Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Bil Keane 1922-2011

FAMILY CIRCUS creator Bil Keane has died. The Associated Press reports he died of congestive heart failure on November 8, 2011. He was 89 years old.

Bil's son, Jeff Keane, who now draws the long-running feature, announced his father's passing via Facebook.

Like so many cartoonists, I first saw Bil Keane live and in person on the National Cartoonist Society dais some years ago (maybe the Century Club in NYC?) and he had everyone laughing so hard. 

When I was a kid, I would study all of his detailed cartooning in his Sunday FAMILY CIRCUS cartoons. My Mom and Grandma would cut out the strips & send them to each other with comments like, "Isn't this the truth?!" The family refrigerator was papered with them. 

When I met Mr. Keane, I could not say very much. I remember shaking his hand and smiling and biting my tongue in trying not to do a Ralph Kramden "Humminah-humminah-huminah." 

To meet him was to complete such a personal circle that I was at a loss for words.

Above photo via Michael Sporn Anmation from a 1975 Cartoonist PROfiles interview.

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