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.”

6 Comments on "How The Family Circus Confronted the Web"

  1. Anonymous | Nov 12, 2011 at 5:19 am |

    Has Seanbaby been notified of Keane’s death?

  2. Has Seanbaby been notified of Keane’s death?

    • 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_

  3. Daniel Reasor | Nov 12, 2011 at 3:18 pm |

    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_

  4. 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. 

  5. 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. 

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