More Bil Keane

November 10th, 2011 | Posted in General

Regarding Bil Keane‘s passing… they say you measure your life by how many other people’s lives you influence. If so, Bil led as influential a life as one can. Yesterday I was called and interviewed by both the New York Times and NPR about Bil (in my capacity as current president of the National Cartoonists Society), and have heard and read about his passing in at least two dozen places in the last 24 hours. He was certainly one of the most beloved cartoonists both by the public and within the industry, ever.

The image above is an original Family Circus Sunday that was given me recently by Jeff Keane, who has been doing the strip for a long time now. Jeff agonized over finding a strip that I’d like the subject of, and when he came across this one with Billy dressed as Batman, he stopped agonizing. It’s one of my favorite originals I own. Thank. Jeff… and thanks Bil for the decades of smiles. Want an example of the power of great cartooning? As a parent, there was never a time when I asked my kids who was responsible for leaving the TV on or messing up the living room and they responded “Not Me!” that I didn’t look around for that ghostly scapegoat.


  1. Lee Fortuna says:

    Tom, after hearing of Mr. Keene’s death on our local news here in NY, I had to find some “Family Circus” cartoons on the internet. What I really found was me, a 50 yr old man with tattoo’s & Harley owner since I’m 17yrs old getting very choked up reading & enjoying Bil Keane’s creation! As well as being a family man with 3 kids, I couldn’t fight back what I was feeling. Although I am not a pro cartoonist like most that visit The Mad Blog, I have always been a cartoon lover, no matter in what form! My point is , by being just a “nobody” I think i can enjoy Bil Keane’s work at a whole different level like so many million over so many years can! My heart goes out to his family & friends. But wait a minute,,,. aren’t we all Mr. Bil Keane’s family & friends?

  2. jailerjoe says:

    Well said, Tom.

  3. rebo says:

    haha nice!


New profile pic courtesy of my self-caricature for the Scott Maiko penned article “Gotcha! Mug Shots of Common (but Despicable) Criminals” from MAD 550

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