Invisible Ink

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NUMBER OF PAGES

205

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PUBLISHED BY

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED

September 2015

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• 2016 Eisner Award Winner for Best Writer/Artist

• A SEQUENTIAL “Best of 2015” graphic novel

“A breakout and poetic memoir that uses words and pictures to their ultimate effect. Bill Griffith explodes out of his daily four-panel comic ghetto to weave an elaborate, complex, compelling mystery that brims over with wonderful imagery and quiet emotion. But not so quiet that I didn’t tear up on the last page. Wow!” – Jules Feiffer

The renowned underground cartoonist and creator of the
Zippy newspaper strip has written and drawn his first long-form graphic story — a 200-page memoir that poignantly recounts his mother’s secret life in the 1950s and ’60s.

Fifteen minutes after Bill Griffith’s father died from a bicycle accident in 1972, his mother turned to him and said, “If I don’t tell you this now, I’ll never be able to tell you. I had a long and happy relationship with a man you knew slightly.” Thus began Griffith’s journey to reconstruct this hidden relationship between his mother and a deeply cultured jack-of-all-trades cartoonist and crime novelist.

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 Manhattan in the 1950s and ’60s as seen through his mother’s and his own teenage eyes. Griffith finally discovers the holy grail of his mother’s past: her diary, an ecstatic evocation of her sexual liaison, and an eloquent testament to her deepest feelings; and an unfinished novel that parallels the trajectory of her own life. Griffith puts the pieces together and reveals a mother he never knew.

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REVIEWS

Booklist

•Literary review magazine

“Bill Griffith is one of the greatest of the 1960s San Francisco underground cartoonists.” – Ray Olson

Publishers Weekly

•Publishing trade magazine

“This autobiographical story by the creator of Zippy the Pinhead will ring true to anyone who has ever watched their parents’ marital misery around the dinner table and wondered what was really going on.”

The Comics Journal

•American comics magazine

“The panels always brim over with the data of a barely reigned-in imagination." – Matthew Thurber