Ohmigod -- is "The Family Circus" going to live on after Bil Keane?!

For so long I’ve been waiting and hoping for Bil Keane to drop dead so readers everywhere will finally be able to open the comics page without having to risk a glimpse of his stupid, horrible, humorless, abomination of cutesiepoo whitebread smugness. I mean, it can’t take much longer, can it? The fuckhead has only been doing The Family Circus since 1960 . . .

But lately I’ve noticed the byline includes Bil and Jeff Keane! In other words, he’s brought his son on board as co-toonist. His (relatively) young son.

Are we going to have to kill them both? Is that what it’s going to take?

If I sound exceptionally bitter over what is essential a minor cultural pollution that most people can simply ignore, it’s because I’ve never forgiven Keane for taking legal action to shut down the one wonderful, redemptive, artistic phenomenon that his otherwise wasted life made possible: The Dysfunctional Family Circus. (Check out the archive at http://www.medmeta.dyndns.org/dfc/.) It’s just not right that we have to lose Charlie Schulz, and this soulless cretin just keeps going and going and going.

No, this thread does not belong in the BBQ Pit! Because it’s about a comic strip! So there!

How hard can it be to “write” this “comic”?

What, do you think that YOU could craft a thick dotted line showing little Billy’s neighborhood travails that would match the prohibitively high standard established by Keane himself?


Criminy. A tad harsh, don’t you think? Over-reacting much?

Hey! My motherlikes that cartoon. And anything that keeps her entertained and off my ass is something to be treasured. :smiley:

I object to the phrase “live on” since the comic has clearly been dead since days after its inception.

I used to like the cartoon, but as time went by, I’ve been finding it more and more irritating. I guess because it’s trying to be “Cute” but really doesn’t succeed. At all.

I told you, I’m still bitter over the DFC thing. I mean, yes, Keane held copyright on the strips, but it’s not as if the project was costing him any money. I guess he just couldn’t bear the thought that a bunch of geeks with too much time on their hands were putting lines like, “Hey mom, can I go over to Timmy’s for dinner and some rough anal sex?” into the mouths of his adorable little melonheads. How can such an unimaginative, narrowminded hack with such a stunted sense of humor sell his cartoons to so many newspapers?

I wish I could find the link on his site, but I remember reading that after talking with Keane, Spinn was basically cool with ending the project because he had come to respect Keane’s sincerity in making the strip.

The next time someone in GD asks me for proof there’s no god, I’ll just link to this thread. :smiley:

“Who is out to brutally slay the Keane family?”

“Not Me!”

The comics section of the Sunday papers has gone downhill for many years now to the point there is no reason to waste your time reading it. And now that they have that annoying “extra flap” with ads on it, it is even less fun to try to read. The Family Circle is no worse than 99% of the rest of the dribble.

You would think a few new cartoonists would have emerged over the years, but in my humble opinion, Kings World and paranoid editors have made sure that the comic section remains “safe” from any attempt at real, topical, edgy humor. Doonesbury has long since lost its luster, but even that sad remnant sometimes is hidden within the back pages of the stock market index to make sure nobody reads it, dare there be a controvertial subject matter that week.

I doubt anyone over the age of 6 is finding anything in the comics section funny anymore. The Family Circle fits right in there, just like it always has.

It may not be controversial or edgy or anything, but I still love Fox Trot. That damn thing is just funny.

Oh, you’ve got it backwards. It’s more like “nobody UNDER the age of 60 is finding comics funny any more.” Every so often, our local newspaper (and others around the state) will do a survey of which comic strips people like and which ones they want to dump… and the winners are almost always those that appeal to senior citizens! Look, you and I may never read “Blondie” or “Mary Worth” or “Family Circus,” but rest assured that if the paper ever dropped them, they’d be deluged with letters from grannies demanding the strips be returned.

Demographics are destiny, here. Newspaper readers are far older than the population at large, and elderly folks are more likely than you or I to

  1. Read the entire comics section
  2. Write lots of letters of complaint, if they don’t like what they see.

So, if I don’t like “Family Circus,” well, I was never the target audience anyway!

Yes, I know you said that. Wishing death on the guy still seems rather extreme, especially since – let’s face it – we’re just talking about a comic strip here.

I agree about the lameness of the newspaper funnies.

However, there are many online comics that are very funny.

Here are a few to get folks started–



http://www.asylumon5thstreet.com/ done by ex-Doper jinwicked, who I admit to having a crush on. :o


http://www.itswalky.com/ scfi-fi/x-files/humor

Also, Liberty Meadows:

I dunno. Opus is back. Boondocks. Pearls Before Swine. Sometimes Non Sequitur. Hell, For Better or Worse. Sure, you have to slog through a lot of crap to find the few jewels, but when has that ever not been the case?

Although, the standard Lasik advertisement that covers the front page is tres annoying. No arguments there.

Wow, I’m pretty much definitely in the minority here. I’m not what you’d call a Family Circus fan exactly, but I will tell you that one particular strip so resonated with my grandmother that she cut it out of the newspaper and stuck it to her fridge for five years. She later requested it be buried with her along with other personal items when she passed away. Shortly after my grandfather died, there was a strip showing the grandma sitting in church with the ghost of grandpa next to her. Corny? Yeah. Hokey? Yeah, that too. Kinda insipid? Okay. But it meant something to her and I can’t fault that. So, no, I don’t hate Bil Keane and his son, nor do I wish them painful death. That cartoon comforted her and I appreciate that.

I don’t really know that I can blame him for being upset about that. He’s been drawing the cartoon for almost 45 years, and he’s based the characters and situations on his own family, and their lives. It must be disconcerting when you read something like that, and the character based on your 8 year old son is saying he’s going to go over to a friend’s for anal sex, or whatever.