"Zippy Annual No. 1," by Bill Griffith...


"Zippy Annual No. 1," by Bill Griffith (Fantagraphics Books, 160 pages, $19.95).

I have given up prosetylizing for "Zippy the Pinhead." Soon after it began turning up in 1986, I found it to be the smartest, funniest, most culturally forward-looking syndicated feature in American newspapers. It's a comic strip, of course. But in truth it is a sort of rolling Armory Show of the Postmodern Era. Bill Griffith is as indisputably a comic genius as he is a brilliant critic of art, fashions and American national iconography. Still, my experience is that some otherwise entirely decent and functional people just don't get it, and despite my passionate urgings never will. If you are among them, you have my heartfelt pity. Otherwise -- celebrate this wonderful bundle of the stuff.

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