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Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Bil Keane, creator of FAMILY CIRCUS, has passed away

The very sad news today is that Bil Keane, creator of the long-running comic strip Family Circus that has entertained readers for more than half a century, has died at the age of 89.

Family Circus was one of the best examples of what comic strips could be in their finest form: entertainment for people of all ages. As Keane once said in an interview...

"We are, in the comics, the last frontier of good, wholesome family humor and entertainment... On radio and television, magazines and the movies, you can't tell what you're going to get. When you look at the comic page, you can usually depend on something acceptable by the entire family."

His friend Charles M. Schulz, the late creator of "Peanuts," once said the most important thing about "Family Circus" is that it's funny.

"I think we share a care for the same type of humor," Schulz told The Associated Press in 1995. "We're both family men with children and look with great fondness at our families."

A lot of people today are no doubt going to share their favorite Family Circus cartoon in remembrance of Bil Keane. This blogger however is choosing not to do that. Because my most very favorite cartoon that Bil Keane did wasn't for Family Circus at all!

It's from April 1st 1997, the day of the now-legendary "Great April Fools' Day Comics Switcheroonie". Forty-six comic strip artists "swapped places" with each other for a massive April Fools gag that played out across the funny pages. To many people, myself included, the very first sign that something was amiss that day was when we turned to read Scott Adams' Dilbert and found this instead...

And in case you're wondering what Scott Adams did to Family Circus, click here.

Thoughts and prayers going out to Bil Keane's family today.

Thank you for sharing Billy, Jeffy, Dolly, P.J, Mommy, Daddy, Barfy, Sam, Kittycat, Not Me, Ida Know, and Grandma with us Mr. Keane. Through them, you brought us many years of great laughs and good memories.