was the very best comic book artists ever at cutting and camera angles. Jack Kirby was more about poses and held compositions, but Toth's cutting made him maybe the best storyteller ever.

There's a terrific documentary on the man on the Space Ghost DVD. They tell a story of Kirby and Toth comparing notes on what their philosophy of comic book art was. After Jack finished telling Alex everything he knew about drawing, Alex responded, "Jack, what the heck are you talking about?" Afterwards Alex told Kirby everything HE knew about comic book drawing, and Jack said "Alex, what the heck are you talking about?"

It's like Jack Kirby was the Bob Clampett of comic books and Alex Toth was the Chuck Jones.

Oscar Grillo said...

Check Frank Robbins' work, Man. He was the real McCoy!

Zoran Taylor said...

Those are some nice dinos, all right....but it has to be said - If a Bill Watterson dinosaur showed up in the scene, it would wipe out all those pussies in less than two minutes.

Peter42 said...

I also like his bold use of shadows. The strong, well placed black areas really give depth, especially in the last tentacle picture.

bluemoonpaul said...

Super insights, John. Those interested may check out my multi-part series on "The Land Unknown" at my blog. I'm about half-way thru the story...

http://bluemoonstudios.com/blog/index.php/2011/07/toth-tuesday-the-land-unknown-part-6/