01 June 2006

Stating Form and Design with Utmost Economy

Alex Toth died on May 28. He was a comic book artist, but he was ...more.

He designed Space Ghost for starters, as well as the aesthetic given to the DC characters used in Hanna-Barbera's execrable SuperFriends show.

But his comics work was pretty spectacular. He was a master of minimalism, making every brush stroke count. His deceptively simple style was easy on the eye but difficult to emulate. To really appreciate Toth, you have to read a whole story -- one or two panels don't do his work justice.

There's a great article on the Comics Journal's web page that gives detailed biographical info and doesn't pull any punches (i.e., Toth was notoriously prickly and cantankerous and could be a total asshole).

But his personality defects shouldn't distract from his work. Toth was one of the greats from that era, and precious few of the old masters are left.

Now that they don't have to pay royalties, I'm sure a few tribute volumes will hit the shelves in the coming months.

1 comment:

Abba Believer said...

If execrable means terrific, I agree!