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by Bill Griffith
Bill Griffith's Zippy the Pinhead is a pop culture icon. Born in Underground Comix, the surrealist-leaning character is now one of the most recognizable figures on the newspaper pages, seen by tens of millions of people a day. Zippy Annual 2002 collects approximately a year's worth of strips, including full-color Sundays, from 2001 and 2002. This new volume includes several continuing storylines. One follows the high drama when Zippy's own favorite (fictional) comic strip, "Nimrod," is dropped from his daily newspaper, a thinly disguised parody of what happened when one of Zippy's papers tried (and failed) to drop Griffith's strip. Also, Zippy bumps into dead newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst, visits innumerable roadside attractions, and reacts to the events of Sept. 11th, 2001, in a series of emotionally-charged strips. Frivolity is a stern taskmaster, and these brilliantly designed strips have never reproduced better, making Zippy Annual 2002 a perfect showcase for Griffith's inimitably existential and surreal sense of humor, a must-have and perfect gift book for the millions who find Zippy a rare diamond in the rough of today's newspaper comic pages.
SC, 8x11, 160pg, PC
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Bill Griffith is the artist behind the legendary weekly comic Zippy. Griffith's prolific output has been included in such publications as the Village Voice, National Lampoon, and the New Yorker. Along with Art Spiegelman, Griffith co-founded the influential anthology Arcade and is credited for coining the popular phrase, "Are we Having Fun Yet?" He currently lives in Connecticut with his wife, the cartoonist Diane Noomin.From Booklist:
"I speak for all abandoned roadside icons when I proclaim, 'Pull over, America, & accept your true cultural heritage'!" Thus sayeth Zippy the Pinhead, though why he does not also proclaim for such all-but-abandoned roadside icons (also beloved by Zippy) as the Chef Doggie heads from old Doggie Diners that mysteriously rove San Francisco on flatbed trucks is one more logical ellipsis in the ongoing free association between reality, often voiced by Zippy's pal and Griffith's look-alike, Griffy, and the principle of childlike wonder kidnapped by commercialism that the pinhead in the polka-dot muumuu embodies. The best single stretch of strips in the third annual gathering of the strangest and, for many, most delightful newspaper comic since "Krazy Kat" arrives immediately when a distressed cutie from a romance comic book bumbles into the Zippy continuum. Before she and several sisters are expelled, both Zippy and Griffy have to morph into handsome love interests. Much, much later, Zippy opines of Larry King, "Totally vestigial!" Which demands Zippy's highest term of awestruck approval: "Yow!" Ray Olson
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