Creator / Alex Toth
Classic comic book artist associated with Zorro. Toth is perhaps best known for his animation character design work for Hanna-Barbera and Ruby-Spears, on shows like The Superfriends, Space Ghost, and Thundarr the Barbarian. His hallmark was nice, clean designs that leant themselves very readily to animation while still maintaining the semi-realistic look of an American comic book. In a way he was doing Timm Style before Bruce Timm with his minimalist designs that were just detailed enough to look recognizably human while being lean enough to animate easily. He always told his students to "keep it simple." Steve Rude, the co-creator of the Space Opera comic Nexus, always cites Toth as his single biggest influence.Well respected by many in the industry but not always well liked by his collaborators or even his own proteges, Toth alienated a number of friends, fans and admirers over the years with his erratic temper and what some saw as irrational nitpicking. Bruce Timm and his DCAU cohorts were admirers of his work and were once friends with him until he began sending them a series of bizarre, vicious letters criticizing Superman: The Animated Series, his most persistent criticism being that it needed to be more like the Fleischer Superman animated shorts of the 1940s, which he seriously believed to be the root of the show's "failure". When Timm and co politely rebuffed him and his criticisms he continued to harass them via mail, and after a while Timm and co simply cut off all contact with him due to his unprofessional behavior. Some of this bad behavior was linked to the unfortunate passing of his wife, which left him without grounding in his personal life, but reportedly he did start to ease up in his later years before his passing in 2006 at the age of 77.