Even before I became a fan of comic books I was a fan of Zorro thanks to Walt Disney and his Wonderful World on television that brought this hero to life. I had the sword and cape and more than a few Zs were found on walls all around the apartments where I grew up.
Then comic books were discovered and Batman became my favorite comic (and still is when done right), and years later I found out about the connection of Batman to Zorro. When I get hooked on something I wanted everything about it and with Zorro that meant ViewMaster slides and, of course, Dell comics. I may not have known who Alex Toth was back then but there was something that made me keep those comics for all these years.
Now if I had to pare my list of favorite comic book artists down to my top five, Alex Toth would be number one followed by Sheldon Mayer, Joe Kubert, Steve Ditko, and Jack Kirby.
I’ve been collecting comics with Toth’s work for years, and if you had to associate Alex Toth with any comic book character odds are that would be Zorro. In the Hermes Press Zorro: The Complete Dell Comic Adventures, those classic comic book stories reprint Toth’s work as it was originally presented during one of the high points of his career. The coloring works with the art and only serves to showcase the storytelling, design and power of Toth’s work.
In the pre-VHS and DVD world comics like Dell Comics' Walt Disney’s Zorro were the only way to experience your favorite movie or television show. Toth was adept at maintaining the likeliness of the shows actors like Guy Williams as well as guest stars like Annette Funicello. Reading these stories I almost don’t miss not finding a copy of Walt Disney’s Treasures: Zorro: The Complete First Season.
Here is a chance to read and see the work of Alex Toth without searching through boxes after boxes I did at conventions over the years. Though I enjoyed the search and I’m glad I have replaced those issues lost decades ago, I am really looking forward to sitting down and reading this from cover to cover. Hermes Press does justice to these comic stories done by the king of comic book curmudgeons, Alex Toth.
~ Steve Leaf