Andy Lippincott

Andy Lippincott is a fictional character in the comic strip Doonesbury.

Publication history

The character first appears in January 1976, in a law library. Joanie Caucus becomes attracted to him while working before Lippincott confesses he is gay. Joanie is heartbroken, and takes some time to recover. Lippincott contributes position papers to Virginia Slade's failed run for Congress in 1976. He disappears from the strip for a few years after this storyline.

In 1982, the character reappears as an organizer for the Bay Area Gay Alliance, and contributes to the congressional re-election of Lacey Davenport. In 1989 he returns to the strip again when he is diagnosed with AIDS. Over the course of the next year, Lippincott's battles with the disease, and eventual death from it, helped bring the AIDS crisis into popular culture. Ultimately, he is shown dying to the sound of the Beach Boys' song "Wouldn't It Be Nice", finally fulfilling his wish to hear the (then newly released) CD version of their album Pet Sounds.[1]

Shortly thereafter, Andy made posthumous appearances in the strip, first declaring "Brian Wilson is God" in a note found in his hand (having been listening to Pet Sounds on CD as he died),[2] and then making several more days of appearances in a self-made video shown during his memorial service.[3]


This storyline led to a Pulitzer Prize nomination for Garry Trudeau,[4] but three newspapers of the 900 carrying the strip refused to publish it as being in bad taste.[5] The character has re-appeared in the strip since, in the dream sequences of other characters, notably Joanie Caucus and Mark Slackmeyer.

Andy Lippincott may be the only fictional character with a panel on the AIDS quilt. The panel (created by G. Scott Austen, Marceo Miranda and Juan-Carlos Castano) reads: "In Loving Memory: Andy Lippincott 1945–1990. Community leader, conservationist, author, Olympic medalist, and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize!" The panel hangs in The NAMES Project Foundation's offices in Atlanta and was not actually sewn into a block of The AIDS Memorial Quilt.[note 1]


  1. Details on Lippincott's panel for the AIDS quilt from the Doonesbury Flashbacks computer program by Garry Trudeau, published by Mindscape in 1995 (ISBN 0791118657).


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