Alex Toth, in bold clear large print is a revelation of dexterity and joy.

The magic effect of a good comic page is well documented, and unassailable. I know for me me, I just go to comments like your that lived in LA every year just for the experience of handling original comments pages with my own pain and being able to look at them look at the pot of the artists voice unfiltered and coming directly at me. Like we were having personal conversations almost at a moment where they were at their best most loquacious and interesting. So while I’m not a collector I’m still admire richness I don’t know the heritage I guess the comics as an art form the artists involved the world that they lived in Grubman and the comments that came out of their experiences and circumstances.

Look, no question: that is all so fascinating, and even pre-internet searching I would get totally sidetracked from my drawing practice and from pushing myself as an artist or whatever — I call it following Alice and a Rabbit down a hole. But Animation’s history, seeing where one falls in the line of inheritance of this thing you knew as a kid you couldn’t define but you knew you understood it. Ink placed artfully enough on a blank surface has SO MUCH power.

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From Dean Mullaney and Bruce Canwell

Every week for me I as a kid we’d see Calvin and Hobbes (Every Sunday) and just be reminded that these tiny panels were one of the most significant things in our week.

calvinandhobbes1Each comic communicated more in four panels than the TV I consumed or the lessons grownups tried to impress me with, which after a certain point in your adolescent years becomes life’s background noise, much more than my teacher ever did about what it really means to be alive in the 20th century free world. Speaking of Rabbit holes where did I get offtrack? I’m just saying before I discovered Toby and Kubert and Frazetta, Suydam and Wrightson, I was watching shows on the tube that made me exited about drawing and tale-spinning, like The Arabian Knights, anyone remember that? Check YouTube. There was the Herculoids, which changed my brain chemistry forever, Space Ghost. And Johnny Quest, and a few others that spoke the secret language of line and space the same way Comics did. It was thrilling to recognize this as a kid, btw and thrills, for the Creative brain are like fertilizer on a field of good soil. Whatever seeds have been planted get kicked up levels.

So, I have these Sunday newspaper strip experiences of being enlightened by one artist persons thoughts and ideas  put so distinctly and clearly using just the unlikely visual algorithm of tones on black against paper. And just like any enthusiast of comments I got into the behind-the-scenes and  lore of the artists because I was fascinated with what produced all the all the visions they had put on the pages of my favorite comics and books. The power they wielded seemed like something of mythic significance in my kid-brain. That brain dominates most of our psyches for a lifetime, so embrace it within reason, right?



I know too much ramble. Get to the point of the post, Homeboy. I just received my hardcover copy Genius Illustrated – The Life And Art Of Alex Toth and wanted  everyone who wasn’t years ahead of me on this book’s release to just SEE it up close, on paper. Come by and look at mine if you like, but check it out! It’s the Illustration volume of a three volume set covering this influential cat’s whole artistic journey across media. A subject I’m always interested in, as well.



The printing was a labor of passion and respect, so it’s like those early days at LA Comic Cons poring over every artists’ originals and feeling the wit and ILLUS_Conanshould of these people coming through in the spaces between black areas within frame after frame of narrative art.

You have to see for yourself what I mean, here, but it’s so cool when you can read about a dude you respected even before his name could be attached to the work already tattooed on your inner eye because of TV.













All Alex’s notes are there, along with his amazing storytelling skill with single and sequential statements. The size helps. I love being able to take in the career and life of a great virtuoso in Illustration and check out his art at the same time. There’s triumph and disappointment in every life well lived, I know, but seeing the magnitude and volume of his output just floors me.










Of course there are many books in print reproducing his work, so I’m saying nothing new. This guy was so prolific, so sought after and so influential on  several eras of animate, illustration and film work it’s not possible not to have felt the ripples he produced in his career. Since I have so much of his animation related art in my studio, it’s going to be a delight to read up on his illustration career, and get another piece of his vision up close.


10th Anniversary of Unchained Memories premiere

This mind-blowing, life changing film / theatre experiment gave me unbelievable exposure to the artistry of many kinds of artists.

Here’s a list of the actors from whom I learned so much about directing actors:

Our Incredible Cast

Whoopi Goldberg Whoopi Goldberg
Angela Bassett Angela Bassett
Michael Boatman Michael Boatman
Roscoe Lee Browne Roscoe Lee Browne
Don Cheadle Don Cheadle
Sandra Daley Sandra Daley
Ossie Davis Ossie Davis
Ruby Dee Ruby Dee
Robert Guillaume Robert Guillaume
Jasmine Guy Jasmine Guy
Samuel L. Jackson Samuel L. Jackson
CCH Pounder CCH Pounder
LaTanya Richardson LaTanya Richardson
Ruben Santiago-Hudson Ruben Santiago-Hudson
Roger Guenveur Smith Roger Guenveur Smith
Courtney B. Vance Courtney B. Vance
Vanessa Williams Vanessa Williams
Oprah Winfrey Oprah Winfrey
Alfre Woodard Alfre Woodard

I don’t know how we got so lucky, the timing and schedule wrangling worked out in our favor. But this look back has also taught me to reflect on and share these experiences while I can, so I’ll work on adding anecdotes and lessons I learned in the process of seeing this movie to its premiere and beyond. I must try to resist the sense of quiet that comes with so much gratitude, grace and humble learning. Soon.