by Donna Barstow | September 9th, 2009
I went to Marty Murphy’s memorial service on Monday at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. This is only the 2nd funeral I’ve ever been to since I’ve been a grownup, and my first time at this famous cemetery. We signed in and met Marty’s sister and nephew, and some people said some nice things about him. (Not that many people spoke, but I think that’s because most of the guests were artists, and they are very right-brained, not too wordy, and internal people.) Afterwards we went into another room for coffee and chatted.
I only recognized 4 people: Floyd Norman (who I don’t think knew me), Bill Riling, Bob Foster, and Sergio Aragones. I hadn’t seen Sergio in at least a year, and it was great to chat with him. He never gets older! And he’s still quite the ladies man. Interestingly, Virgil Partch (VIP) came up in the conversation, probably because Marty had always talked about him, and admired him so much. He had died tragically in a car accident many years ago. He has a very distinct way of drawing that anyone can recognize! As it turns out, Sergio had also always admired him, and when he moved here from Mexico he was so excited to finally meet the man! VIP was one of the best. I didn’t know he had done so many books – I think he’s quite collectible. I know he’s a little risque! Here are some I found on Amazon: Virgil Partch (VIP).
Man the Beast by VIP.
I met some very nice people, including Kelley and Meredith, who I found out are taking excellent care of Marty’s dog, Elkie! They had pictures of her with their handsome grey soft velvet dog – I forget the breed – who had already made friends with her. The two were darling with each other. Most guests were animators – Marty worked mostly as an animator/storyboard artist when I knew him, but I’ve never been very interested in animation, so he talked about projects he was doing – a lot to do with a Big Red Dog – but that was about it. Someone told a story about him working in an animation studio with a huge pile of folders and papers which eventually toppled over on him. Isn’t that how all stories about piles of paper end?
Someone had brought one of Marty’s books to the funeral. Bright yellow covers and very nice examples of his wash (ink wash, or shading.) Marty was great at that. That was the church that was: Cartoons. He also did another book, Teachers are Funny People!
I wish I had more of Marty’s original drawings to post here instead of a funeral card, and especially to study, now that he’s gone. I only have one watercolor that he gave me years ago. It just feels strange to ask someone you know so well for their work, you know what I mean? We were friends, and that was enough.
Oh, and you might wonder, did Playboy show up? Nah.