THEY CALL THIS VIRGIL MR. PARTCHI got a nice note from Wayne today, along with a copy of Big George by Virgil Partch (Duell, Sloan & Pearce, 1962). This is exactly the kind of stuff I collect, and Wayne knows it.
I didn't grow up with Virgil Partch or Big George cartoons, but I knew Partch's work through my father.
Partch was a prominent cartoonist in the '40s and '50s, with plenty of credits and books to his name. He's also featured in the first issue of Playboy. About the only place you won't see a lot of Partch is The New Yorker; editor Harold Ross permitted Partch to contribute gags but didn't care for his artwork.
I own a lot of Partch books. Duell, Sloan and Pearce published quite a few of them, most notably Bottle Fatigue (1950), The Wild, Wild Women(1951), and New Faces on the Barroom Floor (1961). The bindings on these books aren't the greatest, which makes finding collectible copies difficult. The paperback reprints, from Gold Medal and Crest, have great color covers.
The previous owner of this copy of Big George taped a copy of Parch's obituary inside the front cover. Partch retired from cartooning in January 1984, citing trouble with cataracts. The car accident that claimed Partch and his wife was in August.
Partch went to high school in Tucson and attended the University of Arizona, but donated his personal collection of original cartoons to University of California, Irvine.