4
| Comics |

'Family Circus' Creator Bil Keane (1922-2011)

^
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

Bil Keane, a Phoenix cartoonist, started drawing Family Circus in 1960. 


The artist was born in Pennsylvania, served in the Army, met his wife (and inspiration for his "Mommy" character) in Australia, and landed in Paradise Valley just a year before he began documenting much of his family life and odd daily circumstances in Family Circus

Keane died on Tuesday. He was 89 years old. 

The long-running strip was published in multiple papers and inspired several tangents, including the  Dysfunctional Family Circus, the Nietzsche Family CircusJersey Circus, and most recently the Sheen Family Circus, starring Charlie Sheen.

None of the riffs were of Keanes doing (he often shot back cease-and-desist letters), but they were friendly reminders of the continuing influence his work had on popular culture. 

You can still spot a few of his panels up at the Sugar Bowl in Scottsdale, or on his website. Keane's son Jeff, who wrote Eggheads with his father from 1981 to 1983, is expected to take over the comic's continued production. 

Follow Jackalope Ranch on Facebook and Twitter.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.