Thursday, July 19, 2012

Virgil "VIP" Partch: 1961 BIG GEORGE Tour Part 1

Some rare photos of the cartoonist Virgil VIP Partch, along with a 1961 Seattle Times article on his syndicated BIG GEORGE panel..

Below: a BIG GEORGE Sundaty page from Januray 22, 1961 via Ger Apeldoorn.


July 26, 1961:

Big George has come to Seattle.

It probably doesn't need to be said, but Big George is the bombastic, needle-nosed character who appears daily in the pages of the Seattle Times.

BIG GEORGE is the "man" most men would like to be -- including his creator Virgil (Vip) Partch, who is in Seattle too.

Partch and Big George plan to prowl through Seattle checking on Seafair, hydroplanes, the Century 21 Exposition, totem poles and ferryboats.

Big George's reactions to it all will be shown to Times readers in several special cartoons.

Partch was invited to Seattle to address a luncheon of the 30th Annual International Toastmasters Convention Friday. The cartoonist arrived at the Tacoma-Seattle Airport yesterday, accompanied by his wife, Helen. He spoke at a luncheon of the Seattle Rotary Club today.

With the Partches were Mr. and Mrs. Phil Interlandi. Interlandi is a free-lance cartoonist and art director for the Toastmasters.

BIG GEORGE flew into Seattle too, bottled up in Partch's pen, nimble fingers and his humor-seeking eyes. Who, what and why is Big George?

"He has given the American male a shot in the arm," Partch said. "In American humor the male is the fall guy, a goof. We wanted to develop a fellow who occasionally will not end up with the short end of the stick.

"He's a wonderful release. I'd like to be like this guy. I want to have the nerve to tell the waiter to take the steak back, but ...

"He's part of my belief that this is not a matriarchal society, that life is a 50-50 deal."

Bog George was not an overnight inspiration. Something had been tickling Partch's mind for year. That something was Big George.

Big George came to life in a studio built over a garage at Parthc's home in Capistrano, California.

A former Seattle cartoonist, Dick Shaw, helps Partch.

Although he has been away since 1922, Partch, 44, feels closer to Seattle than any other city because it is the original home of some well known cartoonists, including Dick Shaw, Irwin Caplan and Hank Ketcham.  Caplan still lives here.

Seattle was familiar to the young Partch, who was reared in Alaska. He was born on St. Paul island, Alaska, where his father was stationed as a Navy radioman.

The cartoonist has been selling his work to national magazines for many years. He became a hero of servicemen during the Second World War for his pen and ink jousting with the military.



MAN THE BEAST Parts one, two, three
Rare illustrations for BY THE NUMBERS
Color TRUE magazine Illustrations
Partch's table gnawing frenzy


Unknown said...

You're trying to pull a fast one, eh Mike. But you ain't foolin' me.

The gentleman in those photos has a thumb and four fingers on each hand.
Everyone knows Vip's hands had a thumb and five fingers!


John said...

Yay, great site and photos of VIP!