While we're on the subject of Alex Toth-- one that never seems to exhaust my interest-- another masterful artist you may have heard of who goes by the name of William Stout recently held forth (actually fifth; there are five parts) on his friendship with Toth. Which, like so many others', was a bit... oh... fragile. It's somewhat in response to the first two volumes in the Dean Mullaney-Bruce Canwell epic overview of Toth's life. It's just fascinating stuff and, as Stout takes pains to point out, Toth could be incredibly charming and kind as well. And Stout ends up validating the same sad conclusion I made after finishing Genius, Illustrated. Anyway, I'm hooked.
Speaking of-- this is my first time visiting Stout's page, but it won't be the last. I've liked his artwork ever since I read Dinosaur Tales (Bantam Books, 1983), a collection of Ray Bradbury book with some Stout illustrations in it. Some Stout illustrations. As if they were trifles. William Stout is one of the big dinosaur artists of all time. Yeah, there are other artists who paint paleontological reconstructions and whatnot, and Stout's done lots of other wonderful things in his career (like storyboarding Raiders of the Lost Ark, for cryin' out loud!) but to me he's the Dinosaur King.
Anyway, Stout's recollections are kind of harrowing to read, so be warned. Especially the entry about "The Letter." Pro Mike Vosburg turns up with one of his very own after part five. And if you feel your chest tightening, you can always scroll down to the comments where people discuss with Stout some of the more pleasant and beloved personalities in comics-- like the late Jeffrey Catherine Jones and another of my all-time heroes, Al Williamson. And Sergio Aragones, yet another one!