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Baltimore Sun Pops Zippy the Pinhead

August 14, 2008

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Compared to the loss of dozens of newsroom jobs, the dropping of a full page of comic strips is bupkis. But when one of those strips is Zippy the Pinhead, well, I can’t just stand by and stay silent.

To be honest, I go hot and cold on Zippy. Sometimes cartoonist Bill Griffith’s anti-establishment vibe feels passively aggressive. But other times his gentle surrealism and sharp satire are exactly what put the cream in my morning coffee. In fact, it took reading Zippy in book form–its rhythms, both art- and wordwise, become more apparent when you read a bunch in a row–to really get on the former underground cartoonist’s wavelength.

Baltimore is a Zippy town, with its readers here providing dozens of local diners, roadside attractions, and other pieces of Americana for Griffith to draw over the years. About 100 of them turned up at Griffith’s talk at Johns Hopkins last year. So, if anyone’s planning any San Francisco-style protests, let us know and we’ll do our best to spread the word.

In the meantime, call (410) 783-2537 or e-mail to register your feelings. (Be nice.) This isn’t necessarily the final lineup of Sun comic strips, so doing so isn’t futile (and while you’re at it, demand Richard Thompson’s Cul De Sac).

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