Wednesday, June 17, 2009

VIP Tries To Sell Out

I've mentioned Virgil Partch before as being an all-man's cartoonist. He has a sarcastic and real look at life, which, being a cartoonist, he exaggerates.
Later in his career, it looks like he tried to sell out by doing a daily and Sunday comic strip. His drawing style is more toned down, but I loved this comic when I was a kid. I think not so much because of the jokes themselves, but because the drawings and attitude had an edge that reflected real human nature.
I think the strip is loosely based on the Honeymooners, with a blowhard husband and more reasonable wife. Yeah, that's kind of pandering to the 1960 audience, but it beats having a completely wimpy male lead with a character arc and a sassy liberated female lead like we have in so many cartoons now.

Partch was great at getting the worst aspects out of the average man in a simple expression. To him, even civilized man is still a caveman at heart - and I believe he's right.

12 comments:

craigp said...

women, they always be shoppin', right? how bout how they always talk during the 'big game'. hyuck hyuck hyuck.

Ger Apeldoorn said...

I will point out in a later post that at least part of Big george came from Partch himself. He loved boats and even wrote and drew a feature about traveling across the country in his boat for True. H also did a lot of jokes and guide books about drinking... another thing all the cartoonists you like from this era had in common. I really should write an episode of Mad Men about cartoonists. I think I already have a story, about Harvey Kurtzman being told in 1962 that he is yesterday's news...

M. R Darbyshire said...

Wow, never heard of that before! Looks like he lost the battle against his super-talent, and it seeped through anyway

if you need more early stuff:
VIP 'Man, the Beast'

Niki said...

I'm not sure whether I like Virgil because his art always seems a little bit side ways. Like if you look one of his people in the face their nose would still be sticking out of the side of their head.

Brian said...

The early single-panel stuff is way better... and the side-waysness of his characters is a brilliant thing.

Torsten Adair said...

Growing up amongst many mass-market comicstrip collections, the one I remember most is a VIP book of single panel cartoons. Most of the cartoons were era-specific (bars, cars with picnic table attachments), and struck me as a something I shouldn't read.

His humor... somewhat similar to Ernie Kovacs. It had a bit of a surreal quality.

Milio said...

Undoubtedly has changed the role of women in recent years but it`s still fun to read these comics.You`ve got an incredible archive John.Best wishes from Argentina from an admirer (you`ve got a lot here)

Andrés Sanhueza said...

Just curious: What's the definition of "Character arc"?

HemlockMan said...

I don't recall the newspaper material so much as the collections of his stuff that were always around my dad's used bookstores. I'd take those home and read the heck out of them. Since I discovered Don Martin first, his style reminded me of Martin's. But I think Partch was getting published before Don Martin, right?

Jonathan Harris said...

That "afraid their warpaint would melt" face kills me. You're exactly right, that's exactly the face of an insensitive oaf making a bigoted (but hilarious!) comment.

Political incorrectness like this cracks me up, it's criminal we can't get it so much anymore!

Pilsner Panther said...

I found out only recently that eccentric cartoonist Virgil Partch was the brother of equally eccentric composer-music theorist-instrument builder Harry Patrch:

http://musicmavericks.publicradio.org/features/essay_partchworld.html

I used to think that the last names were only a coincidence, but no... total, off-the-wall originality ran in the Partch family!

Ross Irving said...

Oh my god, that first comic is hilarious. I did a belly laugh for at least forty seconds. Just the wife's face as she's swinging, and the husband's expression of pure glee.

Thanks a million for uploading that, and for reminding me that I need to read up on VIP.