Sunday, May 09, 2021

Mummified Partch

Sunday Surprise Dy. I think Virgil Partch (VIP) is one of the funniest cartoonists of all time. His absurd cartoons started appearing in the later years of WW II and he remained a staple of magazines such as True, Collier's and (in a lesser degree) The Saturday Evening Post until the late fifties, when he switched to newspaper cartooning with the daily panel Big George (accompanied by a gorgeous Sunday comic strip version). You can find much of his work on the blog, often taken from my own scans (like the letter page illustrations e did for True alongside his cartoons). Seeing how popular these blog pages were, I contemplated doing a book about him, but I was beaten to it by Fantagraphic when they published Jon Barli's study The Mad World of Virgil Partch. Upon hearing that he was working with the Partch family, I contacted him and offered him my scans and researched. Which he used and thanked me for in the book. One of the things I shared with him, was the fact that I had found a stash of 300+ early VIP cartoons as part of the daily panel Crackups, which was produced for the left leaning New York newspaper PM. Seven cartoonists contributed to that series, with each of them taking a seperate day of the week. Partch got the Saturday issue, which was published Sundays (or maybe it was a Sunday paper for a paper that didn't do Satrudays). He joined the group in 1944 and stayed with the feature until the late forties, with possibly a break when he was called into service after the war. After finding that feature in the microfiche department of the New York Library, I was able to find a couple of these cartoons on on eof the microfiche sites I used to visit. None of them ad PM, but apparently Crackups was distributed, so I was able to grab a few samples. Most of those were in bad condition. I showed them here and the link will get you to them. But when I joined a new microfiche site, with a lot of new papers, I was able to look again and I found a apparently complete run in the Chicago Sun. And the condition of those microfiche photos was a lot better. So I started again and I am proud to say I can now start showing what I found. So herem without much further ado, here is the first year of Virgil Partch's contribution to Crackups. I will share more of the other Crackup cartoons later on, both from the half year before Partch joined and after that. Jon Barli ended up not using a lot of these, probably because it was so hard to find good copies (although there is supposed to be an actual complete run of the real PM at the New York Library). Since this blog is saved for proseruty, I hope these VIP posts will contribute to a long lasting source for those looking into his life and work.

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