How The Family Circus Confronted the Web

Dysfunctional Family CircusTuesday 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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  • Redacted

    Has Seanbaby been notified of Keane’s death?

    • Reasor

      Oh, yes.  From the “About the Author” blurb at the bottom of his latest cracked article*:

      “Bill Keane died this week, and Batman would have wanted me
      to tell this joke: I feel like there would have been more order in the
      universe if the creator of Family Circus died from something with a
      second hilarious meaning like chili or bats.”

      *5 Batman Villains Too Lame To Survive a Single Issue http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-batman-villains-too-lame-to-survive-single-issue_

  • Anonymous

    Has Seanbaby been notified of Keane’s death?

  • Daniel Reasor

    Oh, yes.  From the “About the Author” blurb at the bottom of his latest cracked article*:

    “Bill Keane died this week, and Batman would have wanted me
    to tell this joke: I feel like there would have been more order in the
    universe if the creator of Family Circus died from something with a
    second hilarious meaning like chili or bats.”

    *5 Batman Villains Too Lame To Survive a Single Issue http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-batman-villains-too-lame-to-survive-single-issue_

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5M4L5B7FXCQXLTDYCIQ4GMYNTI Potter

    Good Ridden to Bad Rubbish.  This man was one of the great bastions of banality, utterly humorous, devoid of any real insight into life, bland filler for the masses. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5M4L5B7FXCQXLTDYCIQ4GMYNTI Potter

    Good Ridden to Bad Rubbish.  This man was one of the great bastions of banality, utterly humorous, devoid of any real insight into life, bland filler for the masses.