Monday, October 24, 2011

One More for the Vipper

In the comment section of our last blog Alexander D. Mitchell writes regarding Vip: “One of his other shticks was Volkswagens—he did at least two collections of VW cartoons that were sold/distributed by VW dealers, including the “Jokeswagen Book”.
When I put together last week’s Vip birthday tribute I scanned the Volkswagen cartoon below—and then for some reason decided not to post it.  I’m not sure why I left it out at the last minute but Mr. Mitchell’s comments have inspired me to reinstate it.

This is from a collection of Volkswagen cartoons titled Think Small (1967)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Larry’s Cartoon Vault: Virgil 'Vip' Partch

Earlier this week was the birthday of the great cartoonist Virgil Franklin Partch otherwise known as Vip.
Hanging Way Over (1955)

Virgil Partch was born October 17, 1916 in Saint Paul Island Alaska.
He began working professionally as an animator for Disney Studios in the late 1930’s.

Indications are that he was a casualty of the fallout from the Disney strike that created such a schism at Disney Studios in the early ‘40’s.
 Afterwards, Virgil started freelancing as 'Vip' to the major magazines of the time—primarily Collier’s Weekly and True.

While it wasn’t unusual for comic strip cartoonists of the day to acquire a considerable amount of notoriety usually associated to their easily identifiable strip characters (Charles Schulz and Peanuts or Al Capp ‘s Lil’ Abner ) freelance magazine cartoonists remained virtually unknown. People have always clipped cartoons from magazines and placed them on the office bulletin board or the kitchen refrigerator without concerning themselves with the creators identity.
Vip was one of the very few exceptions. 
With his first cartoons appearing in Collier’s he became a national celebrity. In 1944 Time magazine described his work as “ferocious slapstick”. He appeared on TV with Groucho Marx and made appearances on The Steve Allen Show and Art’s House  Party .
 Here’s a sampling from the Cartoon Vault of some of Vip’s early cartoon collections:

It's Hot in Here (1944)
Here We Go Again (1951)

Bottle Fatigue (1950)

Featuring drinking; Always a favorite Vip topic.

And multiple printings of Man and Beast  (1953)

My first encounter with Vip occurred as a kid when I stumbled upon the paperback copy of  Crazy Cartoons at my Aunt’s house.

Crazy Cartoons (1959)

I flipped for Vip (Ultimately my aunt had to give me the book ).

It’s hard to explain the effect those cartoons had on me at the time.

Vip had a rare quality I had not seen as a kid in the homogenized daily comic strips and other comic art of the time.

Here’s a sketch Vip did for me in 1978:

Many may remember Vip for his syndicated work on the panel Big George.
It was never his best work. His zaniness seemed confined by the standard wholesome ‘family humor’ format.

 Vip lived the last years of his life  in Laguna Beach and hung out (often partying at the Ivy House) with a group of fellow cartoonists including his life long friend Dick Shaw, the Interlandi Brothers, John Dempsey, Dick Oldden and many others.


Vip and his wife died in an auto accident on August 10, 1984.
One of the great ones.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Happy Birthday Virginia Irvin RIP

Mom would have been 94 years today

This morning I logged onto my computer to find an email from a woman named Eliza Perkins who had interviewed my mother around 2002 when she would have been 84. Eliza created theatre with elders and produced a play "Walk of Life" which my mother participated in. Eliza found the interview and sent it to me but had no idea that today was Mom's birthday!!  I think Mom or the universe was reaching out some how!


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Larry and Sam go to the Alternative Press Expo

Sam and I attended the Alternative Press Expo (aka Ape) last weekend.

My son Sam
Ape is a gathering of independent, Do-It-Yourself, artist entrepreneurs and publishers  with an emphasis on alternative comics, small press, book making, printmaking and even letterpress.
It’s energizing (and occasionally overwhelming) to see so much creativity in one place. Some highpoints included (in no particular order) the work of Tom Neely, Kate Beaton, Joey Sayers, Adrian Tomine, Jennifer Tong, Eric Drooker, Louie del Carmen, Octavio Rodriguez, Matt Bors, C.S.Pego, Rick Geary and Mike Dubisch.
Here’s a quick visual tour:

Josh Ellingson
One of Ellingson's prints was "exhibited" on the International Space Station
which makes him one of a very rare class of extraterrestrial artists.

Jen Tong card

I purchased this knockout silkscreen print by Tong

Remarkable Beardsleyesque artwork by C.S.Pego

More work by Pego
 C.S.Pego is from Mexico City. I picked up a copy of her Madame Mactans.
She also premiered her new book, Exila, at Ape.

Below are a couple of images from the mucho talented Tom Neely's Doppelganger.

Papercutter #16 features brillant storytelling by Joey Allison Sayers

Sam and I checked in on some of the panel talks.

Business cards from some of the artists

Hours and hours of visual stimulation gets wearing.

Too much Ape

Above artwork copyright by respective artists