NOTE FROM DAN: The late, great Alex Toth was born 95 years ago and this year we’ve got two tributes to one of comics’ finest artists. Dig the piece below by Peter Bosch and click here for Paul Kupperberg’s companion piece. Right on.


It seems that no matter what time period you look at in the life of Alex Toth (June 25, 1928 — May 27, 2006), you can see magnificence in his art. Previous 13th Dimension birthday salutes have naturally focused on his superhero-drawing days, but I also enjoy when he was drawing DC Western comics, particularly with a good guy that he and Robert Kanigher co-created, Johnny Thunder.

Now this isn’t the Johnny Thunder with the Cei-U Thunderbolt. This Johnny Thunder made his debut on the cover of All-American Comics #100, which was released in June 1948, making this month both the 75th anniversary of the Western hero and Toth’s 95th birthday.

Below is a mixture of 13 COVERS AND PAGES for you to enjoy. All interior story pages are written by Kanigher:

All-American Comics #100 (Aug. 1948). The initial appearance of Johnny Thunder.

All-American Comics #100 (Aug. 1948). Interior story page with the first transformation from John Tate to Johnny Thunder.

All-American Western #103 (Nov. 1948). The first issue under the “Western” retitling. Inks by Frank Giacoia.

All-American Western #105 (Jan. 1949). Splash page. Inks by Frank Giacoia.

All-American Western #108 (June-July 1949). Inker unknown.

All-American Western #109 (Aug.-Sept. 1949). Splash page.

All-American Western #110 (Oct.-Nov. 1949). Inks by Frank Giacoia.

All-American Western #112 (Feb.-Mar. 1950). Inks by Joe Giella.

All-American Western #113 (Apr-May 1950). Inks by Joe Giella.

All-American Western #117 (Dec. 1950-Jan. 1951).

All-American Western #122 (Oct.-Nov. 1951). Years before Toth would draw Zorro for Dell Comics, he came up with this great swordfighting cover. Inks by Sy Barry.

All-American Western #125 (Apr.-May 1952). Inks by Sy Barry.

Johnny Thunder #1 (Feb.-Mar. 1973). In 1973, DC reprinted several stories in this three-issue series. The cover art, inked by Sy Barry, was originally on All-American Western #121 (Aug.-Sept. 1951).


— PAUL KUPPERBERG: My 13 Favorite FOUR COLOR COMICS Drawn by ALEX TOTH. Click here.

— Bask in ALEX TOTH’s JUSTICE LEAGUE: A Birthday Celebration. Click here.

13th Dimension contributor-at-large PETER BOSCH’s first book, American TV Comic Books: 1940s-1980s – From the Small Screen to the Printed Pagehas just been published by TwoMorrows. He has written articles and conducted celebrity interviews for various magazines and newspapers. Peter lives in Hollywood.

Author: Dan Greenfield

Share This Post On

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: