The Cartoonists by Susanna McLeod           [email protected]

 

Vic Lee, Creator of "Pardon My Planet"

April 26, 2011

 

Requiring cartoons to promote a health club business venture, marketing director Vic Lee slipped into the realm of cartooning by incident. Failing to find a suitable artist, Lee drew the features himself. Evolved into a new career as cartoonist, Lee's transformation was not yet complete. He found himself on a path of deep spirituality and artistic development.

 

Vic Lee is a man of many talents, a man of many faces. "Vic Lee has spent the lst 20 years as an athlete, bartender, entrepreneur, stage actor, gallery artist, animal activist, and husband - all of which have helped him mold his skewed and ironic view of the world," said "About the Author" on bookseller Amazon's review of "Pardon My Planet: Omigawd! I've Become My Mother!"

Growing up with actors as parents, perhaps the artistic bug was planted when Lee was a child. Attending college, Lee left before he graduated to become a professional soccer player. It was not to be - a severe on-field injury ended the dream. Working for ten years as an actor and bartender in Seattle, Washington, Lee honed his observation skills, able to grasp the wry humour in life's situations.

"Pardon My Planet" cartoon by Vic Lee

With several business partners and a firm interest in health, Vic Lee opened a health club in San Diego. Lee tackled the job of marketing director for the new business, and wanted something more eye-catching than the usual health club advertisements. A few cartoons would be just the thing. "I tried to find a local cartoonist that could convey the idea of fitness and humor to an educated market week after week," said Lee on King Features Syndicate. "After six months of searching, I gave up and decided to give it a shot myself."

Lee's cartoon ads were a tremendous success, recognized by the industry - three Nova 7 Awards in Health and Fitness Marketing were won by the health club. The cartoons were also finding a fan base. Lee sold his stake and pulled out of the club business to put his focus on cartooning. King Features Syndicate picked up Pardon My Planet, initially titled "I Need Help."

 "Vic Lee, Diaries of an Evolution, the Demo Session," CD Music

Pardon My Planet debuted in 1996, Lee's take on modern life through the eyes of several steady, sometimes reasonable characters and an array of quirky passers-by.

Lee delves into the irritations, worries and ironies of everyday life, like worrying about a strange haircut or weird clothing, thinking that a deceased person won't miss his expensive tie, or that Paul Newman's face on the jar does not mean that he is missing, like those kids on the milk cartons. It's all good, clean fun and hits the giggle button.

.The backgrounds in Pardon My Planet are spare, just enough to set the stage for the wry humour issued from sober, often confused-looking faces that rarely smile. For Vic Lee, cartooning is but one style of art. Another is delicately crafted fine art. And this from a man who took no training in the arts.

CD Cover From "St. Victor Diaries," Vic Lee's Arts Site

Turning to theology in 2002, Lee immersed himself in religious studies. "He felt an urge to begin painting and used this as an outlet to help him deal with the process of his own spiritual elvolution and changing view of the world," according to the Bayou City Art Festival in March 2010. (The Festival named Lee as Featured Artist in that year.)

Lee's paintings, on display at Saint Victor Diaries, exude a classical, old-world approach with a surprising twist of whimsy and caricature. Beautiful and uniquely Lee, his work appears in galleries, shows and in magazines. Lee was honoured in 2006 by World Arts Media and New York Arts Magazine as of the "Top 500 Artists Worldwide."

Lee's transformation into the arts continues to expand with the addition of wonderful music, and he has debuted the first of three CDs of music in the adult contemporary/pop ballad style.

Bluntly speaking of his skills, Lee wrote in Saint Victor Diaries, "I have no art training. It was something that started to manifest as I began to delve into some life-alterning experiences in 2002."

"Today, as I reflect back on the metamorphosis over the few short years since I picked up a paint brush," said Lee, "I can't help but believe that within all of us is a messenger in search of a delivery system."

And his message is received by fans in many delightful forms.

"Pardon My Planet:  Omigawd! I've Become My Mother" by Vic Lee 2005

To the delight of reader s, Pardon My Planet is enjoyed in about 200 newspapers. Read the daily installment of Pardon My Planet at King Features Syndicate. Vic Lee and his wife Lisa live in Santa Fe, New Mexico and operate a dog rescue sanctuary.

Best wishes for an inspiring journey, Vic Lee.

 

Pardon My Planet: Omigawd! I've Become My Mother!" by cartoonist Vic Lee


King Features Syndicate


Andrews McMeel 2005

© Susanna McLeod 2011


TheCartoonists.ca