You’ll recall Dean’s recent post in this space showing off the advance copy of Genius, Illustratedhe received from the printer. After he finished giving it a good going-over, he sent it my way. It traveled fifteen hundred miles and showed up on my doorstep only two days later!
My initial reaction after a fast skimming was: “I thought it would be good, but I didn’t imagine it would be this good …” What prompted that reaction?
Part of it is that, since the book covers Alex Toth’s life and career from the mid-1960s to its end in the early 21st Century, we have more color to offer—more color snapshots, more color artwork (wait’ll you see that full-color presentation piece Toth did for The Herculoids—wow!). Part of it is that Illustrated has even more pages than its predecessor, Genius, Isolated, yet it also forms a nearly seamless whole when combined with that earlier book.
Part of it is that we were fortunate that comic art fans, other professionals, and “The Friends of Alex” were generous in providing us original artwork to use in the book—we once again reprint many full stories for readers to enjoy, an impressive number of them shot from the original art, as well as a wide variety of rare pieces. (OK, you Toth fans, you say you’ve seen the Rape: A Man’s Problem art Alex did for Uncle Sam—but have you seen the unaltered Rape art? You will, inGenius, Illustrated!) And part of it is that Alex’s story is a compelling one, a story that impresses, inspires, and yet touches us in vulnerable, all-too-human ways. We owe a huge vote of thanks to Alex’s family, friends, and peers for their candor and insights, for helping us pay what we hope is fitting tribute to the Master.
A couple of extra teaser pages, to whet your appetite.
Genius, Illustrated goes on sale very soon; be watching for it! Me, I’m settling down over the next day or two to give it a detailed reading and savor every page…