Friday, December 23, 2016

Paul Peter Porges 1927 - 2016

The long-time cartoonist for New Yorker, Playboy and Mad Magazine Paul Peter Porges died this week in NYC at the age of 89.

He was born in Vienna in 1927. At the age of eleven, due to Hitler's purges, his parents sent him and his brother Kurt to a children's camp near Paris. But the Germans kept advancing, and from 1940 to 41, he was moved several times in attempts to get ahead to safety. He was, at one point, wandering the woods by himself at the age of thirteen. "It was fantastic! But don't tell anyone," remembered Porges some 67 years later.

Despite his movements, Porges was ultimately captured and interned in a deportation camp. Porges escaped by hiding in a garbage collection, and was smuggled to Switzerland along with a group of other juvenile refugees in 1942. The Swiss authorities discovered the group and sent everyone but Porges back to France; Porges was spared because he was the only one younger than sixteen. He remained there for the duration of the war, attending art school, receiving his certificat d'etude, and meeting his future wife, Lucie Eisenstab. The two had been born months apart in the same hospital back in Vienna.
With his brother's help, he moved to America where he served in the US Army. His brother was also able to get visas for their parents, who had survived a concentration camp.

Peter served in the army, drawing cartoons while stationed in Korea. He was soon married to Lucie Eisenstab. After the war he continued drawing gag cartoons, eventually becoming a contract cartoonist for the Saturday Evening Post beginning in the 1950s. A prolific cartoonist, his gags appeared in many magazines. Beginning in 1966, he sold work to Mad Magazine, eventually contributing 200 articles. 

Michael Maslin has a remembrance here.

Mark Evanier: Paul Peter Porges R.I.P.


DBenson said...

I only knew his work from MAD. His style there convinced me he was a young guy.

Mike Shapiro said...

I took his cartooning class in the early 80s. I think it was at either The New School or Visual Arts. Nice guy. Excellent cartoonist.

Marie-Louise said...

Paul Peter Porges was our family's immediate neighbour in our apartment building in Manhattan. What a joy to know him and his family, for whom I baby-sat for a few years. I am privileged in his hand drawing me a cartoon, for my birthday one year. I wish his family all the best for the future. His brilliance will be missed internationally.

Mike Lynch said...

Thank you, Mary-Louise, for posting. This made me smile.