Doonesbury Andy Lippincott 1945-1990

 In Loving Memory of Andy Lippincott 1945-1990

“Community leader, conservationist, author, Olympic medalist, and winner of the Nobel Peace prize.”

 

The Andy Lippincott quilt panel is approximately 70×90 inches in diameter, is one of very few hung on the wall for display at the NAMES Project Foundation headquarters, which is located in Atlanta, Georgia. Originated in 1987 The NAMES Project Foundation is an AID Memorial quilt for victims of HIV/AIDS.  Andy Lippincott was gay fictional character introduced in 1975 into the comic strip Doonesbury by writer and cartoonist Gary Trudeau. Unlike many of the other quilt panels Andy’s quilt block is dedicated exclusively to him.The base color of the entire quilt is a mix of rouge pink, blush pink and turquoise with white border. At the top portion of Lippincott’s quilt panel (37×67) is a cartoon illustration of Andy Lippincott’s character from Doonesbury and a quote written in black marker “ In loving memory of Andy Lippincott community leader, conservationist, author, Olympic medalist, and winner of the Noble Peace Prize”.

 

The bottom panel (34×64) portion is dedicated to Andy’s highlight moments from the comic strip Doonesbury with three rows horizontally and eight rows vertically.  The character was one that mirrored the real-life social aspects of the American public. For instance, when he first appears in the comic series, Joanie Caucus, his employee gets attracted to him and he confesses to her that he is gay; breaking the lady’s heart. Lippincott apparently disappears from the series before reappearing in 1989 and confesses that he is suffering from HIV/AIDS. The implication of his confession, intertwined with the popularity of the character brought to the forefront the intensity of HIV/AIDS in the popular culture. Lippincott battles the disease with several complications before he eventually dies from it.

The popularity of Lippincott’s character in 1980’s implied that he was probably the only fictional character with a panel in the AIDS Memorial quilt. The quilt that bears thousands of notable names of people that died of HIV/AIDS. The quilt ensured that the fictional character of the late 1980s and 1990s is never forgotten for his contribution towards the realization of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in popular culture at the time. The quilt dedicated to Andy Lippincott is an eye catcher for its unique design, articulation, color scheme and precise stitching that was taken into consideration by the creative geniuses G. Scott Austen, Miranda Marceo, and Juan Carlos Castano. That factor, coupled with the fact that Lippincott initially confessed about his sexual orientation assert to the significance of the social literature in highlighting popular issues in the contemporary world. Andy Lippincott’s quilt panel emphasizes the public perception of a disease that was not really spoken about and the stigma associated with it especially in the popular culture at that time.  The American Journal of Public Health article authored by Ronald Valdiserri wrote, “Stigma is complicated issue that has deep roots in the convoluted domains of gender race, ethnicity, class, sexuality and culture”. (Valdiserri, 2002, )

Click here for next page

Reference list

Photo/ Video Attribution

Alexander, M. (photographer). (2018). Andy Lippincott quilt. [photograph]. Atlanta, GA: The NAMES Project Foundation.