Saturday, August 15, 2009

An Alex Toth original

These days there are strict rules for returning original art to the artists after the publishers are finished with it. We have Neal Adams to thank for the fact that art is no longer warehoused, shredded, given away by editors, or turned over and used as paste-up boards for house ads like this oversize Alex Toth original from 1963.

Someone took a black grease pencil or China marker and drew big "X"s across the front and glued stats to the back for an ad.

It's a shame, because Toth's art is beautiful. He inked it with real India ink, not the less-than-permanent markers he started using almost exclusively a few years later. There are some really effective dry brush textures on the cape in the last panel as well as the explosion in the panel before it. Toth lettered the sound effects but the rest of the text is by another hand. Nice art, given to me many years ago by inker extraordinaire John Nyberg.


  1. !!! That's just insane. I can't imagine anyone taking a grease pencil to "anyone's" artwork let alone something by Alex Toth. It's really staggering. BUT I'm glad you guys managed to rescue at least this one. The grease pencil while still visible isn't so obtrusive. It's really a cool page so thanks for sharing it. Now I have to find that issue-! ;-)

  2. I did my best to erase as much of the grease pencil as possible without lightening the inks.

    It's a good issue. The script on the Toth story is crazy but the art is really strong. There's also a nice Gene Colan story in the book.

  3. Gulp. Toth. Original. Me am jealous. Really, that last panel with the cape is incredible.

    I flip through the Zorro collection all the time. Love me the Toth artwork.

    Pray I'll stumble across the Toth By Design book at some point. Can't afford the prices they get to when they do surface.

  4. is this how we treat out pioneers? toth helped change the landscape of how "modern" comics are drawn. i would think his work would be treated with bit more respect.

    peace out