Kilroy Was Here, Ziggy Is Here

Later this year Ziggy will celebrate 50 years as a syndicated comic panel/strip.

On 27 June 1971, a new comic made its debut in American newspapers, Ziggy. Created and drawn by cartoonist Tom Wilson, Sr., the strip chronicled the experiences of the ill-fated title character…

Although the subject matter for Ziggy was the mundane, its public reception was not. Wilson’s comic quickly became a global sensation. Initially appearing in just 15 newspapers, Ziggy would soon run in ‘more than 600 worldwide…

The discussion that follows demonstrates that Ziggy is not only worthy of critical study, it rewards such inquiry with new interpretive insight about Wilson’s series and, just as importantly, U.S. comics as a whole.

From the December 2020 issue of The Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics is
Michelle Ann Abate’s article on the connections of Ziggy, Kilroy and graffiti.

Placing Ziggy in dialogue with Kilroy brings together two iconic figures from the history of American cartooning, inviting us to reconsider them both. The way in which Ziggy echoes Kilroy calls attention to a possible, and long overlooked, influence on Wilson’s character. The aesthetic connections between Ziggy and Kilroy complicate common perceptions about Wilson’s strip, giving it a historical dimension along with a socio-political component previously unknown.

© Ziggy and Friends

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