"Hip-hop devotee Piskor was one of Harvey Pekar's last collaborators and here shows himself to be Pekar's true disciple as a chronicler of popular culture... Piskor's artwork seems equally indebted to the looks of golden-age DC superhero comics and Pekar's greatest collaborator, R. Crumb." -Ray Olson
"His drawings (under his famous "VIP" signature) stood out not just for their immediately recognizable, wildly peculiar look (once described as 'pleasantly grotesque') but also for their insouciant treatment of such matters as sex, booze, and death... Barli's well-researched biographical text will fascinate cartooning aficionados, but for most readers, the volume's appeal lies solely in the wealth of rare VIP work he's assembled, much of it printed from the original art." -Gordon Flagg
This Tuesday, editor and designer Jonathan Barli will give a talk on cartoonist Virgil Partch, aka VIP. Barli recently edited and designed the recent collection The Mad World of Virgil Partch. The seventy-second meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on January 28, 2014 at 7:00 PM at Parsons The New School, 2 West 13th Street, in the Bark Room (off the lobby). Free and open to the public, just make sure not to flask it publically.
From the symposium website: Jonathan Barli on The Mad World of Virgil Partch. An in-depth look at the life and art of one of the most influential and trendsetting cartoonists of his generation. The talk will be illustrated by scores of unseen photographs and artwork, cover Partch's life and times and how they influenced his artistic sensibilities, and include a thorough analysis of his cartooning and the context in which his work appeared. From a remote island off the coast of Alaska and a stint as an animator at Disney Studios during its golden age, Partch burst onto the scene with his zany, sometimes surreal, but always hilarious cartoons, catapulting his career virtually overnight. An artist truly ahead of his time, his unique perspective and style ensured he would become one of the most prolific cartoonists of his era, and solidified his role in inspiring generations of cartoonists, animators, and illustrators.
Jonathan Barli is a designer, writer, and filmmaker. He was educated at the School of Visual Arts and soon after graduating, co-founded Rosebud Archives: a company dedicated to preserving and celebrating the cultural heritage of the graphic arts, where he serves as Art Director.
January 28, 7:00 PM Parsons The New School 2 West 13th Street (in the Bark Room)
Virgil Partch burst onto the scene in the nation’s magazines with his zany, sometimes surreal, but always hilarious cartoons, catapulting his career virtually overnight. Known to millions by his signature, “Vip,” this comedic genius was unlike anything the world had seen before. His unique brand of humor and trendsetting approach to cartooning ushered in a new era of the gag cartoon and pioneered a standard of madcap humor across the spectrum of comedy that was reflected in the cutting-edge sensibilities of comedians like Ernie Kovacs, Sid Caesar, and Jonathan Winters, and the trailblazing pages of Mad magazine. Inspiring a new breed of cartoonists, Vip became the most sought-after cartoonist of his generation, as well as one of the most prolific and influential cartoonists of his era. He not only transfigured the pages of an incredible array of the nation’s magazines, he also wrote jokes for other cartoonists; illustrated books, album covers, and advertisements; and his boozy drawings adorned merchandise such as cocktail glasses, beer cans, and napkins. Vip: The Mad World of Virgil Partch is the only comprehensive collection celebrating Partch’s rollicking life and career. His brilliant artwork and writings are reprinted from original art, primary-source publications, and family archives. Finally, Vip’s place in the world of cartooning and humor is distilled in this “lush” appreciation.
“[Virgil Partch] was among a half-dozen or so cartoonists who had an absolutely distinctive style ... He was in a class by himself.” — Chuck Jones
“I wanted to become a professional cartoonist because of Virgil Partch. Cartoons were all sort of the same [at the time], and suddenly this man came along, drawing both eyes on one side of the face and pointed noses and lines that continued in a roll ... he was sensational! Virgil Partch was a big discovery for me.” — Sergio Aragonés
“Virgil Partch was one of the most influential cartoonists of his day. And through natural continuum, still is. He was one of those individuals who devise new approaches and realizations for all of us. His graphic sense and style were highly individual, as was his humor and the design of his pictures ... the height of comedic art. Vip was the V.I.P.!” — Arnold Roth
Only a few months after the devastating attack on Pearl Harbor and the same year that Albert Camus offered the world his bleak vision of man’s existence by introducing his philosophical dictum of The Absurd, Virgil Partch burst onto the scene with his own twist on the phrase. Partch was a cartoonist who offered comic counterpoint to the grim headlines and a unique perspective on human nature in the pages of the nation’s most popular magazines.
Known to millions by his jazzy signature, VIP, this comic genius ushered in a new era of the gag cartoon — zany, sometimes surreal, always hilarious — that inspired a generation of fellow cartoonists starting in the 1940s and '50s. His madcap style of humor was reflected in the cutting-edge comedic sensibilities of Burns & Allen, Jack Benny, Ernie Kovacs, Bob & Ray, Stan Freberg, and Jean Shepherd, and would position Partch as one of the most prolific "gag-men" of his day. VIP contributed to an astonishing array of magazines, wrote gags for other cartoonists, illustrated books, album covers, and advertisements, and adorned merchandise including, appropriately, cocktail glasses.
VIP: The Mad World of Virgil Partch is the first time Partch's life and career has been treated in full, collecting amazing artwork from the entire range of his inspired career — reprinted from original art, primary-source publications, and collectors' and family archives — and featuring his own writings. VIP's place in the world of cartooning and humor can finally be fully appreciated in this beautiful coffee-table volume.
After dropping the first photos of Vip: The Mad World of Virgil Partch on you yesterday, we hustled to put together this 26-page excerpt for you to read and download. Peruse the Table of Contents, read the first 2 chapters, marvel at the wealth of photos, and ogle Vip's undulating line in copious examples of original artwork. This fabulous and impressive book comes out in November and is sure to have a Very Important Place on your shelf or coffee table!
Vip, Vip, hooray! One of the weirdest and funniest cartoonists of the 20th century finally gets his due in VIP: The Mad World of Virgil Partch by Jonathan Barli. This weighty coffee-table tome celebrates the man and his art across over 200 oversized, lavishly illustrated pages. Partch revolutionized the single-panel gag cartoon as we know it by injecting a healthy dose of absurdity and adult subject matter — namely sex and booze — and became hugely successful along the way. And yet his life and work has never been comprehensively examined, until now! Archivist, editor, writer and designer Jonathan Barli has assembled an astonishing array of original art and artifacts and gathered them into a stunning package. Get a sneak peek here and look for it on shelves in November!