Sunday, February 6, 2011

Alex Toth vs Steve Rude: The RUDE critique

Here is a very interesting bit that I recently became aware of. It's a critique of Steve Rude's Jonny Quest comic book that I believe was done in the eighties, though I may be wrong.

I have deep respect for both these artists. I think Steve Rude is one of the pre eminent artists of his generation. I think Alex Toth is a freaking genius. Many of you may be familiar with him: Hanna Barbara cartoons such as Scooby Doo, Space Ghost, Jonny Quest, on and on were sparked by Toth's incredible character design sensibilities. I'm convinced that Scooby Doo has endured only because they were sublime character designs originated by Mr. Toth.

Nothing in the critique should be rejected by anyone reading it. It's a wellspring of how to think through a comic.I believe that most things Mr. Toth says here are true.  But not all of it. Toth constantly accuses Rude of fakery but never explains how he comes to that conclusion so often, especially when Rude contradicts him.

If you look at a page of Toth's comic book work, and then look at Rude's work here you will see that there is much much more clarity in any Toth page. Do study this, this is one of the points Toth is working at getting across. It is a failing of these pages of Rude's that they are indeed too cluttered. A relative failing. It isn't fatal.  There is much to be learned here. But this is no way the proper tone to strike for a critique.

 But to cut him slack, Toth's  wife died a couple of years before this and he was suffering from depression at the time. So take all this in stride.

Anyway, enough of my ranting. Check it out. Take away the valuable lessons contained therein. Sift the wheat from the chaff.

Also check out the Marshall Studios website that this is on!

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