I’m sure if you’ve hit any of the comic book/pop culture sites recently you’ve read the news of the passing of legendary artist Alex Toth. For some of you younger comic book readers his name may be one that you’ve seen or heard, but have never really placed with anything that you’ve read in recent years. It’s true that Toth hasn’t done much mainstream work in recent years, meaning Marvel or DC, but from here on out NEVER let that stop you from researching and learning the history of comic books.
Alex Toth was one of those very rare artists that had his own style. His own way of doing things. He was his own man. He was a master story teller. He could do more with a few simple lines than other artists could with thousands of lines and a mile of crosshatching. His art was a blueprint on how to spot blacks and use mood with a brushstroke.
When I worked for Eclipse Comics we published his two volumes of Classic Zorro Adventures. Those books were filled with wonderful stories and art but also doubled as a school book for artists. Toth has been a major influence for many of the top artists in comics. He was always admired but never imitated.
Alex Toth holds a special place in my life as the man that laid out and designed the last of the manly cartoons such as Space Ghost, The Herculoids and many other great Hanna Barbera cartoons of the 60s. His model sheets from those shows are so fantastic to look at. Even the way Toth printed his letters were worthy of being framed.
I’m not gonna ramble on and on with his life and work history. You can find that in the other articles that have been printed on him in the last few days. What I am gonna do is to ask you to seek out some of the art books and comics that he has done. Really take the time to look them over and see what he could do with line work. Check out his unique slant on camera angles and use of mood. I think you’ll find something new each time you look at his work.
We may have lost Alex Toth, but his art is immortal.
Please take the time to learn more on the history of comics. Find out where it all came from and how it’s made. If you love this hobby now you’ll only fall deeper in love with as you learn more.
Cobb: Off The Leash In Your Comic Shop NOW!
Okay, I’ve been spreading the news from Beau Nation since last Christmas. I’ve provided a marketing and promotions campaign that other publishers could only dream of. On a shoestring budget I have gotten the word out on Cobb: Off The Leash to every direct market avenue possible. I’ve used my Busted Knuckles column like a club and have beaten everyone over the head with it like they were a baby seal. I’ve sent out free signed prints at my own expense, I’ve directly contacted the readers, the retailers, the distributors and the media. Every media source on comics has covered the news of Cobb: Off The Leash, except Wizard Magazine.
Cobb: Off The Leash has had seven four-star advance reviews already by the top media sources. I’ve done interviews, podcasts, radio shows and any other source that will stick a mic within ear shot of me. The best part is that the readers, YOU, have gotten behind Cobb and have spread the word in a major way. I have had countless retailers contact me telling me that they have had people come in and ask for Cobb by name. In some of these cases I am very thankful because some of the retailers were up front with me and told me that they hadn’t ordered it, but thanks to their customer asking for it they put an order in.
It looks like it’s paying off because now I have been notified by Cobb publisher, IDW that Cobb: Off The Leash is very close to selling out already. Estimates are that Diamond Distribution has only around 500 copies left. This isn’t some sales hype. That’s never been my style. I cannot stress this enough? Readers, check with your local retailer and make sure they have or will be getting your copy of Cobb: Off The Leash #1. Retailers, make sure Diamond has filled your order and if you haven’t ordered it then I suggest you do it as soon as possible. My initials may be B.S., but what I’m telling you isn’t.
The Diamond order number for Cobb:Off The Leash #1 is MAR06 3280E.
There are only three issues in this mini-series, at this time there is no guarantee that there will be a trade paperback. I wouldn’t push this series so hard if I didn’t think it was worth it to you as a reader. As I mentioned in the above item about learning comic book history, with Cobb: Off The Leash I want to show you what Eduardo Barreto and I have learned from the history of story-tellers that have come before us. Eduardo Barreto and I both want to show you that “Old School” is a good thing. Character set up, plot, pacing, reference work, camera angles, dialogue, page turners, cliffhangers, proper story transitions and having the story move with the action. Both Eduardo and I have waited our whole careers to do this type of work and present it to you the readers.
Dos Hombres Es Muy Macho: Beau Smith & Eduardo Barreto
After you read your copy of Cobb: Off The Leash #1, I would really love to hear from you and hear your thoughts and opinions. Your thoughts are better than a paycheck. That may sound corny, but it’s the truth. I really mean that. At this stage of my career, being both a creator and a marketing expert, you’d think I’d be jaded and a bit cynical, but let me tell you, I have more passion for comics now than I did when I was a kid or when I first broke into this business. Like a good marriage, that’s something I am very proud of.
Most all comic shops got their copies of Cobb: Off The Leash last Thursday. The chain is unhooked and Cobb is unleashed. I appreciate all the support for the book that you’ve given. With the release of the book this week prepare for me to take it national with the media.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Here are links to some of the Cobb: Off The Leash Reviews:
Busted Knuckles Babe Of The Week
This week’s Busted Knuckles Babe Of The Week is one of my favorites. Brittany Daniel. To me she is an actress that is due to breakout in a big way real soon. She has proven that she can do it all, comedy, drama, action and thrillers in such movies as Joe Dirt, Club Dread, Dirty and you can catch her in 4 new movies coming out in 2006-07. She has a great range. She can do the girl next door, the femme fatale, you name it and she can act it. Brittany has always been one of my choices to play Wynonna Earp. I can see her busting heads in the paranormal world. Hey, I’ve got even better news for you Knuckleheads? she has a twin sister!
Busted Knuckle Manly Cover Of The Week
Believe it or not, there was once a time when Batman was manly. Yep. Back in the day he had a sense of humor, he wasn’t all psycho angst and in need of Ex-Lax. Back in the Golden Age he was more than happy to squat behind a machine with a smile and give Nazis more holes than a story line by **** ******. (Have fun figuring that one out!)
Robin was no Jonny Quest, but at least he knew how to feed the ammo belt into the gun. Let those Nazis laugh at his short pants now! Somewhere in my vast collection I have a story where Batman is dropping hand bombs out of a plane on a Nazi camp and laughing about it. Like I said earlier, “Old School” is a good thing.
Cobb Covered In Sketch Magazine
Cobb:Off The Leash will also be the cover feature for Sketch Magazine #30. It will feature a HUGE interview with me on Cobb as well as tons of art from Eduardo Barreto. I highly recommend you pick this up if you’re a comic book reader, pro or looking to be a writer or artist. Here is all the manly info you need to get your copy of Sketch #30 featuring Cobb: Off The Leash:
Diamond code: APR063496 / Sketch Magazine #30
See Ya At The Busted Knuckles Mailbox
That’ll do it for this week’s Busted Knuckles. I hope you had a manly time. I know I did. Make sure y’all check out The Comics Buyer’s Guide every month for my in-depth “Dottin’ The Eyes”Column. The next one will have my love letter to Lois Lane in it.
I will be camping out at my mailbox waiting to see what y’all think Of Cobb: Off The Leash #1. I’ll also check my email as well [email protected]. I look forward to your thoughts.
Keep thinking those manly thoughts. As far as you ladies, just keep thinking of me.
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Prove your manhood by visiting Beau at the Flying Fists Forum!