Sunday 19 September 2010

The Warped Genius of Patrick Wright

 Here is another member of the Wright Dynasty, this time it's Patrick son of David (Carol Day) Wright) who although noted as a wonderful comic strip artist (his work has appeared in Battle Picture Weekly, Commando and even a short run of Modesty Blaise dailies) is also one of the funniest cartoonists ever to inhabit the planet.

Patrick was a highly talented draftsman from an early age but writing was his first love and his ambition was to adopt the lifestyle of a French existentialist poet. He managed to secure a job as lavatory attendant and all went well until his girlfriend fell unexpectedly pregnant - these things happen... So needs must and young Patrick needing to get himself some extra spondoolies, semi reluctantly but knowing he had to do something - took himself off  to illustrator's agent Barry Coker at Bardon Press and walked out with his first of many jobs.

But eventually and tiring of the awful deadlines and the terrible returns and having to put a pillow over the telephone, so that he didn't have to pick up the phone to the eternal question "where's the work???", he decided to come up with his own ideas and as Barbara Woodhouse was doing a TV series on dog training he created a spoof book called Walkies, which was so successful that he was pretty much able to buy his first house on the strength of the royalties.

He did several more books in this vein all with the mordantly edgy humor and brilliant observation that makes Patrick's work so engaging and if you want to see some of his best humorous work just check out the following samples from a now out of print gem called "Affairs of the Heart".

This book it has to be said was perhaps one of the least successful of his collections, as his literary agent said, "it's very funny Patrick, but it's too true for people to want to buy it". Be that as it may it's still one of the funniest collections of ideas I have yet come across - hope you feel the same...


  1. Yes I do! Hilarious! Definitely adding this one to my list!

  2. There's PUH...lenty more where this came from Urban.

    I'll post some more shortly

  3. To be honest I was never a huge fan of Pat's art for Battle. In spite of his undoubted skill I always felt there was something a bit lifeless and overworked about his technique, which as a consequence tended to lack the sense of sheer vitality that people like Colquhoun, Bradbury and Ezquerra (not to mention his own father) could bring to the strips they drew.

    Yet the funny thing is that I'm just crazy about these cartoons (especially the one with the sea-lion!) - none of which I've ever seen before. It's almost as though the very dullness that turned me off his boys' adventure strips works to his advantage here by giving a startlingly 'ordinary' feel to the most surreal situations. IMHO this effect - simultaneously juxtaposing the outlandish and the mundane - is curiously reminiscent of the brilliantly inventive adventures of 'The Bus' that were drawn for in a similarly enervated style by Paul Kirchner (another of Wally Wood's assistants).

    Thanks so much for introducing me to this gem Peter; I really must try to find a copy of 'Affairs of the Heart' for myself!

  4. I wish you the best of luck in the quest Phil. My copy comes from Patrick himself and looks like it's had a good soaking in the process, which is why the scans are a bit iffy. But like you I think this is Patrick Wright at his best, his eye for detail is what makes these things so funny, in fact when I was looking through these books (there's more to come...) the tears of mirth were just streaming down my face.