Bill Griffith  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Bill Griffith (born William Henry Jackson Griffith, 20 January 1944) is an American cartoonist. He is best known for his comic strip Zippy the Pinhead.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Griffith grew up in Levittown, Long Island, where one of his neighbors was science fiction illustrator Ed Emshwiller, whom he credits with pointing him towards the world of art.[1] Griffith began his comics career in New York City in 1969. He was a prominent cartoonist in the underground comics movement based out of San Francisco in the late 1960s, and co-founded the comics anthology Arcade, The Comics Revue with Art Spiegelman. His first strips were published in the East Village Other and Screw magazine and featured an angry amphibian named Mr. The Toad. He ventured to San Francisco in 1970 to join the burgeoning underground comix movement and made his home there until 1998. His first major comic book titles included Tales of Toad and Young Lust, a best-selling series parodying romance comics of the time.He was co-editor of Arcade for its seven issue run in the mid-70s and worked with the important underground publishers throughout the 1970s and up to the present: Print Mint, Last Gasp, Rip Off Press, Kitchen Sink and Fantagraphics Books. The first Zippy strip appeared in the underground Real Pulp #1 (Print Mint) in 1971. The strip went weekly in 1976, first in the Berkeley Barb and then syndicated nationally through Rip Off Press. He presently lives and works in East Haddam, Connecticut, where he lives with his wife, the cartoonist Diane Noomin.

The catchphrase "Are we having fun yet?" was credited to Griffith in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations (Sixteenth Edition, 1992).

The one-row format Zippy strip debuted in the Berkeley Barb in 1976 and continues in weekly newspapers to this day. The daily Zippy strip (syndicated by King Features to over 200 newspapers worldwide) started in 1986. Griffith co-created (with cartoonist Jay Kinney in 1970) the best-selling underground comic series, Young Lust. He has also contributed comics and illustrations to the National Lampoon, High Times, The New Yorker, The Village Voice, and The New York Times, among others. Zippy books and comics are currently published by Fantagraphics Books.

For a short period, Griffith—along with other artists, including Art Spiegelman, Kim Deitch, George Evans, Drew Friedman, Jay Lynch, Norman Saunders, Bhob Stewart and Tom Sutton—designed Wacky Packages trading cards for the Topps Company.

Quotes

  • "When I'm doing a Zippy strip, I'm aware that I'm weaving elements together, almost improvising, as if I were all the instruments in a little jazz combo, then stepping back constantly to edit and fine-tune. Playing with language is what delights Zippy the most." [2]
  • "I also dislike Calvin and Hobbes. I think it's nothing much more than a re-hash of formula kid strips. Everyone says Calvin and Hobbes is about a real kid, but to me there's nothing real about it; it's clearly the voice of an adult in a kid's body. It doesn't make much sense to me." [3]
  • "Some people believe that I'm stupid, or possibly mentally retarded. I have no comment on this."





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Bill Griffith" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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