Friday, June 27, 2008

Alice in Terrorland

Time to wrap up our Alex Toth fest this week with our final terror tale, I hope everyone enjoyed this tribute. Have a Toth story that you didn't see posted here this week? Care to submit the scans? Please contact me so we can add it here, thanks!

Originally presented in the October 1952 issue of Lost Worlds #5

Reprinted and recolored in Seduction of the Innocent #1


And coming this fall from Pure Imagination Publishing--- Alex Toth: Edge of Genius Vol. 2! Featuring 30 stories, all from 1953, the turning point year in Toth’s amazing career!

Need more Toth? Try Alex Toth: Edge of Genius Vol. 1. 160 pages of classic art and stories from 1948 to 1953, a fantastic sampling of various genres including horror, sci-fi, war, romance and more… this black and white study of his formative years has got it all!

Click HERE for more info.

And finally, for the ultimate Toth collector, Alex Toth by Design by Darrell McNeil, probably THE essential Toth book of them all, especially if you’re a fan of his work with Hanna Barbera. This is definitely one of the most cherished books in my collection: 2500 pieces of art, some never before seen, model sheets, storyboards, layouts, sketches, personal notes, photos and more… below is just a sampling of some of the treasures you’ll find in this jaw dropping collection. It’s worth every goddamn penny--- if you can find it!

Various character designs for Hanna Barbera’s Shazzan and Birdman (both 1967.)

Jekyll & Hyde concept art for a proposed Hanna Barbera weekly series adapting famous literary works to animation (late 60’s.)


silvano said...

Quite an apt story to end the weekly tribute with a bang !
Thanks also for the infos about Pure Images' books !

Chuck Wells said...


I will probably seek out the Toth/Hanna-Barbera model sheet book, 'cause that looks awesome.

The Vicar of VHS said...

As if Alice in Wonderland wasn't already weird enough, now we get ALIENS thrown into the mix? If I'd been the kid, I'd have had some serious questions. Like, "Okay, you've mastered interdimensional come you dress so goddam goofy?"

For a story with such promise it seems to kind of fizzle at the end. I was hoping for a trip through the looking glass and maybe a fight with the Jabberwock or something...instead we get immobilizing-rays ("Alien weapons...OF SCIENCE!") and the earth saved for the price of 7 years bad luck. Couldn't help thinking there could have been more.

But you certainly can't fault the art--I love the nice detail on page 2 of the "par habla espanol" on the shop window, and my fave panel is the middle of pg. 4 where Alice sits up in bed and her neck looks a little too long...which is of course a reference to Carroll's tale.

I've enjoyed the Toth this week! Can't wait to see what's coming up on THOIA!

Anonymous said...


Karswell said...

>I will probably seek out the Toth/Hanna-Barbera model sheet book

Well Chuck, it's out of print so you're going to pay a hefty price for it. Example: There's one on ebay right now with a buy it now price of $375.00

Also a used copy on amazon marketplace for $345.00

And head on over to Pappy's today too, he's got a cool spooker from The Thing #16 called Mental Wizard:

Anonymous said...

cant believe the by design book is so expensive now. wish i'd picked it up now shit

Horror pariah said...

I have that Toth book and it's great!.years before i knew it was Toth who worked on those cartoons,i would watch them just to see the design of each new monster or villain,never cared about the for this story,yeah it's kinda dissapointing not to get to go through the glass,but it's still fun!.

Anonymous said...


Before any of you rush out and buy Vol. 2 of "Edge of Genius" you might consider contacting the publisher, Greg Theakston, and ask him what percentage of the profit from sales he intends to send to the Toth family. Better yet, contact one of Toth's children and ask how much money Theakston sent to Alex while he was alive. After all, prior to May of 2006, Pure Imagination issued several collections of Toth's work. Since even DC sent Alex checks for reprints of work he did for them in the 50's (work they legally owned outright), seems as if Pure Imagination should've sent something to Alex, doesn't it?

Of course, maybe you think Theakston is really not profiting at all from these publications, and yet, he just keeps putting them out...

Tenebrous Kate said...

Great work this week (as always), Mr. K! I'm on the edge of my seat to see what you come up with next. :)

Karswell said...

Toth's work at Hanna Barbera is incredible, I'm not sure it translated to film the way he probably envisioned it but still, for those of us who grew up with these cartoons it sure did make childhood fun.

>you might consider contacting the publisher, Greg Theakston

How about you contact him and tell us what he says. Sounds like you know more about this than we do.

>I'm on the edge of my seat to see what you come up with next.

Starting tomorrow it's Crime Horror Weekend. Actually we'll probably just end the month with a trio of crime horror classics, so get ready for fast talking hardboiled shamuses musclin' in on the baddies, femme fatales, devilish deeds, animal torture and maybe a bullet in the face. Or two... it's gonna be dyno-mite!

Nicholas Conley said...

Alice in Wonderland has always been an exceptionally weird, even creepy story, so Alex Toth's approach there is a natural one..albeit very strange.

Gotta love that Jekyll and Hyde concept art.

Anonymous said...

Re Theakston: People tend to want to ignore inconvenient facts if they get in the way of their buying more stuff. If you think Alex's work was a great contribution to the medium, you should respect his rights as a creator and learn for yourself how ethically he has been treated.

Do you honestly think that's asking too much of consumers?

Karswell said...

>you should respect his rights as a creator

Obviously I do respect Toth or I wouldn't have spent an entire week tributing him. Instead of telling us what we "should" do, tell us yourself, express what you already know like I said before, why be so vague and demanding, and throwing out orders? It isn't helpful. I don't know Greg Tweakson, maybe he is a prick. Tell us!

>learn for yourself how ethically he has been treated.

And while we're at it we could also learn about the hundreds of other illustrators who were treated unfairly in comics history as well. It's a notoriously shoddy, poorly waged, under appreciated, back stabbing business to be in to begin with. This my friend is not groundbreaking news. And like I said, if you have something to say about it then say it. I give you an open floor here to express these concerns, and if this point is such a crucial mission for you I expect to hear more about it from you. Do you have a blog of your own? If so please know that I'll be more than glad to link you and make other people aware of what you have to say so they can draw their own conclusions, this is of course all relevant to the history of comics afterall.

My own mission here at THOIA though is on what these artists contributed, not what they were denied. I'm not ignoring the facts, I just choose to present my subject matter differently on MY blog than you would on say, YOUR blog.

Ger Apeldoorn said...

Greg Theakstone is neither a prick nor a saint. He is a fan who has been doing what the internet community is doing more and more... share good art with those who are interested. Greg used to be the only one who docolorized art (in the pre-computer days) and when he decided to 'republished' his doctored pages, it was a revelation to many fans and artists to see such great reproductions of the line art of their favorites. He never made any money form it as most books didn't seel more then a couple of hundred copies (get yours now, before they end up on e-bay for huge amounts). I seem to remember that Toth was the only artist who complained about this and some sort of arrangement was struck. But I am not sure and it could have been another artist.

On the other hand I am sure that the recent rise in reprints from the forties and fifties is partly due to people such as Theakstone putting out these gems and getting people at companies such as DC tos ee what forgotten treasures they have in their vaults.

At least, that is the main reason I am doing my blog... to entice publishers such as Fantagraphics to produce more and better books. As Steve says, a positive use of my time, rather than investing my energy in complaining about what's wrong with the world ans what other people should or shouldn't do.

The Vicar of VHS said...

You know, inspired by anonymous's calls for consumer responsibility, I did a little research and learned that Karswell is not the saint we all presume him to be! Shocking, I know, but before you come back here and enjoy his comics and comment on his posts every day, you should really contact his mohter, Aunt Tillie, and high school shop teacher Archibald Netherpaynes and find out the REAL story behind this so-called "comics enthusiast"! Educate yourselves, people, and THEN see how well you like THOIA!

And let anonymous's BRAVE stand be a lesson to all of us--the next time you find yourself carelessly enjoying something, having fun, or even smiling a little too broadly, DO SOME RESEARCH! Chances are your mirth is coming at the expense of someone else, and you should really be crying and cursing the day you were born! You owe it to yourself NOT to enjoy anything! Only dopes enjoy things! Get with the NOW!

Thanks for BRAVELY showing me the error of my ways, anonymous. Since you BRAVELY refused to say who (the fuck) you are or what (the fuck) you think you're on about, I am unable to send you the fruit basket I would otherwise have gifted you with in thanks. But then again, all the fruit is just a little too yummy...I'm off to do some research, internet! Beware your frugivorous ways!

love, The Vicar

Dane said...

Heh, Netherpaynes.

Seriously, anonymous, why don't you give us enough of the information you're privy to to inspire us to want to look further, if you really want to get the ball rolling, instead of lecturing?

Pappy said...

How far does anyone have to go to make sure someone gets what's their fair share? If you buy an Action Comics #1 for a quarter million dollars should the seller send a percentage to DC Comics? Jerry Siegel's widow? Joe Shuster's survivors? When the artists did this work in its original form they did it for a page rate, and if DC pays for re-use then that's great; they expect to make money on the reprinting. DC is owned by giant money-generating Time-Warner, and Greg Theakston is a small publisher with a specialty line. I doubt he's diving in cash like Uncle Scrooge from any major profits at an artist's expense.

I see these blogs that use the artist's works, and publishers like Theakston as doing tributes. For me it costs nothing to publish Pappy's, just some of my time and a monthly fee for my Internet provider. Theakston would have printer's bills to pay, shipping, etc., all of those details that cost, so I don't begrudge him charging for what he does. I hope he turns enough of a profit to make it worthwhile to him, because I enjoy his products so much. Every couple of years I slip one or more of his reprints off the shelf and re-read, and I'm always glad he chose to do what he does.

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