I’m a little late in mentioning issue #6 of COMIC ART magazine, but I just picked it up over the weekend and thoroughly enjoyed the piece on Virgil “VIP” Partch, who is one of my all-time favorite cartoonists (the other fave being Ronald Searle). Joel Goldstein’s article is well researched and offers many previously unknown biographical details about Partch, as well as insights into his complex personality. The article focuses only on VIP’s work through the 1940s and while there is still much to be written about Virgil Partch, this article serves as a fine introduction to his work.
Now for a couple completely random notes related to Partch. In a recent email, Oscar Grillo mentioned a Disney short which sounds mighty entertaining. Here’s part of his note: “I ‘found’ on the Internet an exquisite Donald Duck short, DUCK PIMPLES. It’s an absolute beauty, written by Virgil Partch (VIP) and animated by Milt Kahl. It is a real tour de force of beautiful animation and weird ideas.” This is incidentally Partch’s only writing credit at Disney, which he shares with buddy Dick Shaw. When the short was released in 1945, he had long departed Disney and was already a successful magazine cartoonist. Next is an instance of a cartoon discussion occuring in a most unlikely place. My dentist, a middle-aged Orange County Republican, the type of person who has a photo of George W. framed in his office, redeemed himself on my last visit by telling me that his parents had been drinking buddies with the Partch’s and Shaw’s in the Fifties. He told tales of how Partch and Shaw formed their own club where they’d preside over wacky events like ‘sailing a boat’ to Las Vegas and ‘driving a car’ to Catalina Island. Next time I go in to have my teeth cleaned, I’ll try to press him for more Partch-related trivia.