Episode 150: Bill Griffith
It’s been several years since I last spoke to Bill Griffith. I’m fairly certain I spent much of that last interview attempt to talk the cartoonist into drawing a full length book — and while I certainly can’t take any of the credit, I’m happy to say that the artist was on-hand at this year’s Comic Arts Brooklyn to discuss just such a project. Invisible Ink marks, incredibly, Griffith’s first full-length graphic novel, after four decades spent drawing comics professionally. Of course, working on a daily strip ha kept the cartoonist plenty busy, producing a cumulative output that dwarfs any of his underground comics contemporaries. While others focused on floppies and books, Griffith took a more traditional approach to the medium, infiltrating national newspapers with the sublimely, absurdly subversive Zippy the Pinhead. With Invisible Ink, Griffith explores his mother’s life, uncovering her diary, unfinished novel, and a “long and happy” affair she carried on with a fellow cartoonist. The conversation is a wide ranging and fascinating look at one of alternative comics’ most enduring and beloved careers. It’s a great way to celebrate episode 150.