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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Taking a whiff of Alex Toth's CRUSHED GARDENIA

Most of you already know this, but for the benefit of the guy over there in the back of the room who hasn't heard this yet,
 I'll take a minute and sum up...

Alex Toth. 
Great artist. 
An artist's artist. 
Extremely knowledgeable about the visual medium known as comics, 
a true professional, a master, an iconic and influential talent.

Graduating from the School Of Industrial Art in 1947, Alex Toth began working for National (DC) Comics and did artwork for Golden Age heroes like Green Lantern, Flash, and the Atom, as well as a number of westerns. Later, he worked on a variety of crime, war, and romance comics for Standard Comics. After a stint in the Army, Toth then worked for Dell Comics until 1960, when he entered the field of animation.

Here is where Toth's real influence is felt by a generation of baby-boomers like myself. 
Toth became the Art Director for the animated science fiction television program Space Angel. Space Angel utilized the same Synchro-Vox lip technique pioneered by Clutch Cargo,  famous for limited animation and bright red moving lips superimposed on the characters.

Hanna-Barbera then hired Toth to do layouts and character designs, where he was responsible for such series as The Herculoids, Space Ghost, Mightor, Sea Lab 2020, Birdman, and  Super Friends. 


Here's a DC ALL AMERICAN WESTERN comic I sought out 
and bought purely based on the beautiful Alex Toth cover artwork.

Today's Alex Toth story comes from the crime genre.
It's called THE CRUSHED GARDENIA, and was originally published in Standard's one-shot comic WHO IS NEXT?, 1953. 
It was reprinted in 1985 by Eclipse in SEDUCTION OF THE INNOCENT #3, with new color done by Toth himself.



First, the reprinted version with new Toth color...


cover art by Meskin and Roussos


Now, just for fun, the original version from 1953...


WHO IS NEXT #5, cover art by George Roussos

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