Oh no! Not another comics blog!

I loathe "Family Circus."Despise it. Hold it in contempt. Shudder at the very thought of it. And because of my dark, dark feelings for it, I must read it every day.I mean, I think I've got the basic jokes down now -- Who broke the cookie jar? Not Me! -- and the jokes were obviously tired and worn out, oh, 30 years ago. (Oddly enough, I don't feel the same way about "Marmaduke" -- Hey! That sure is a BIG dog! -- even though the jokes are just as played out. I just kind of ignore Marmaduke.) Face it: Kids are cute. But no child would be cute being a child for 40 years.For awhile, my anger was vented through [Dysfunctional Family Circus][1] sites, but Bil Keane persuaded the best one to go out of business. His feelings were hurt. He didn't like parody. And he made the guy in charge of the site feel bad about it.Whatever.![][2]So my anti-"Family Circus" feelings have been simmering a long time. When I opened my paper Saturday morning, though, my emotions shifted into a new place: Confusion.There, hovering over the "Dad" character -- presumably meant to represent Bil Keane himself -- is the "Dead Grandad" character. With what appears to be a tithing basket.The caption: "For heaven's sake! Et tu, Granddad?"What the heck?It's one thing to be aggressively unfunny. It's another thing to trade saccharine for inscrutable. What's this cartoon supposed to mean?I mean, I can guess that Bil Keane has seen one too many family members come around looking for a handout from the "Family Circus" empire. But that's just a guess, and it's open to any number of possible interpretations. I even went to GoogleNews Web site just to see if there was a Keane family scandal. Nothing has been reported online, anyway. Who knows what's going on in Bil Keane's mind?It's time for him to hang up the pen. But that doesn't mean the end of "Family Circus" unfortunately: Bil Keane's son, Jeff -- better known, I suppose, as "Jeffy" -- is helping out with the comic now.Quality is short-lived. Lameness is eternal. [1]: http://www.brainwashingvats.com/i/f/dfc1.html [2]: http://lawrence.com/blogs/cupojoel/familycircus.jpg

Comments

Kelly Powell 18 years, 5 months ago

When I was a regular coffee shop patron I would allways pencil in what I thought those disgusting fucks in family circus should say, so the next person reading it could actually enjoy that god awful crap......Face it, family circus is for old farts with alzheimers....Its a new joke each time.

Joel 18 years, 5 months ago

Comics-page reading is a lifelong habit of mine that I've yet to break. "Get Fuzzy" -- which, let's face it, is "Garfield" if Garfield was funny (nasty cat, dumb dog and single guy are the main characters. Sound familiar?) --and "Pearls Before Swine" are a couple of faves that appear in daily newspapers, though unfortunately not mine.

Joel 18 years, 5 months ago

Yeah, Hilary, I think whoever draws "Pluggers" owes a big, big royalty check to Jeff Foxworthy. "You know you're a redneck if..."

OtherJoel 18 years, 5 months ago

Wow - there definitely seems to be some dysfunctional element in there, but its definitely a head-scratcher.

Only occasionally do I check out the comics page anymore. Sometimes Doonesbury is okay, and Boondocks is consistently amusing (jeez - am I a stereotypical liberal or what?). Red Meat is hilarious/disgusting, but I doubt any regular newspaper would ever run it - for good reason.

Hilary Morton 18 years, 5 months ago

Joel....wonderful. I, too, have a deep hatred for Family Circus. The worst are the ones where you follow a dotted path that Jeffy took to cross the street, and see how he jumped on the beach ball 8 times, ran around the bird bath 4 times, and through the man hole. Thanks, Bill Keane, for keeping us so entertained. Please show us how Jeffy gets to school next Sunday. And all of the ghosts...jeez! They need an exorcist in that house. This is a COMIC? The only thing worse is PLUGGERS. That artist doesn't have original ideas. People write into him funny plugger scenarios, and he draws them up. I'm assuming he gets paid to do this?! I can just picture an obese, hairy, dirty man, checkin' his mail, grunting, "hell, I can draw that", and meeting with his editor at Denny's on Thursday mornings. So eloquent, Joel. Thanks for sharing my hatred.

mrlukeplease 18 years, 4 months ago

Okay, here's the deal: For five panels or so before this one, all of the characters in Bil's world (Dolly, Jeffy, Billy, Thel, Grandma, even the animals) have been asking for raises. They want to sare in the profit. No, I'm not kidding, read Keane's panels yourself. In the Grandad panel, the old coot comes back from the dead with his collection basket, presumably the raise bit is sufficiently familiar to readers at this point that Grandad's presence requires no explanation.

BTW, there's one good DFC site left, and due to the nature of its construction it does not violate any exsting laws (the captions are pulled up in one window, the panels in another, and both are composited on the end-user's machine):

http://www2.nau.edu/~ar2 4/fc/caps/caps/040207.cfm

Patrick Quinn 18 years, 5 months ago

Amazing, the way Family Circus clings to life...

Add Mary Worth, The Girls in Apartment 3G, Brenda Starr, Broom-Hilda, Gil Thorp...

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