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Zero Comics #1
excellent writing
skilled art
historical bonus 2
total score 8
Zippy Stories #2
Zippy Stories 2 Back CoverBack Cover
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Only Printing / 1978 / 48 pages / Rip Off Press
Like the first issue of Zippy Stories, the second compiles comic strips that appeared weekly in the Berkeley Barb in the mid 1970s, including a long-form story that was serialized in the newspaper. The long-form story is "A Nation of Pinheads," which is every bit as funny as "Ticket to Mars" from the previous issue while offering even more sociopolitical satire.

"A Nation of Pinheads" opens with Mr. Toad running a retail-product manfufacturing conglomerate in a manner that is still all too accurate today, as he increases sugar and other noxious additives to his food products while slapping slogans like "natural" on the packaging. Mr. Toad recruits Zippy (the "office boy") to personally test the food additives, which Zippy ingests with great enthusiasm and zero side effects. Realizing he has discovered the "perfect consumer," Mr. Toad sends Zippy out on a promotional tour to champion the company's product line.

Of course, the promotional tour leads Zippy into a series of adventures, from a chance meeting with a crotchety Robert Crumb to his home town of Levittown (in reality, the suburb where Griffith grew up), where many other famous pinheads also reside. Eventually, Zippy ends up captured by clown aliens, who take him back to their planet, clone him 5,000 times, and send them all back to Earth. This results in what Mr. Toad wanted all along; a nation of pinheads. But the consequences of this pinhead infiltration are not quite what Mr. Toad had hoped for!

"A Nation of Pinheads" is a terrific story, giving underground fans that great sidebar about Crumb and exposing corporate bullshit very effectively with Mr. Toad. The one-pagers that follow (including several "Griffith Observatory" strips among many others) are also arguably better than those in the first issue, earning Zippy Stories #2 an extra point for its total score. The two issues of Zippy Stories effectively establish the foundation for the next three decades of Zippy comics to follow.

Rip Off Press printed approximately 10,000 copies of this comic book. It has not been reprinted.


Bill Griffith - 1-48