Zippy is the “wise fool.” He knows nothing at all and everything at once. Media-soaked, he has the attention span of a channel surfer. He’s giddy from information overload. His mind works in a distinctly non-linear fashion, leap-frogging from one thought to the next, creating a speech pattern that closely resembles the swing of improvisational jazz. Though his behavior may appear “surreal,” he’s really making his own kind of sense of the world. His seeming “non sequitur” style is really more of a rearranging of subjects, objects and emotions, flowing like poetry. Zippy thrives on an additive-rich, high MSG diet and a hefty dose of celebrity-spotting. He’s fueled by Ding Dongs and taco sauce. Of course, there’s an intentionally satiric edge to Zippy, but this never takes a back seat to his strong attachment and loyalty to those around him. When he’s not “escaping into the real world,” he's exploring his hometown, “Dingburg,” where everybody is a pinhead and the donut shops and bowling alleys are open 24 hours.
Zippy has been described by Robin Williams as “a word processor with dyslexia,”and by Time magazine as “instantly obsessed with whatever trend or object passes in front of him. Griffith has actually made room for essays and meditations on the ‘funnies’ page. No other strip challenges the reader in such a smart way.”
A few years ago, Zippy’s circle of friends began to expand beyond the usual “cast of characters” to a wider world of other people like Zippy — other pinheads. More and more muu muu-clad men and women started to arrive until one day the whole thing just reached “critical mass.”
Griffith then thought, “Where do all these friends of Zippy live? Do they live in the ‘real world,’ which Zippy has been seen escaping into for years—or do they live apart, in a pinhead world of their own?”
Thus, Dingburg was born—“The City Inhabited Entirely by Pinheads.” It even has a motto: “Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere.” Dingburg is a place where Zippy’s wacky “rules” are the norm and everyone plays 24-hour Skeeball and worships at the feet of giant Muffler Men. Zippy has, at last, found a place where he fits in, polka dots, topknot and all.
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