Thursday, March 08, 2018

Master of His World

Wednesday Advertising Day.

Regular visitor may have noticed that I have not been keeping up my blog as often as I have been doing over the past ten years. The main reason for that is that I am in a deadline crunch for a book that I am doing here in Holland. Not only does that eat at my time, but it also onvolves a lot of scanning and cleaning up - which is exactly the same sort of work I am doing for this blog. So let me make you a deal. If you return next Saturday I will take care to have an extra special post. In the meantime, I have a good one here as well. And suited to official theme of this day, even.

As you may know, I have a fondness for comic strip movie ads. Lou Fine did a terrific run of them in the late forties, most of which you can find if you follow the link. I am also a big fan of the work of Alex Toth (also shown here with rare material). So imagine my surprise when I found a 1961 movie ad in a paper I bought for something else that I have not seen ever before.

No artist's work is so well loved and well documented by his fans as that of Alex Toth. So a find like this is really exciting and I can't really believe I am the first one finding it. A brief look at the internet yielded nothing, but please correct me is it is collected somewhere, at leats not in color. There is one black and white version on one of the Toth fansites.

The ad itself is from the time that Toth was working for Hanna Barbera as a character designer and for Disney as a story board artist. It has the best qualities of his work from the sixties; action, clarity, character and lots of design. It bears some similarity to the Ad for Journey to the Center of the Earth, which I have always suspected to have some Toth involvement - but the small version I have seen was not actually by him (you can find it by following the movie ad link).
This scan also clearly shows that the ad itself was made through Sponsored Comics, the commercial outfit run by Zek Zekely in California. He was also responsible for the short run free grocery store Family Comics newspaper section, which you can also find by following the link. Sadly, Toth was not in those. Lastly I would d myself short if I didn't mention the connection between this ad and the Hot Wheels ads he did for Mattel (also to be found by following the link). They are very similar in format and style and make one extra sad to note that Toth was not asked to do this sort of thing more often.

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