Tuesday cartoonist Bil Keane died at the age of 89 — and one webmaster fondly remembers how Keane gracefully confronted unauthorized parodies on the internet.
Keane was a good sport about fake Amazon reviews that gushed about supposedly hidden literary themes in collections of his newspaper comic strips, and he once even drew his own characters into a “guest appearance” in a Zippy the Pinhead strip. But in 1999, Keane’s syndicate threatened legal action against the “Dysfunctional Family Circus” site, which had been re-captioning Keane’s cartoons for over four years.
Heading off a “free speech” showdown, Keane resolved the situation with a friendly phone call to the webmaster, who ultimately decided to voluntarily remove the images just because “He’s actually a nice guy.”
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