From cute to creepy

Today’s Zippy:


The strip is both entertaining and instructive on its own, but then Bill Griffith would be unlikely to just invent a creepy cartoon character. And then there’s the title, “Peachy Keen”.

One possibility is that the big-head horror is an amalgam of two creations: the cartoonish game character Princess Peach and the also cartoonish big-eyed children painted by Margaret Keane.

Princess Peach. From Wikipedia:

Princess Peach is a character in Nintendo’s Mario franchise. Originally created by Shigeru Miyamoto, Peach is the princess of the fictional Mushroom Kingdom, which is constantly under attack by Bowser. She often plays the damsel in distress role within the series and is the lead female. She is often portrayed as Mario’s love interest and has appeared in nearly all the Mario games to date; with the most notable being in Super Princess Peach where she is the main playable character.


Margaret Keane. From Wikipedia:

Margaret D. H. Keane (born Peggy Doris Hawkins; 1927) is an American artist, who mainly paints women, children, and animals with big eyes, in oil or mixed media. … In the 1960s her artwork was sold under the name of her husband, Walter Keane, who claimed credit for it.

An example:


But maybe there’s a more direct model for the character in #1.

2 Responses to “From cute to creepy”

  1. Drew Smith Says:

    I’m thinking that the “Peach” part has less to do with Princess Peach and more to do with the Mell Lazarus comic strip “Miss Peach,” which featured small children with very large heads.

    • arnold zwicky Says:

      Hmmm, nice idea. But the style of Miss Peach (which I’ll now try to post about separately) is not at all like the grotesque character in the Zippy. It’s not so much that the Peach kids have huge heads as that they have very small bodies (though I grant you that their heads are a bit bigger than adults’ heads). It’s also notable that the Peach kids are viewed from the side, not the front, and have “flounder faces”, with both eyes on the same side of the nose.

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