America's last great newspaper strip, presented the way it should be read!
Publishers WeeklyFor all of Griffith's jeers at the predictability of the funny pages, he hints a few times in this collection of strips from 2003 and 2004 that all he's ever wanted is to be as reliable as Nancy (which he parodies on the front cover) or The Family Circus: a faithful daily chuckle for people who know exactly what they're getting. In the context of a newspaper comics page, Zippy and its pinheaded protagonist often seem like a hot blast of highbrow/lowbrow ridiculousness. Read a bunch of strips in a row, though, and it's clear Griffith has settled into a handful of formulas. This volume has sections devoted to particular themes: vintage diners, grotesque roadside statuary and odd little cartoon characters of the past. Sometimes Griffith's stand-in, "Griffy," gets to play straight man to Zippy's non sequiturs or exchange puns with him; other times Zippy just rattles on about nothing in particular for a few panels. Oddly, Griffith's heart doesn't seem to be in his humor-there's more rote wisecracking than actual joke making-or perhaps his particular brand of absurdity has worn out its power of surprise. His drawing, on the other hand, has rarely shown more care-the nature scenes and tourist traps through which the muumuu-clad Zippy strolls are rendered with the engagement and wit that's missing from the gags they support. (Dec.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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