Invisible Ink: My Mother's Love Affair With A Famous Cartoonist

Invisible Ink: My Mother's Love Affair With A Famous Cartoonist

Bill Griffith / Jan 25, 2020

Invisible Ink My Mother s Love Affair With A Famous Cartoonist This is the renowned cartoonist s first long form graphic work a page memoir that poignantly recounts his mother s secret life which included an affair with anbsp cartoonist and crime novelist in

  • Title: Invisible Ink: My Mother's Love Affair With A Famous Cartoonist
  • Author: Bill Griffith
  • ISBN: 9781606998953
  • Page: 105
  • Format: Hardcover
  • This is the renowned cartoonist s first long form graphic work a 200 page memoir that poignantly recounts his mother s secret life, which included an affair with anbsp cartoonist and crime novelist in the 1950s and 60s Invisible Ink unfolds like a detective story, alternating between past and present, as Griffith recreates the quotidian habits of suburban LevittowThis is the renowned cartoonist s first long form graphic work a 200 page memoir that poignantly recounts his mother s secret life, which included an affair with anbsp cartoonist and crime novelist in the 1950s and 60s Invisible Ink unfolds like a detective story, alternating between past and present, as Griffith recreates the quotidian habits of suburban Levittown and the professional and cultural life of mid century Manhattan in the 1950s and 60s as seen through his mother s and his own then teenage eyes Griffith puts the pieces together and reveals a mother he never knew.

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    About "Bill Griffith"

      • Bill Griffith

        Librarian Note There is than one author in the GoodReads database with this name See this thread for information.


    1. Just a glance at the ratings for the collections of Bill Griffith's Zippy the Pinhead stories reveals his reputation is fading (59 reviews is the most for any of his books, worldwide! Come on, people, read Zippy!) and needs to be revived, especially for y'all comics history buffs. Griffith left home in North Carolina to head to the hippie San Fran alt comix scene where his goofy and hilarious characters depicting a fictional American town, Dingburg, would make decades of somehow sardonic and al [...]

    2. Always happy to see new work from Bill Griffith. And I especially love him in autobiographical mode. I love Zippy as much as anyone, but I really love his occasional stories from his own life (and the Griffith Observatory strips. Love those!) The title pretty much tells you all you need to know about the content of this book. Griffith's mother had an ongoing affair with writer and cartoonist, Lawrence Lariar. The name wasn't familiar to me, though I believe I may have read one or more of the Bes [...]

    3. This is a very different kind of book for Bill Griffith, and in a number of ways. It's his first sustained narrative (call it a "graphic novel," if you want), it's a very personal memoir, and it's a significant departure from the kind of humor you usually find in Zippy or his other comics. What's more, this is a very sophisticated narrative where Griffith manipulates time and memory in amazing ways. I recently interviewed Griffith for The Comics Alternative about the release of this book: comics [...]

    4. I'm interested in what it was like for Griffith to draw pictures of his mother having sex with another man besides his father. No matter how old you are, thinking of your parents as sexual beings is tough.It was nice to read something by Griffith that I actually understood. Read Zippy in the Sunday funnies growing up (through adolescence) and could never understand the humor

    5. Bill Griffith's graphic memoir about his mother's secret affairs is part detective story, part warm exploration into the hidden lives of our loved ones as revealed by the missives, notes, and recollections they (and we) leave behind. Who are our parents, really, and what can we ultimately know about them as actual human beings? Griffith cobbles together a more complete picture of his own mom (and dad) and the people with whom they intersected, and reading this memoir made me want to know more ab [...]

    6. It's a nice, entertaining read. I want to take it more seriously but somehow the comic book format does not yet fully engage me. It's a nice flashback to the 40s, 50s & 60s seen through the writer re-discovering his parents, the dynamics between them, snd what this all means to him. We travel along through letters that the writer was discovering for the first time about his mother and her secret affair. I suppose it wasn't easy for him talking about her affair, particularly as he seems to ha [...]

    7. Bill Griffith can draw. Make no question about it, the man can draw. His pictures are more than half of this book, but I'm not going to give short shrift to his writing. Griffith structures the book as an investigation, but he's layered so much more into this weird familial detective story. He puts his own life under the microscope, stripped bare what must be very uncomfortable to strip bare: the sex life of his own mother. Griffith can't help but be ironic. It seems settled into his bones. Zipp [...]

    8. 159. Invisible Ink: my mother's secret love affair with a famous cartoonist: a graphic memoir by Bill Griffith  Bill Griffith is the originator of Zippy the Pinhead, which started in National Lampoon, and ended up with syndication for several years. Bill’s parents have moved to the suburbs of Levittown in the 1950s, and his mother, Barbara, was finding it difficult. Despite her miserable husband’s objections, she takes a part-time secretarial job with a cartoonist and novelist, Larry Laria [...]

    9. Couldn't put it down brilliant. Griffith captures the anxiety of the 1950s-1970s, the changes in cultural expectations, the situation of suburban women in the post-WWII years, — all through the story of his mother's long-forgotten affair. Along the way, he entertains the reader with side trips into one of cartooning's oddball characters, Lawrence Lariar, and the hidden influence this man exerted on Griffith's own life.Anyone who has undertaken a family history or genealogy project will immedia [...]

    10. The title is a little misleading - I'd never heard of Lawrence Lariar, and I've been a fan of comic books and cartooning my whole life. That being said, it's still an intriguing tale of history, memory, identity, secrets and the desire to discover more about your family as time passes. If you're curious about what the lives of the 'people in the background' might've been - those who brushed shoulders with famous people, or were there when iconic events took place - I think you'll like this book [...]

    11. Awesome to see Griffy take on such a project. Sad to see why he lets so little personal juice into his work (not a great family life), but a joy that he has found the quirky outlets that such a difficult family life has fostered (Zippy, the weird old America obsessions, Claude, Mr. Toad, etc.). And, the ending of this book is probably one of the most satisfying things I've read in about a decade.

    12. Great art, of course. It's also hard NOT to connect with someone who was looking into his family's history and became fascinated. I'm not really sure why this didn't pull me in more, but it was beautiful nonetheless.

    13. Came across this title when I was working on book club selections for next year. We don't have enough copies in the system for everyone in book club, but it sounded interested to me so I ordered it in. Honestly I'd never heard tell of Bill Griffith or Lawrence Lariar, but I really enjoy reading family histories and memoirs. I was also intrigued by the idea of a man writing about his mother's sex life - I was definitely curious to see what kind of person he would portray his mother to be. I very [...]

    14. This graphic novel tells the story of cartoonist Bill "Zippy" Griffith's mother's secret life, which included in particular a long affair with a professional cartoonist named Lawrence Lariar (who–up until now at least–has not been much remembered). It's an engaging and heartfelt narrative, though for me it ultimately lacks a certain quality to make me truly enthusiastic about it. Some books are just like that, I guess. I do have mad respect for Griffith's beautifully detailed, atmospheric dr [...]

    15. 3.5, and I don't feel great about that rating because I'm really not the target audience for this, and that might have dragged down my impressions a bit. The artwork here was actually really masterful, considering Griffith recreates many wildly different styles, but the story was a bit disjointed and convoluted, and somewhat lacking in direction for my taste.

    16. Bill Griffith's Zippy collection from 1985, Are We Having Fun Yet?, was deemed by one of my friends "the funniest book ever written." The Zippy comic strip is perhaps an acquired taste. I don't find it to be laugh-out-loud funny, but it's definitely one of the better comic strips of the second half of the twentieth century.Invisible Ink is (as far as I know, anyway), Griffith's first dramatic work. Part autobiography, part biography of his mother, and part biography of Lawrence Lariar--a forgott [...]

    17. The first part, with the tracing of his family history, seemed haphazard and confusing. An illustration of his family tree would've helped. It picked up when it focused solely on his mother's story, which was enigmatic and heartbreaking. Excellent art.

    18. Griffith's graphic novel deserves respect: it is about as far from Zippy the Pinhead as you can imagine, and Griffith's art is allowed a larger canvas here, obviously, than he gets in the daily strip format. Griffith rises to the challenge, and many of the pages here incorporate impressive details and shading. The story itself is oriented around Griffith's excavation of his mother's letters, diaries, and an unfinished novel, all of which provide details of her extended affair with a not-quite-as [...]

    19. Subtitle pretty much says it all. This is a fairly engaging adult child's recounting of what he's learned about his mother's affair with cartoonist who did a lot of great things but the amateur probably won't recognize his name. He also covers his family tree and general history. More melancholy than salacious, we don't get under the skin of either his mom or (even more) the cartoonist. The whole thing is kind of an enigma.It's drawn effectively, black and white, and I'm really glad he includes [...]

    20. I'm a longtime fan of Griffith's "Zippy" strip (though I haven't really kept up with it since my local daily dumped it) and was fascinated by this discursive account that's part Griffith learning about his mother's life and half about that life itself. The drawing is wonderful and the expression of emotion is beautifully restrained. Virtuoso sequences include Griffith's imagining what it would have been like had the hack cartoonist (though, weirdly, otherwise sophisticated guy) who was his mothe [...]

    21. I guess our moms are always a mystery to us. It's hard to imagine them having a life before we existed and even harder to imagine them having a life outside of ours. Bill Griffith reveals what his mom said right after his father died and then takes us on a journey to answer the questions he has about his family history. His mom's secret life is only a part of that. I found the story very interesting but occasionally confusing. I didn't feel like I had a really good understanding of what it was l [...]

    22. I have moved around a lot, but there was only a little bit of time in my life when I came across zippy the Pinhead. I never really liked it. Maybe I came around to it too late or too soon in my life. But that doesn’t matter. This book isn’t about that character. It’s about another character, this a different comic artist who I had never heard of. It’s actually a compelling story, and well told by Griffith. I mean, If I were to write a whole book about my mom stepping out on my dad for ye [...]

    23. This is probably my favorite graphic novel to date. It would be hard to understand this novel if you weren't a Zippy The Pinhead fan. Bill Griffith has a mysterious power and sublime artistic talent of taking you into the deep recesses of his mind evoking intense humor and sadness. He is beyond genius - the word genius is derived from Jinn or Genii which is evoking fantastic power - many people are considered geniuses to me but this is something else - it is transformative and healing. His mothe [...]

    24. This is a pretty amazing book. Never was a reader of Zippy, so i had no familiarity with Bill Griffith the author.I thought the structure of the book was outstanding. By using flashbacks, reconstructions, and weaving in historical source material of his mother's own writings, Griffith recreates in the reader his own sense of swirling confusion & bafflement at long buries secrets and family mysteries. No hint of "poor me" here. A riveting portrait of a complex, talented woman and her unconven [...]

    25. Bill Griffith is one of the few who has elevated the syndicated daily comic strip to a work of art, and he remains one of the most prolific and thoughtful commentators on America and Americana. I am a big fan. Invisible Ink is often a thoughtful and moving portrait of a man's search for the hidden history of his dead parents, as well as the essence of a bygone age. Sometimes, though, the narrative seems to retreat and repeat itself, and find certain minutia more interesting than it actually is. [...]

    26. I always enjoyed Bill Griffith's Zippy but I also used to really enjoy his longer, multi-page musings whenever they would appear. At first glance this might seem like the latest in a long line of veteran/underground cartoonists mining their family history for a graphic novel, but as usual there is a subtlety and melancholy in Griffith's writing and art that elevates this beyond most of the others. It is as much an exploration of what it means to be an artist as it is to be a dutiful parent, spou [...]

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