Xmas, Zippy, Sartre, the Big Duck, and Nedwig, too

It started to look a lot like Christmas back at the end of October, and now the great wave of celebration impels us towards the day. I have my personal holiday dates: the 15th of December, for years my evacuation day from Ohio (immediately after grades were due at Ohio State); the 20th, my arrival day in California, by then transformed from dry-season gold to the rainy-season green of rebirth; the 16th, today, marking for me not only the birthday of Ludwig van Beethoven but also the birthday of my friend Ned Deily, a day I came to see as Nedwig, by association the feast day of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. (Extended discussion of these significant events in my 12/17/16 posting “Two late December holidays”.)

Meanwhile, Bill Griffith has several times connected the coming of Christmas with Jean-Paul Sarte and the Big Duck of Flanders NY (on Long Island), and here I’ll follow him a bit along that rocky, twisted path. Enjoy the journey with me.

Some time ago, Griffith created this cartoon as his personal Christmas card:

(#1) Jean-Paul gives Zippy Super Mario Brothers, and Zippy gives him a box of nothingness; they are both deeply pleased

Griffith has turned the central piece of this into a zany Xmas poster for sale on his site:


The idea seems to have started as a Christmas / New Year’s cartoon in 2008, “Inside the Box” (from 12/31/08):


Even earlier than that, in “Holiday Cheer” of 12/8/05, we get the holidays, Sartre, and the Big Duck all rolled up together:


Notes on the duck. I seem to have posted about the Big Duck only once before, on 6/30/15, in “The return of Lazlo”: #2 there is a Zippy strip of 1/19/01 featuring the duck, and #3 is a photo of the actual ferrocement duck, along with information about it.

The Big Duck is almost as much of a thing for Zippy as the Muffler Man, so it’s surprising that I haven’t posted more about it. In any case, I see the giant cement bird in strips from: 10/28/98, 7/26/00, 6/27/00, 1/28/01, 4/12/01, 9/6/01, 6/5/04, 6/4/05, 12/20/05, and 1/5/08, besides the two strips mentioned above.

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