Prompted by a Zippy posting of mine, Dan Everett posted on Facebook that he had a signed copy from Bill Griffith of a Zippy that was, in some sense, about him (though he’s not actually mentioned in the strip), “Supreme Throwdown” from 1/9/09:


The allusions by the space-alienoid character (Happy Boy) are to Everett’s work on the Amazonian language Pirahã, its speakers, and their culture — work that drew Everett into confrontation with Noam Chomsky, who’s figured in Zippy strips at least six times, from 1993 through 2015.

#1 is a dialogue between the God of Zippyworld (who bears some resemblance to Howard Hughes and Clark Gable and Walter Kronkite, though this God exhibits a tendency to gender-shifting that, so far as I know, didn’t manifest itself in any of these possible earthly models) and Happy Boy, who is explained (insofar as any of Griffith’s characters gets explained) in this cartoon of 4/9/15:


The ominous Happy Boy lives in the town of Prosaic (a “normal” place close to the surreal Dingburg), where he spreads happiness and re-wires things.

On Everett’s work and his exchanges with Chomsky, see Everett’s own blog, his Wikipedia page (linked to above), and a Chronicle of Higher Education piece “Angry Words: Will one scholar’s discovery deep in the Amazon destroy the foundation of modern linguistics?” (an overheated title) of 3/20/12, by Tom Bartlett, which is most notable here for its (similarly hyperbolic) Everett-Chomsky illustration by Steve Brodiner:


On to Chomskippy / Zipomsky. The first of these I can find a record of is “Dial N for Normal” of 6/7/93, but it seems not to be available. Then on to:

from 11/16/06, “Chomsky!!”. For some explanation of how Chomsky enters into it, see my posting of 5/26/13, “Gnome puns”, with photos and links for the Garden Noam.


from 12/19/06,”Jazzercize” located at Griff’s Hamburgers (started in Wichita KS, now in various locations in Texas, Louisana, ad New Mexico):


from 10/20/08, “Let’s Have Breakfast”:


from 1/8/09, “Occipital Output”:


and then from 7/17/15, “Zippy’s Diary”, posted here on the day, with references to

Just one real person now living, the linguist Noam Chomsky. Plus Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre. And the fictional characters Deputy Dawg (the Terrytoons character), Dracula, and Rosemary’s baby.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: