What Oopy and Yippy Were Doing in 2004

Over on Facebook, Jerry Beck alerted me to the existence of a poster designed by Chip Kidd that features blown-up partial images of Oopy and Yippy. My jaw dropped when I saw it, and I immediately wondered if it was a harbinger of some imminent Great Scrappy Revival.

It turns out that it was produced a dozen years ago, for the 2004 Miami Book Fair. And here it is:


I only had to glance at it for a millisecond to recognize the source imagery that Kidd mined:


That’s the legendary Scrappy Puppet Theater, and Kidd clearly zoomed in on Oopy and Yippy’s heads, then made minor adjustments such as filling in Oopy’s cowlick, which is normally–and oddly–the same color as his skin. (Oopy with a filled-in cowlick looks a lot like Scrappy, which makes sense.)

A few questions:

Do I know why Kidd and/or the fair thought depicting Oopy and Yippy was a relevant way to celebrate books? No, especially since the characters’ only appearances in print were in a few kids’ tomes such as a Big Little Book about 80 years ago.

Did Kidd credit Mintz or Columbia, or otherwise acknowledge that his work was a Roy Lichtenstein-esque borrowing of existing art? Not that I can see, though perhaps it’s there in type too small to read. If he didn’t, I think that’s a shame, especially since hardly anybody attending a book fair in 2004 would know.

Would I hang the poster on my wall? Maybe, if I could find a copy for sale.

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