Part of the first generation to grow up with comic books, Alex Toth came tothe medium with a fresh eye and enough talent and discipline to graphicallystrip it down to its bare essentials. His efforts reached fruition at StandardComics, creating an entire school of imitators. Setting the Standard collects this highly influential body of work in one substantial volume. Toth began his professional career at fifteen in 1945 for Heroic Comics, butquickly advanced to superhero work for DC. Responding to the endless criticismof editors, the young artist strove toward a technique free of "showoff surfacetricks, clutter, and distracting picture elements." Simply put, he learned "howto tell a story, to the exclusion of all else." After falling out with DC in1952, Toth moved West. He freelanced almost exclusively for Standard over thenext two years, contributing classic work for its crime, horror, sciencefiction, and war titles. But perhaps most revelatory to the reader will be theromance collaborations with writer Kim Ammodt, Toth's personal favorites. "Icame to prefer them for the quieter, more credible, natural human equations theydealt with -- emotions, subtleties of gesture, expression, attitude."