Dingburg Diaries by Bill Griffith
Cover art for The Dingburg Diaries (2013)

Bill Griffith is a member of the American underground comix movement and the creator of the iconic 'Zippy the Pinhead'. Born William Henry Jackson Griffith, he tried to become the "next big thing" in the art world of New York, but in 1967 he realized the "art thing" just wouldn't work out. So in 1969, he started drawing comics for all kinds of underground comix publications. His first strips were published in the East Village Other and Screw Magazine from New York City, and featured an angry amphibian named 'Mr. The Toad'.

Zippy the Clown, by Bill Griffith
Zippy strip from 1986

He became part of the San Francisco underground comix movement from 1970, starting with his romance comics parodies 'Tales of Toad' and 'Young Lust'. He published his work in Yellow Dog and Real Pulp and has since worked with most indie publishers from the 1970s until the present, including Print Mint, Last Gasp, Rip Off Press, Kitchen Sink and Fantagraphics Books.

Tales of Toad by Bill GriffithYoung Lust by Bill Griffith

His most famous character is surely 'Zippy the Pinhead' (as in 'Zippy for President'), the polka-dotted clownsuit-wearing human with a pointy head, who made his first appearance in the first issue of Real Pulp in 1970. Griffith's style was different than that of other underground artists. His comics are satirical and humorous, and don't hesitate to criticize today's media-saturated and celebrity-obsessed society. The strip went weekly in 1976 when it was featured in the Berkeley Barb and was then syndicated nationally through Rip Off Press until the artist turned to self-syndication to college newspapers and alternative weeklies under the Zipsynd (later Pinhead Productions) label in 1980.

Zippy by Bill Griffith
Zippy strip from 1997

'Zippy' has also appeared in the pages of the National Lampoon, High Times, Arcade, Yow, Weirdo and the San Francisco Examiner. King Features Syndicate has brought the comic on a daily base to a national audience in over 200 newspapers since 1990. Zippy's trademark phrase, "Are we having fun yet?" has become a famous national quote. Bill Griffith, who lives and works in East Haddam, Connecticut with his wife, cartoonist Diane Noomin, has also been an irregular contributor to The New Yorker since 1994. His work has been reprinted in German, French, Swedish, Italian, Japanese, Dutch, Finnish, and Spanish,

Zippy by Bill Griffith
Zippy strip from 2013

Zippy the Pinhead website

Last updated: 2013-05-20

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