October 19th, 2017
The first time I saw Zippy the Pinhead, I was a college student, and my wise-to-the-world-of-underground-comics friend was introducing me to the iconic pinhead in his unmistakeable polka-dotted coat.
Bill Griffith has been bringing Zippy’s brand of absurdity to the masses since 1970, and there is often nothing better for restoring faith in the nonsense that is this world than taking a moment to read today’s Zippy cartoon.
Zippy lives in the town of Dingburg, a mystical Shangri-La where the diners never close and the architecture of roadside America stands side-by-side with modern art and metaphors made flesh. He’s the modern remix of the King’s Fool– at once possessed of otherworldly wisdom and innocence.
Zippy is also, to his roots, kind. He is curious, and not a little magical, and consistently able to find joy in everything.
Zippy’s foil in his metaphysical questing is Griffy, who is perpetually anxious, analytical, judgmental, and all too attached to the “real world.” The two aren’t quite adversaries, but Griffy often provides a counterperspective to Zippy’s whimsy, that at once feels more grounded in reality, and frequently all the sadder for it.
Zippy is a real comic lover’s comic, a comic that never tires of exploring the way a few panels of images can come together to tell a story or send a message that simply couldn’t exist in another medium. It never ceases to delight, whether it’s Bill’s faithful renditions of architectural Americana, or the way Zippy seems to go on through life, irrepressible, in a way that inspires us to let life be a little more silly.
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