Would you like to be a cartoonist like me?
You can’t. Sorry. Not even if you paid me to train you. It won’t happen.
Ralph Reese is a brilliant illustrator whose art I first discovered in Choose Your Own Adventure books; he was my personal favorite. His work leapt off the page more than the others, owing to his apprenticeship under the great Wally Wood. In my teens, I found reprints of Ralph’s collaboration with Byron Preiss for National Lampoon, “One Year Affair”. I dreamed of being able to draw like Ralph Reese.
When Ralph did a feature in CRAZY magazine, it was a cause for celebration. Because Ralph wasn’t just a master illustrator.
Ralph was also a master of making you crap your pants.
If you don’t recognize the name in the title, it’s okay. I’m not gonna browbeat you this time. This guy takes a lot more effort to be aware of, so don’t feel bad if you’re unfamiliar. In fact, let me introduce you to one of the funniest underground cartoonists of the 20th century.
If you’ve read Harvey Pekar’s American Splendor, you’ll recognize Murphy’s distinctive style. Willy was as much a natural talent as Gilbert Shelton or Robert Crumb.