Monday, May 7, 2007

"Daddy and the Pie" by Alex Toth

From UFO and Alien Comix #1. Published by Warren Publishing, 1977. editor Nicola Cuti. Story by Bill DuBay. Art by Alex Toth. One of Toth's most memorable pieces.
Alex toth is most well known for being a master of storytelling composition using simple black and white artwork. His characters are never too detailed. While his designs are simplified, his artwork is always bold and extremely effective. The use of wash here, adds another depth to Toth's pages and he would use this technique for many of the stories that he illustrated for Warren.
The longest work he did for this company, Bravo for Adventure (serialized in The Rook) was a piece that Toth wrote himself. It was later published as a stand alone book by Dragon Lady Press. It's a stunning piece that evokes Toth's loves for fighter planes and a nostalgic bygone era of Errol Flynn type heroics.
While Toth was a more than effective writer, I have a preference for the tales he illustrated written by others. To me, Toth's artwork is most memorable when it accompanies a simple story. In the rare case of DADDY AND THE PIE, this is not an adventure story, but the story of an unusual relationship. Toth had a lot of experience illustrating romance tales and this story combines that sensibility within a science-fiction framework. Keep in mind that this was published years before Steven Spielberg directed ET.
PIE is the perfect character for Toth. His artwork makes the strange, alien creature appear both innocent and friendly. I love how Toth slowly reveals this character. We really don't get a good look at him until the bottom of page 2.
The nighttime setting with frost outside creates a stunning contrast and sets the mysterious, yet somewhat cozy mood. Similarly, Pie's eyes are dark like the night while his skin appears as soft and delicate as the snow. For me, page 4 works best as we peek in on these characters through a window. The use of lighting here is masterful.


Rodrigo Suárez said...

What a drawer mr Alex Toth. He is amazing.

Meesimo said...