Suspended Animation Suspended Animation
by Michael Vance & Jon Suter

June 26, 1998

Reviews in this issue:

Cable #43 - Monsters - Alex Toth - Comics Legend


Cable #43

980626a.jpg (26424 bytes)   Cable #43/$1.99 & 20 pgs. from Marvel Comics/Todd Dezago with Brian Vaughan: script; Randy Green and Chap Yaep: pencils/available wherever comics are sold.

    Some heroes an made, some are born.

    Some heroes are born made.

 

    Cable was made to sell comics to people who like the X-Men comic book titles.

 

    Cable is "Nathan Christopher Summers, also called Nathan Dayspring -- a mutant possessing both telepathy and telekinesis. He's the son of Scott (Cyclops) Summers and Madelyne Pryor. Brought several millennia into the future as an infant by the near-mythic Askani Sisterhood, Nate has now returned to the twentieth century to prevent a hellish fate from coming to pass!"

    It didn't work. His hellish fate is to remain one more face in the overcrowded world of superheroes.

    Sure, his is a well drawn face. He is drawn with a semi-realistic style that leans towards design. There are occasional problems with human anatomy and perspective; he isn't drawn poorly. But, God, I'm tired of clenched teeth and fists!

    Cable isn't written poorly either. But the plot remains the battle of good and evil on an epic scale, "humanized" by adding a lot of soap-opera interplay among characters.

    And there are too many characters. It wasn't long ago that it was unthinkable for a superhero or heroine to marry. Now that so many have tied the knot, readers are fit-to-be-tied to keep track of their numerous offspring.

    Ah, for the single days when mutants changed the world instead of diapers.

    So, what distinguishes Cable from the crowd? Nothing. But a clue to its success lies in the letters of fans published in each issue. They reflect the tastes of teenage boys who haven't read ten thousand superhero comics and grown bored. If you are one of those, Cable is recommended.


Monsters

980626b.jpg (20526 bytes) MINIVIEW: Monsters [Dark Horse] A nice anthology of stories about things that 'emerge from the dark, forgotten past' (dinosaurs), 'from out of the trackless reaches of space' (aliens), and 'from the crushing ocean depths' (modern miscreants).

Alex Toth - Comics Legend

"Less is more" never found a more dedicated advocate in comic books and strips than in artist Alex Toth. A true original whose style was never dominant in the field but is still frequently imitated by lesser artists, Toth stands as a giant in the history of the most popular artform in the world.

Adventure is his favorite genre, horror and western his best palette, and a straight-forward honesty in his visual storytelling is his trademark It is worse than sad that he is unknown or forgotten by a growing number of comics fans today.

Toth's art is influenced by comic strip artists like Noel Sickles, Milton Canniff and Roy Crane. These influences and Toth's own talent produce a unique style similar to minimalism and impressionism in 'fine' art. Characterized by design simplicity, heavy line and carefully spotted blacks, no line is added to a panel unless it was absolutely necessary.

This simplicity Produces an art similar to photographic negatives. Direct and dynamic, it is full of movement, emotion and fun. Carried to the nth degree, it has obviously influenced popular comic book artist and writer, Frank Miller.

Toth's animation work includes: Space Angel, Birdman, Johnny Quest, Josie, Super Friends and Robin Hood. He has also done storyboards for movies, advertising art and comic strips. His strip work includes Casey Ruggles and Roy Rogers.

Toth's art has been featured by more than thirteen publishers in titles including: Heroic (Eastern Color, '45-'46), Yellowjacket (Frank, '46). Future Worlds (Dougherty, '46), Atom, Dr. Midnite, Green Lantern, Justice Society, Flash, Batman (DC, ‘47-‘52/’53-'57), Two Fisted Tales (EC,'51-'53), X-Men (Marvel, '55,’57) and Time Machine, Twilight Zone (Western. '56-'68).

Some of his most outstanding work appeared in Creepy and Eerie (Warren, '64-6/'68...'76).

Toth is a master cartoonist, and his work is highly recommenced.

Some older titles are expensive and difficult to locate. Price guides or comics dealers help. Comics shops, conventions, mail order companies and trade journals are best sources. Prices vary; shop around for the best values.

Questions? Comments? A comic you wish reviewed? Write: 1427 S. Delaware Ave., Tulsa, OK, 74104. Or email c/o starland@starland.com.

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