YOW! Legendary Cartoonist Bill Griffith Book Signing and Zippy Art Exhibition at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery in Seattle on November 8.
“Are we having fun yet?” We will be on Saturday, November 8 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM, when Bill Griffith creator of the iconic Zippy the Pinhead comic strip character, makes a rare public appearance in the Northwest. Griffith will be on hand to sign his new Zippy collection Welcome to Dingburg, present an exhibition of original Zippy artwork, and give a brief slide talk. The public of all ages is invited to Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery in Seattle’s Georgetown district to welcome this extraordinary cartoonist.
Bill Griffith began his storied career in New York in 1969, publishing comics in the East Village Other. A year later he moved to San Francisco to join his colleagues in the Underground Comix movement. He collaborated with Art Spiegelman to launch Arcade, a quarterly anthology of alternative comics, and Young Lust, a parody of 1950s romance comic books. His signature character Zippy first appeared in 1970 in Real Pulp #1. In subsequent years, “Zippy the Pinhead” was syndicated and currently appears in hundreds of newspapers across the country. Griffith’s creation has entered the cultural lexicon with his sometimes oblique, sometimes pointed, commentary on American political and popular culture. Since 1993, Seattle-based Fantagraphics Books has collected “Zippy the Pinhead” strips in several periodical publications. The latest of these handsome volumes, Welcome to Dingburg, will make its debut at the event on November 8.
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale Street in the heart of Georgetown’s creative community, only minutes south of downtown Seattle - open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Bill Griffith’s appearance coincides with the colorful Georgetown Second Saturday Art Attack featuring visual and performing arts presentations throughout the neighborhood. A selection of imagery in a variety of formats is available for publication. For additional information contact Eric Reynolds at Fantagraphics.
BILL GRIFFITH Opening reception and book signing, Saturday, November 8, 6:00 – 9:00 PM. Exhibition of original Zippy art continues through December 10. Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery 1201 S. Vale St. (at Airport Way S.) Seattle, WA 206.658.0110 Open daily 11:30 – 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM www.fantagraphics.com
FREE ADMISSION An exclusive, limited-edition Hayes silkscreen will be available for this event.
The controversial cartoonist Rory Hayes was a self-taught dynamo of the underground comics revolution. Attracting equal parts derision and praise (the latter from the likes of R. Crumb and Bill Griffith), Hayes emerged as comics’ great primitive, drawing horror comics in a genuinely horrifying and hallucinatory manner (some have called him the Fletcher Hanks of the underground). He has influenced a generation of cartoonists, from RAW to Fort Thunder and back again.
On Friday, Aug. 8, on what would have been Hayes’ 59th birthday (Hayes died of a drug overdose in 1983), Desert Island and Fantagraphics Books will celebrate the life and art of Rory Hayes with a special evening celebrating the release of WHERE DEMENTED WENTED, the first-ever collection of Hayes’ legendary comics and art. Editor Dan Nadel (Gary Panter, The Wilco Book) will moderate a discussion of Hayes’ work with three men who knew and worked with Hayes: Kim Deitch (creator of Waldo the Cat), Bill Griffith (creator of Zippy the Pinhead), and Geoffrey Hayes (brother of Rory and author of the recent Benny and Penny from Toon Books).
WHERE DEMENTED WENTED: THE ART AND COMIX OF RORY HAYES is the first retrospective of Hayes’ career ever published, and features the best of his underground comics output alongside paintings, covers, and artifacts rarely seen by human eyes — as well as astounding, previously unprinted comics from his teenage years and movie posters for his numerous homemade films. The Art and Comix of Rory Hayes also serves as a biography and critique with a memoir of growing up with Rory by his brother, the illustrator Geoffrey Hayes, and a career-spanning essay by Edward Pouncey (a.k.a. Savage Pencil). Also included is a rare interview with Hayes himself.
“Rory Hayes was the real thing; a genuine ‘outsider’ artist. His work retains its raw, primitive power to this day, teetering precariously between chaos and control, madness and oddly endearing teddy bears.” – Bill Griffith
“A great American primitive.” – R. Crumb
WHERE DEMENTED WENTED: THE ART AND COMICS OF RORY HAYES Edited by Dan Nadel and Glenn Bray Essays by Geoffrey Hayes and Edwin Pouncey $22.99 Paperback Original 144 pages, black-and-white (with 48 pp. in color), 8” x 10” ISBN 978-1-56097-923-4 • PUBLICATION DATE: AUG. 8, 2008
Bill Griffith turned in his spectacular cover to the upcoming WELCOME TO DINGBURG Zippy collection, which focuses heavily on Dingburg, the "city inhabited solely by pinheads." (Other than Washington D.C., of course.) The inside cover will feature a full-color fold-out map of Dingburg, and as a result the front cover is also a foldout and our man Bill knocked himself out on both. Enjoy your sneak peek at the original to the cover (we're keeping the map under wraps for now), and look for the book late this year.
Front cover hand lettered and designed by Robert Crumb, plus five wonderful pages of sketchbook drawings inside! Back cover by Christoph Mueller, "My Angel of Sin"! The life of famous Beat underground poet, Diane Di Prima, drawn and written by Mary Fleener (with guest Harvey Pekar)! Poetry by Diane Di Prima! "Pat & Corky" fiction by J.R. Helton, Zippy the Pinhead and how Bill Griffith got his start! New artwork by Christoph Mueller (with guest Joe Coleman) and William Crook, Jr.! Jay Lynch & Ed Piskor's story about Lynch and Crumb going to visit Chester Gould! "In Praise of Goth Beauticians" by Andrei Codrescu and illustrated by Aaron Lange! Plus the long awaited next chapter to the Green Star by editor Everett Rand, also Frank Stack, Bruce Simon, Aaron Lange, letters from around the globe and more!!
This has been floating around the inter-tubes recently: a TV interview with Zippy the Pinhead creator Bill Griffith that ran on WFSB (channel 3, Hartford, CT) Eyewitness News on November 7, 2003. Dig that close-up camera work!
So, this weekend I was working a book convention in Portland. I had copies of Zippy: Walk a Mile in My Muu-Muu in tow (the new Zippy the Pinhead collection by Bill Griffith) and a woman walked by the booth on Saturday, saw Zippy out of the corner of her eye, and made a beeline for it. She declared, "I love Zippy!"
I said to her, "Me, too!" and added, "I'm glad to hear it, I always consider Zippy a good barometer of taste, because it's kind of a polarizing strip."
She looked at me without a hint of irony and said excitedly, "I KNOW!... JUST LIKE BILLY JOEL!"