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This is an old screen cap from Facebook, I submitted a Zippy the pinhead portrait to Bill Griffith one of my all time favorite comic artists. I don’t have any triumphs into the world of daily comics, or any hope of getting there anytime soon. So this was a big deal to me to have someone who I admire and respect take the time to glance at something I had done. My work a day world as a graphic designer/ illustrator leaves me pretty anonymous and unkonwn, it pays the rent but I am getting too old to “make a splash”. So I takes what I can gets … and move on …

Bill Griffith is a lasting highly influential artist in this persons lifetime. First he has outlasted many famous comics people. He was a contemporary of R Crumb and other hippie artists of his time, but his comic strip penetrated into the main stream comics page in many newspapers. Thus creating a living for someone in this fickle art world. I am sure he is not rich, judging by his lack of a mansion and movie royalties. But he is rich in content. When I think of people like Danial Clowes who had two of his comics made into movies, then you don’t hear from the guy, I think he must have made enough money to not care anymore. Where as Mr. Griffith is churning out strip after strip. I have purchased some of the Zippy books and collections, I say some because even if I have 10 there are many more than that to be had. Each one is packed full of cultural references long before the likes of Family Guy made it main stream. You can pick up on many influences that stem from the mouth of Zippy, that are taken and brought into the main stream “non reading” public as fresh ideas. All the way back to the 70’s or 80’s Garfield popularized the Zippy phrase “are we having fun yet?”. Garfield has never said anything as witty before or since. I think there was a law suit or litigation

My comic Timmy Bean Brain is a rip off of Zippy the pinhead, A main simpleton character, who holds wisdom, and other antagonist character who try to apply logic to societies ills. It is a great formula. as I don’t really care about other comic formats. You have your everyone hates me format, popularized by “Charley Brown” “Dilbert” even John in “Garfield”. Your my family is making me crazy format with “Blondie” “Family Circus” and the other current one I can’t remember… oh yea “Baby Blues” “for Better or Worse” there are many of them …

So stealing a format or theme is not really news but how you work it is where you can be original. Zippy is an original format the has not been ripped off. So that is where I come in. Eventually Bill Griffith will retire, and unless he has a son his comic will fade into the past of topical comics like “Mutt and Jeff” and all those other comics that made sense at the time but no longer are decipherable to people of this age. Those comics killed back then. but now people are like wtf?

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