VIP Partch and Spumco Comics Coming in 2013

2013 is shaping up to be quite the year for animation books. We already know about Pete Docter’s Disney Nine Old Men flipbooks and Tod Polson’s book of Maurice Noble layout tips. Now comes news of two books of comics created by animation artists.

First up is VIP: The Mad World of Virgil Partch by Jonathan Barli. Partch, the undisputed master of the surreal and the absurd gag cartoon, is long overdue for a retrospective. This 240-page volume from Fantagraphics sounds like it might be just the thing:

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 and featuring his own writings. Reprinted from original art, primary-source publications, and collectors’ and family archives, VIP’s place in the world of cartooning and humor can finally be fully appreciated in this beautiful coffee-table volume. 120 pages of full color illustrations and 120 pages of black and white illustrations

Pre-order The Mad World of Virgil Partch for $26.39 on Amazon. Scheduled for release in July 2013.

Next, IDW Publishing and Yoe Books present a compilation of Spumco’s post-Ren & Stimpy comic project Spumco Comic Book. This 160-page hardbound book collects the short-lived Marvel (and later, Dark Horse) comic series that featured the contributions of Ren & Stimpy veterans Jim Smith, Vincent Waller, Mike Fontanelli, and Rich Pursel. The cartooning in these is impeccable, as is the inking by Shane Glines. Pre-order for $22.89 on Amazon. Scheduled for release next February.


  • http://billdunnanimationpaint.blogspot.com/ William Joseph Dunn

    I hope that Spumco Comic Book collection is over-sized like the Dark Horse issues. I wouldn’t be surprised if was considering the great job IDW has been doing with their Limited Artist series presenting original comic art at the actual size they were created.

  • secret goldfish

    Has the Spumco collection been re-designed to fit 160 pages or has some content from the originals been removed?
    I remember the comic being 3xDark Horse issues and 1xMarvel issue all at 64 pages each.

  • Cabel

    When I bought he first issue of Comic Book from Marvel, I had a chuckle at the pricing call-out…

    http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51LN4wMXxpL._SL500_.jpg

    “10 cents! (x 69 1/2 = $6.95)”

    Of course, the bookstore clerk swiftly rung it up at… exactly 10 cents.

    It couldn’t have helped sales much — I can’t help but notice that joke is gone from the book cover. :)

    • Chris Sobieniak

      Dammit, I could’ve saved if I tricked the same guy!

      • Nick Nerdlinger

        Poor John K… He just can’t catch a break!

  • http://www.greenbrain.biz Dan Merritt

    Please consider placing special orders at your local comic shop. It’s the best place to support the best product.

  • http://mattjonezanimation.blogspot.com/ Matt Jones

    Woohoo! I’ve been waiting for a book on VIP for years! Now will someone do one on Ken Anderson please?!

  • julie svendsen

    So glad to read that there will be a book about the life and work of Virgil Partch! My dad was a very good friend of Dick Shaw, who was a very close friend of Virgil’s. In the early 80s as the guest of a mutual friend, I had the privilege of meeting Virgil and his wife and visiting their house in the hills above Laguna Beach.

  • Josh

    Perfect for the “hard to buy for” cartoonist in your family!
    I’m putting these on my ever-growing christmas list.

  • Harry Poulter

    Lest we forget, VIP co-wrote the wonderful “Duck Pimples” for Disney.

  • http://[email protected] richard fox

    thirty years ago i started collecting these
    thin hard cover books that VIP put out.
    There was a bunch of them, and it gave
    me an excuse to forage in the musty old
    book stores of Oakland, Ca.

  • Paulie J. Waddle

    I wonder if anybody is thinking about reprinting the complete Marvel Ren & Stimpy comics…

  • Murph

    Wow at last a book on Vip I have collected his books and even have a couple originals. He inspired Rick Griffin and so many more cartoonist. Yes I’m stoked!