“Are We Having Fun Yet?”: A conversation with cartoonist Bill Griffith (includes video story)

How do you cope with a society in shambles? If you’re Bill Griffith, you make fun of it. 

Griffith, a cartoonist, comic artist and the author of four graphic novels, sat down for a conversation with ArtSpeak to discuss the evolution of his career and the role of comics in American culture.

Originally a painter, Griffith began creating and publishing comics through the underground comic movement of the 1960s and ‘70s.  During this time, he developed “Zippy the Pinhead,” the surrealist daily comic strip that is now syndicated in around 100 newspapers. 

Now, after a decades-long career publishing through high-profile newspapers including the National Lampoon, High Times, The New Yorker, the Village Voice and the New York Times, Griffith has expanded his work to include the creation of long-form graphic novels. 

He has published four since 2014 and attended the Miami Book Fair last November to promote his latest title, “Three Rocks: The Story of Ernie Bushmiller: The Man Who Created Nancy.”

To Griffith, the purpose of cartooning is to communicate. Comic strips offer artists the rare opportunity to express their ideas to the public in an affordable and accessible manner.

“I was lucky that my work has never been edited,” he explained, allowing him to explore the stories he wished and express the ideas that came to his mind. “I learned how to be a cartoonist by being published.”

To see the entire interview on Artspeak’s website, click here.

Beverly Renee Muzii is a journalist at Florida International University who explores the intersection of journalistic storytelling with arts, culture and the humanities. Muzii is the chief student correspondent for ArtSpeak, an e-magazine and publication platform sponsored by FIU’s College of Communication Architecture and the Arts and the Lee Caplin School of Journalism and Media. Muzii also works as a student academic advising ambassador and is a studio support assistant for Island TV. Muzii will graduate with a bachelor’s degree from the FIU Lee Caplin School of Journalism & Media in 2025.