Friday, August 18, 2017

P.C. Vey

Long ago, when I was a student at New York's School of Visual Arts, I met a young cartoonist, Peter Vey.  I loved his surreal sense of humor - in the very early days of home video recording, we created a homemade TV show called "There's Not Much On", also starring his wacky buddy, Chris Hoffman.  We'd get together about once a month in my East Village apartment and record our bizarre TV show skits.  It was terrific fun and I learned a lot about performing humor.  What was so cool was the style that both Peter and Chris demonstrated.  They always dressed in black suits and thin black ties, and this was way before "Reservoir Dogs".  This was at the peak of the 1960's scene, with all its hippy-dippy brightly colored attire - but their humor was also made up of surreal anarchy, which seemed to be very anti-business suit.  (I used to have VHS copies of "There's Not Much On", but I lost them long ago.)

Before long, Peter was working pretty steadily as a cartoonist for all the major publications - New York Times, Playboy, Penthouse, National Lampoon, etc.  (Actually, he worked for a lot of the same magazines that I started out on.)  Unfortunately, over the years many of these magazines either went out of business or stopped buying cartoons.   But that's OK, because P.C. Vey became the star of The New Yorker - it seems like every week he has a cartoon in it.

I believe he's even more prolific than Roz Chast.  It was through Peter that I became friends with a lot of the great cartoonists, like Jack Ziegler, Roz Chast, Felipe Galindo, Bob Mankoff and the great Sam Gross.  And Peter, along with Maureen McElheron, also contributed to the script for my first feature film, "The Tune", which is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its release this year.

In any case, this is a long historical introduction to the photo below, this is me, Maureen McElheron (composer/musician for "Your Face", "The Tune" and "Hair High") and the great P.C. Vey.  I hadn't seen him for many years and this photo is from our recent reunion.  Anyway, check out his work and books, you'll love his stuff.

--Bill Plympton

1 comment:

  1. Hey, Bill! I had no idea of your connection with Peter Vey, an old friend going back to my first days in New York, when he was still at SVA. Interestingly enough, I ran into Chris Hoffman in the subway a few months ago — he called me out, which is good, because I wouldn't have recognized him after twenty or thirty years, however long it's been. By the way, I've been singing "Your Face" constantly of late, after showing it to some friends as a lead-in to "Duck Soup." Thanks for dredging up the memories!