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Bill Griffith: Lost and Found: Comics 1969-2003

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Bill Griffith is best known as the creator of the Zippy daily comic strip, currently running in over 300 newspapers nationwide, but Zippy was conceived as an underground comix character before he became embraced in the mainstream, and Griffith himself was a seminal figure in the underground comix movement, during which he was a cartoonist, an editor, and an entrepreneur. B Bill Griffith is best known as the creator of the Zippy daily comic strip, currently running in over 300 newspapers nationwide, but Zippy was conceived as an underground comix character before he became embraced in the mainstream, and Griffith himself was a seminal figure in the underground comix movement, during which he was a cartoonist, an editor, and an entrepreneur. Bill Griffith: Lost & Found collects hundreds of Griffith’s early underground comics, most of them long out of print and unavailable. Much of the work will be unfamiliar and a real revelation to those readers who only know Griffith from his long-running Zippy strip. Beginning in 1970, Griffith contributed stories to a long list of legendary undergrounds. Lost and Found is not only a collection of these underground comix — hand-picked by the artist himself — but a mini-memoir of the artist’s comix career during the early days of the San Francisco Underground and his nearly twenty year on-again, off-again involvement with Hollywood and TV. Griffith’s running recollections and commentary serve as a wry and often hilarious counterpoint and context to the stories themselves. Lost and Found follows Griffith’s career from New York to San Francisco in chapters like “New York: The East Village Other and Screw”; “The Arcade Years”; “First Zippy Appearances”; “Young Lust” ; “Cast of Characters: Claude Funston, Mr. The Toad, Shelf-Life, The Toadettes, Alfred Jarry and the Griffith Observatory.” While the vast majority of the book is non-Zippy comics, it also features the earliest appearances of Zippy, not seen in any other collection. Zippy fans will be happy to see the very first Zippy stories from 1971 to 1974, when Zippy was primarily a sidekick for Griffith’s first major character, Mr. The Toad. Also included is a 19-page, unfinished, never-before- published comics version of the first few scenes from the Zippy movie screenplay, Zippyvision. Intended as a companion piece to the unproduced film, the story details Zippy’s sideshow origins and his later life in a boarding house catering to showbiz wannabes. Previously uncollected later work features Griffith’s comics for High Times, The National Lampoon, The San Francisco Examiner and The New Yorker. Bill Griffith: Lost and Found finally collects the work of one of the great, pioneering cartoonists.


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Bill Griffith is best known as the creator of the Zippy daily comic strip, currently running in over 300 newspapers nationwide, but Zippy was conceived as an underground comix character before he became embraced in the mainstream, and Griffith himself was a seminal figure in the underground comix movement, during which he was a cartoonist, an editor, and an entrepreneur. B Bill Griffith is best known as the creator of the Zippy daily comic strip, currently running in over 300 newspapers nationwide, but Zippy was conceived as an underground comix character before he became embraced in the mainstream, and Griffith himself was a seminal figure in the underground comix movement, during which he was a cartoonist, an editor, and an entrepreneur. Bill Griffith: Lost & Found collects hundreds of Griffith’s early underground comics, most of them long out of print and unavailable. Much of the work will be unfamiliar and a real revelation to those readers who only know Griffith from his long-running Zippy strip. Beginning in 1970, Griffith contributed stories to a long list of legendary undergrounds. Lost and Found is not only a collection of these underground comix — hand-picked by the artist himself — but a mini-memoir of the artist’s comix career during the early days of the San Francisco Underground and his nearly twenty year on-again, off-again involvement with Hollywood and TV. Griffith’s running recollections and commentary serve as a wry and often hilarious counterpoint and context to the stories themselves. Lost and Found follows Griffith’s career from New York to San Francisco in chapters like “New York: The East Village Other and Screw”; “The Arcade Years”; “First Zippy Appearances”; “Young Lust” ; “Cast of Characters: Claude Funston, Mr. The Toad, Shelf-Life, The Toadettes, Alfred Jarry and the Griffith Observatory.” While the vast majority of the book is non-Zippy comics, it also features the earliest appearances of Zippy, not seen in any other collection. Zippy fans will be happy to see the very first Zippy stories from 1971 to 1974, when Zippy was primarily a sidekick for Griffith’s first major character, Mr. The Toad. Also included is a 19-page, unfinished, never-before- published comics version of the first few scenes from the Zippy movie screenplay, Zippyvision. Intended as a companion piece to the unproduced film, the story details Zippy’s sideshow origins and his later life in a boarding house catering to showbiz wannabes. Previously uncollected later work features Griffith’s comics for High Times, The National Lampoon, The San Francisco Examiner and The New Yorker. Bill Griffith: Lost and Found finally collects the work of one of the great, pioneering cartoonists.

30 review for Bill Griffith: Lost and Found: Comics 1969-2003

  1. 4 out of 5

    Steve Rainwater

    This is a huge, 360 page collection of Griffith's older and more obscure comics for the hardcore fans. Some of the familiar characters like Zippy, Griffy, and Mr. The Toad are here but there are other stranger, often R-rated comics. This is definitely not for anyone who is easily offended. There's rampant nudity, sex, drugs, language and, of course, ever present non sequiturs. If you're a fan of Invisible Ink, there are two comics in this book that cover Griffith's early life and touch on some o This is a huge, 360 page collection of Griffith's older and more obscure comics for the hardcore fans. Some of the familiar characters like Zippy, Griffy, and Mr. The Toad are here but there are other stranger, often R-rated comics. This is definitely not for anyone who is easily offended. There's rampant nudity, sex, drugs, language and, of course, ever present non sequiturs. If you're a fan of Invisible Ink, there are two comics in this book that cover Griffith's early life and touch on some of the same time periods and events as that book. If you're a fan or collector, this book is worthwhile. Otherwise, you should probably skip it and get something more modern like the Zippy annuals.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Terrence

    I enjoyed the Zippy comics and the strange biography bits, the VERY R-rated material was a surprise to me.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Alan

    Lost and Found is a more freewheeling, raunchy collection of work than Griffith's usual Zippy the Pinhead book. Oh, Zippy's here too—some of his earliest appearances, in fact, back when he was Mr. Toad's sidekick and not vice versa, show up in this volume—but here, Zippy gets nekkid. A lot. And he's not alone, either. This is Bill Griffith's unbridled id at work. Along with the usual social commentary and surreal non sequiturs, this book features cartoon characters getting busy, more often than Lost and Found is a more freewheeling, raunchy collection of work than Griffith's usual Zippy the Pinhead book. Oh, Zippy's here too—some of his earliest appearances, in fact, back when he was Mr. Toad's sidekick and not vice versa, show up in this volume—but here, Zippy gets nekkid. A lot. And he's not alone, either. This is Bill Griffith's unbridled id at work. Along with the usual social commentary and surreal non sequiturs, this book features cartoon characters getting busy, more often than not. Now, I like that kind of thing... but I also think it necessary to provide fair warning, if it isn't already obvious, that this ain't no kiddie comic book. It isn't all smut, though, by any means. Griffith's character analyses include pieces on Liberace, the absurdist playwright Alfred Jarry, and the painter Henri Rousseau. We find out about Zippy the Pinhead's relationship to Saturday Night Live's "The Coneheads." And there is also serious self-analysis, both in comic form—I especially liked the revelation Griffy gives himself at the finale of "Cast of Characters" (p.241, 1980)—and in the Introduction, "Thinking Inside the Box," an extended autobiographical piece. This Fantagraphics edition is typically solid and well-produced, with crisp reproductions of each comic on heavy paper stock. I don't know that I'd hand this to someone as their first exposure to Griffith's body of work... but if you're up for it, there's a lot of meat here. As it were... yow!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    One pleasant surprise about many of the cartoonists from the first generation of US underground comix (e.g. R. Crumb, the late Spain Rodriguez, Kim Deitch) is that as they grew older, their work often got better, with Bill Griffith being one of the most dramatic examples of this. I honestly think that his Zippy strips of the last twenty years or so are among his very best. So it's interesting to see how he started out. It's a bit of a shock to see some of the crudeness of his early strips (in te One pleasant surprise about many of the cartoonists from the first generation of US underground comix (e.g. R. Crumb, the late Spain Rodriguez, Kim Deitch) is that as they grew older, their work often got better, with Bill Griffith being one of the most dramatic examples of this. I honestly think that his Zippy strips of the last twenty years or so are among his very best. So it's interesting to see how he started out. It's a bit of a shock to see some of the crudeness of his early strips (in terms of both technique and subject matter) but despite that, many of his life-long fascinations with pop culture ephemera and the absurdity of modern life are nevertheless clearly on display. Of his early comic book work, I think I like the Young Lust stories best, with their mutant takes on classic romance comics tropes. The explicit sex scenes they include seem less out of place than they do in some of the early Zippy strips, where it's still a bit of a shock for me to see Zippy, Mr. Toad etc. all naked, and gettin' busy. In all honesty, it's kind of hit or miss and may not appeal to the casual reader, but for long-term Griffy/Zippy fans it's a treasure trove.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mitch

    I was always happy as a kid to receive a Zippy comic strip inside my bubble gum. Sure, the other comics were great.. but nothing could compare to Zippy!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Matt

  7. 5 out of 5

    James Pritchett

  8. 4 out of 5

    Robin

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ted

    good stuff

  10. 5 out of 5

    Diane

  11. 5 out of 5

    Robert Boyd

  12. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Calaman

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jon Bernard

  14. 5 out of 5

    Paul

  15. 4 out of 5

    Victor

  16. 4 out of 5

    Chris Estey

  17. 5 out of 5

    Arvid

  18. 4 out of 5

    patty

  19. 5 out of 5

    Alex Firer

  20. 4 out of 5

    Grimmy

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Hogan

  22. 5 out of 5

    Erik Peterson

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tony

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ramona

  25. 5 out of 5

    Diane Newman

  26. 5 out of 5

    Shea Proulx

  27. 5 out of 5

    Josh

  28. 5 out of 5

    Cris

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kurt

  30. 5 out of 5

    Paul Herrera

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