Cartoonist Willy Murphy died 37 years ago this month on March 2, 1976.
from Artists in Print
San Francisco Comic Book #4 1972
I first remember seeing Murphy’s work in the Berkeley Tribe underground paper and immediately took to it. ( I mostly remember a wonderfully devastating cartoon of Richard Nixon).
As a youngster-neophyte cartoonist in San Francisco, I looked up to Willy and he was very supportive of my early scribblings. In fact, I saw print a couple of times in those early days because Willy was in charge of editing the project (such as the San Francisco Sunday Paper and perhaps an early issue of San Francisco Comic Book).
As I understand it, before cartooning Murphy had worked in advertising. I believe he did photography as well. I recall him once saying to me that he had loved photography but it didn’t love him.
Willy Murphy died young. He was truly building a head of steam by the late 70’s creating and contributing to a number of projects including the Give Me Liberty, Two Fools, Arcade Comics Revue and his own title Flamed Out Funnies.
Willy was working on a piece for Lampoon and had a cold that turned into pneumonia while he continued to work to meet his deadline. He was found unconscious in his room and taken to the hospital but never recovered. He was 39 years old.
We’ll never know how good he could have been. He did some awfully funny stuff that deserves to be remembered.Here are a few odds and ends (some odder than others) by Willy Murphy.
from Arcade #3
from the short lived San Francisco Sunday Paper 1972
from Snarf #6
Again from San Francisco Sunday Paper
A nutty parody of the long ago Terry and the Pirates type strips
Ted Richard's piece from Arcade #6