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reviewed by Don Mangus

     In 1995 I edited the first book on the art of Alex Toth, which was published by Kitchen Sink. In 1996 the book won the Eisner Award for best comics-related publication. Soon after that the book sold out and is now out of print. It has been one of the most difficult books to find, and since Kitchen Sink is no longer in business, it is very doubtful that it will be reprinted.

     In 1999, I established my own publishing company and published the second volume in the continuing series of the work of Alex Toth. "Toth in Black & White" is 224 pages and contains a lot of unpublished material plus 12 complete stories ranging from the early 50's to 1990. It was an Eisner Award nominee. This book is out of print as well, except for a few deluxe, signed and numbered, hard cover with dust jacket edition.

     My third book on the art of Alex Toth "One for the Road" is a compilation of the pages he did for Pete Millar's magazines in the 60's - "DRAGCartoons", "Big Daddy Roth", etc. These pages are a departure from Toth's war, horror, romance, and crime stories that we fans have been used to. These pages show the humorous side of Alex Toth. These illustrations have not been seen for 30 years and probably won't be seen again. I would highly recommend it to any Alex Toth fan.

      There has rarely been an artist so admired and respected by his fans all over the world as Alex Toth. And most of all, by his own peers, which is the highest compliment an artist can attain.
                                                                                                  - Manuel Auad

     Manuel Auad has just published his hattrick collection of Toth wonderments! “One for the Road” displays yet another piece of Toth’s mutidimensional career, this time it’s the way-out, kookie, and revved-up “bigfoot years”. Call them the California Custom Cool Cartoons!

Toth flew, surfed and drag-raced his inkpen across the pages of the old 1960s hotrod cartoon mags with a leadfoot’s mania. As Manuel aptly points out in his introduction, “...We are all well acquainted with the many stories Alex Toth has illustrated through the years. From westerns to romance. To science fiction and horror. They were all great. A fan’s dream to collect them all. But strange as it seems, few, if any editors Alex worked for in his career seemed to realize that here is an artist with another side: his humorous side. Working for Pete and his car magazines was the perfect vehicle (no pun intended) for Alex Toth. His love of cars and airplanes is well documented. It is obvious he had fun doing these pages. It shows...” Indeed, in the Graphic Story Magazine # 10 interview Toth is asked,” Did you enjoy doing funny stuff like “Granny McGo” and “Dragula” ?”. He answers, “I had fun. I had a wonderful editor at Peterson, George Lemmons, who gave me a lot of liberty. I enjoyed doing “Dragula”, too, for Pete Millar.”

     “One for the Road” delivers 171 pages of chopped and channeled, nitro-fueled, roadhoggin’ comics! Toth limned his “Craftint duo-toned “paper with a clarity and economy that “bumps and rubs” the champion of this technique, Roy Crane, for first place honors in the cartoon pantheon.

     While “Funny Car” in design, Toth’s storytelling remained souped-up and audacious. These pages were red-lined, and raced neck and neck with the same optical rush found in his Warren work. Toth’s bigfoot work really “hangs ten”, alongside the other great illustrator-cartoonists gone MAD-men, yep, those really big kahunas: Wally Wood, John Severin, Jack Davis, and Mort Drucker. Boss. “One For the Road” is a sweet ride for the aficionados. It collects 53 primo stories from 1963-1967. The vintage issues of “Drag Cartoons”, “Big Daddy Roth”, “Hot Rod Cartoons”, and “CARtoons” would ding a Toth devotee a minumum of $500. Those stoked for this hopped-up stretch of Toth’s career will pounce on this newest collection.. Place it proudly in the winner’s circle of your reading table, next to “Alex Toth”, “Toth Black & White”, and “Toth by Design”.Graphic gems should include a good chuckle in the line-up!

Click on Auad Publishing logo to go to their website for more details and to order books.

...and now a few comments by Manuel Auad