Archive | Alex Toth

“Bravo” on Steroids

“A coffee table book that needs only four legs to make it a real coffee table!!!”

That was the reaction of one of our longtime Friends of LOAC when he got a look at the Bravo for Adventure Artist’s Edition. This release marks The Library of American Comics’s first collaboration with the Artist’s Edition program so masterfully orchestrated by IDW editor Scott Dunbier, and this beautiful new book is a fitting capstone to Dean’s and my eight-year odyssey through the life and art of the Genius — Alex Toth.

BRAVO ARTIST ED

For those who’ve been living on Ceres for the past several years, an Artist’s Edition collects significant comics and reproduces them from the original artwork, at the original size. So yes, as our ol’ pal indicates, this version of Bravo For Adventure is jacked and pumped and larger than life!

How big is it, the longtime Tonight Show fans among you ask?

The Bravo A.E. is even taller than our oversize “Champagne Edition” books, such as Polly and Her Pals, and is much, much bigger than the standard-size books found at either comics shops or bookstores. If you’ll excuse just a little bit of flash glare, here’s the Bravo A.E. in comparison to both a collection of Simon and Kirby’s Boys’ Ranch (which is the same size as a typical Marvel Masterwork volume) and The Golden Peril, which is the very first Doc Savage paperback I ever bought, back in the early 1970s.

BRAVO & HARDCOVER & PPRBACK

You get the idea — you may have seen Bravo For Adventure before, but you’ve never seen it like this!

In addition to all three of Alex’s “Jesse Bravo” stories, this Artist’s Edition includes a wide variety of Toth’s sketches, scrap, and false starts on other, never-completed Bravo stories. Readers will also get to enjoy the previously-unpublished color pages intended to form part of Bravo‘s original 1975 release as a graphic album in France.

It is always a delight to study and enjoy an Alex Toth comics story, and it has been an enormous honor to be involved with preserving his work and chronicling his life in our three-volume set: Genius, Isolated; Genius, Illustrated; and Genius, Animated.

GENIUS Honors

Again, we sincerely thank Alex’s four children — Dana, Carrie, Eric, and Damon — for their invaluable support and assistance, and all those who helped us put so much of Alex’s remarkable work back into print for new generations of readers to learn from and savor.

Alex Toth, Genius Slipcases Pre-Order!

In answer to the many inquiries from Alex Toth fans about the slipcase for the Alex Toth, Geniustrilogy, we’re happy to announce not one but two versions!

1. For those who have already bought the books, we’re producing a special limited edition slipcase with a signed and numbered “library card” that can be placed in your previously purchased first book of the series. This Limited Edition Slipcase and Library Card set is exclusively available in the IDW online store and limited to advance orders. This listing is for the Slipcase & Library Card set only; no books are included. It’s our “thank you” to readers who’ve bought each book as it was published. The Slipcase and Library Card set will tentatively be available for shipment in late October 2014.

You can pre-order at the IDW online store.

The slipcase artwork features Alex Toth sketches on both sides; the library card features a previously unpublished pencil sketch of the Fox. The library card is signed by authors Dean Mullaney and Bruce Canwell.

 

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2. For those who haven’t yet bought the books, the complete three-book set will be available in October in a standard edition slipcase featuring an Alex Toth self portrait.

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Sites for Sore Eyes

It’s been awhile since I’ve occupied this space. Not by choice—y’see, I started the month of April being called out of state to deal with a family issue. Where I was hanging my hat for a few weeks brought me reasonably close to Dean’s home, close enough to allow us to get together one day for a Real High Level LOAC Strategy Session (well, as high level as we ever get, anyway!).

On the personal front, the good news was that the results of my familial visit were all positive. I got to return home feeling my time away from hearth and home was well spent. The bad news was that once I returned, I had to run like mad to get caught up on all the things that had been given short shrift while I was out-of-pocket. I looked and, *blink!*, April was gone, baby, gone.

I took a couple days here in early May to catch a figurative breath and while I did, it occurred to me that, as hip-hop happening as this site may be, it’s not the only site that may be of interest to LOAC readers. Here are some other places you might enjoy visiting:

As we get ready to close out our definitive Flash Gordon/Jungle Jim “Champagne Edition” series (and prepare to shift gears for the Alex Raymond Secret Agent X-9, a project slated to go into production later this year for a 2015 release), this entry in noted comic strip historian Allan Holtz’s blog-site caught my eye. I quoted a portion of this piece in my essay for the upcoming Flash/JimVolume 4.

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One of the joys in my LOAC duties is reading through old newspapers and magazine containing articles about the cartoonists and series we’re re-publishing. These periodicals are real-life time machines, transporting me to the time period in question the way no modern-day, special-effects-laden movie or TV show can ever do. Those 21st Century confections are like Cool Whip, but the from-period material I study is like pure whipped cream—I not only get to see the articles of interest, I see the ads, the photographs, the names of the men and women making news at the time. Even the typography and page layout is vastly different from what we experience today. This is a pursuit that’s probably not for everyone, but fortunately it’s right up my alley.

Another LOAC release coming soon is our third Alex Toth volume, Genius, Animated. (Dean and I have each seen advance copies from the printer and, well, we’re pretty happy with the results. We hope you’ll feel the same!)

 

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One person we consulted for the book was the estimable Floyd Norman (Google him or check his bona fides at www.imdb.com if you’re unfamiliar with his work). This Disney Legend worked with Alex several times throughout their respective careers. When I recently spoke to Mr. Norman, he said he’d been so busy doing publicity for Disney he had forgotten what he had said to whom!

He had only interesting and meaty things to tell us about Toth, as you’ll see when Genius, Animated goes on sale. Meanwhile, here’s one way to see what Mr. Norman said at one stop during his tour:

Thanks to our good friend Bill Peckmann for passing along that link to us and making sure we didn’t miss it! Bill has a distinguished animation/advertising career of his own (those of us who fondly remember ABC’s Schoolhouse Rock cartoons owe Bill a debt of thanks for his work on that fine series, and if you’ve ever seen the Honey Nut Cheerios Bee, guess who created him …?).

As they say on the late night infomercials, “But wait, there’s more!” readers of our prior Toth volume (Genius, Illustrated, currently nominated for two Eisner Awards) may recall seeing examples of Alex’s Conan pin-ups produced at the behest of editor Louise Jones (now Louise Simonson) for Marvel’s Savage Sword of Conan magazine.

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You can see nine Tothian takes on the iron-thewed Cimmerian here.

Finally, zooming away from individual titles and thinking at the total-LOAC level, are you aware the IDW website maintains a message board devoted to The Library of American Comics? It tends to be one of IDW’s livelier boards, with a thoughtful and articulate group of posters (I sometimes appear there, though I wouldn’t use terms like “thoughtful” or “articulate” to describe myself!). The site is easy to navigate, so if you’re curious about what goes on there, feel free to swing by sometime.

Speaking of swinging by, I plan to be back here more often going forward—though I do have to make another familial trip for five days from the tag-end of May through the first few days of June …

Alex Toth model sheets

Genius, Animated, the third book in our Alex Toth trilogy, is — tada — at the printer. It will be in stores in May. Adding the 336 pages in this volume, the complete set contains, as Bruce noted, more than 1,000 pages of Toth.

Even with 1,000 pages, there is some art that we just couldn’t fit. Here are five model sheets from 1967’s Young Samson and Goliath reproduced from the original artwork. (All TM and © Hanna-Barbera)

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Alex Toth, Storyboarder (part two)

Some more “extras” that we couldn’t fit in the forthcoming GENIUS, ANIMATED: The Cartoon Art of Alex Toth, the third book in our Alex Toth trilogy.

More to come…! (Art TM and © Hanna-Barbera.)

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Alex Toth, Storyboarder (part one)

We’re in the final stages of production for GENIUS, ANIMATED: The Cartoon Art of Alex Toth, the third book in our Alex Toth trilogy. Deciding what art makes it into the book is a challenge. It’s like trying to put together a 500-piece puzzle with 1,500 pieces!

We’ll start sharing some of the pieces that aren’t going to be in the book. If you think these are great, wait ’till you see what did make the final cut! (Art TM and © Hanna-Barbera.)

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Rare Alex Toth!!!

We were recently granted access to the Warner Bros. animation archives so we could scan more than ONE HUNDRED pieces of Alex Toth presentation artwork for Hanna-Barbera. Most of these pieces have never been seen outside of H-B and will be the centerpiece of Genius, Animated, the third book in our Alex Toth, Genius trilogy schedule for 2014.

Here’s a tease of two presentation boards. Click on each to see a larger version. Sorry, but you’ll have to wait for the book to see the rest!

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ristina Toth Hyde, R.I.P.

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Christina Hyde passed away on Monday, July 29, in her sleep. She was Alex Toth’s former wife and mother of their four children. The family made the announcement:

“She celebrated her 80th birthday last week. She was living independently in her home in southern Oregon. She loved her dog Flash, her cat Hugo and tending to her yard and garden.Most of all, she loved her family including her twelve grandchildren. She will be greatly missed as she was very present in all of our lives, especially her grandchildren’s.”

Eldest daughter Dana adds, “As we begin to embrace what comes next—my dear brother Damon, and Aunt Darlene have driven immediately to Oregon to secure my mom’s house due to the threat of fire. There have been many homes evacuated and burned in the outlaying area. Now the fire is 3 miles from her house.

“All my adult life my mother would say that someday when she left the earth, we would sift through all the special things she saved for us. She was not materialistic, but saved notes, things she’d written but not shared yet—little items with history—they were her legacy. It brought her so much joy to imagine us finding them.

“Please pray for my family and all the families that are fighting those fires. Please pray for the safety of my brother and Aunt and all the people trying to secure their property and evacuate.

“My mom’s last words about the fire were that if her house burned to the ground she would take the insurance money and build a little cabin even further into the woods…citing that “that is another dream.” I believe that right now she is in that cabin (just not on earth).

“Thank you. Have a blessed day.”

We at LOAC add our sincere thoughts for the Toth family. Christina was very gracious in granting us interviews and sharing precious family photographs (like the one above of she and Alex in 1958) for our Alex Toth books.

Genius is Here

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Here are the first two reviews—in Comics Bulletin and Comics Alliance—of Genius, Illustrated: The Life and Art of Alex Toth, which goes on sale today!

Jason Sacks writes in Comics Bulletin: “The generosity of artistic material in this book knows no bounds, and the quality of the biographical material is absolutely unparalleled in comics scholarship…. Genius Illustrated sets the absolute gold standard for deluxe artist biographies. There have been some wonderful comics history books released in the last few years, but this book surpasses them all in terms of its production values, its comprehensiveness and the quality of the biographical information presented. Alex Toth was one of the greatest artists ever to work in the comic art medium. This book merits the highest possible compliment: it’s a worthy tribute to Toth.”

And in Comics Alliance, John Parker says: “Genius, Illustrated is a soaring success…. The amount of material collected in Genius, Illustrated is bordering on the ridiculous…. Add to that a nuanced, heavily-researched, and even-handed biography, and you’ve got one of the most fascinating books about comics in recent memory”

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