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Bill Griffith

Invisible Ink: My Mother's Love Affair With A Famous Cartoonist

On sale date: October 3, 2015

2016 Eisner Award Winner for Best Writer/Artist! Underground and Zippy the Pinhead cartoonist Bill Griffith uncovers his mother’s hidden past in his first graphic memoir.

This is the renowned cartoonist's first long-form graphic work — a 200-page memoir that poignantly recounts his mother’s secret life, which included an affair with a cartoonist and crime novelist in the 1950s and ’60s. Invisible Ink unfolds like a detective story, alternating between past and present, as Griffith recreates the quotidian habits of suburban Levittown and the professional and cultural life of mid-century Manhattan in the 1950s and ’60s as seen through his mother’s and his own then-teenage eyes. Griffith puts the pieces together and reveals a mother he never knew.


"Starred Review: [Griffith's] intricate drawing style, which exploits a range of backdrops, from blank to near-photorealistic depictions of architecture, complements the richness of hisverbal narration and the veracity and particularity of the dialogue he creates for the many relatives andfamily friends he portrays ... [A]bsorbing and moving." — Ray Olson - Booklist

"This autobiographical story by the creator of Zippy the Pinhead will ring true to anyone who has ever watched their parents' marital misery around the dinner table and wondered what was really going on. ... Weaving a tapestry of family dysfunction and clandestine liaisons set against the backdrop of the 1950s and '60s, Griffith's... archaeology of his family's past is an evocative portrait of postwar America." — Publishers Weekly

"Already a pioneer of underground comix, and perhaps the last great daily comic strip artist (his Zippy the Pinhead carries giddily on), Bill Griffith now earns yet another distinction, as memoirist. Invisible Ink is a dense, digressive personal essay that tries to understand the fading world of his parents – especially his mother, an irrepressible and adventurous soul ... [W]ith his meticulous, etching-like drawings and conversational tone, Bill Griffith imagines his mother's ambitions and passions with empathy and stirring respect." — Sean Rogers - The Globe and Mail

"Employing a jauntily crosshatched style, Griffith zigzags through recollections of a Long Island youth and a postwar mom conflicted enough to beam over her son's success in underground comics... but to refuse to show his work to her friends for 'fear that people may say to me, "Your son draws dirty pictures."' Here, when Griffith draws his mother having sex with her illicit lover, the pictures are not dirty; they're heartbreaking." — R.C. Baker - The Village Voice

"...[An] engaging and poignant tale..." — Mimi Pond (Over Easy) - Tech Times


Black and white
7" × 9.8"