THE FAMILY CIRCUS AT 50!
Hello Everyone. Editor-In-Chief Lee Houston, Junior here. Ms. Waxy Dragon has the weekend off.
I am here today to talk about life in general and The Family Circus specifically.
This beloved comic strip created by Bil (only one L) Keane actually began on Leap Year, 1960. So as noted in today's installment, February 28, 2010 marks the 50th anniversary for the series.
Keane literally draws upon his own family for inspiration and fun.
If you were not paying attention, amongst the images in today's strip were photos of the Keane family past and present, as well as the extended comic family posing for a new portrait.
His wife Thelma, the motherly inspiration for the series, sadly passed away last year. His real children are now adults with families of their own. Son Glen (the basis for Billy) is an animator for Disney while Jeff (the basis for Jeffy) is now Bil's assistant on the series. And a sequence where the family visited New York City, including the twin towers of the World Trade Center, was reprinted after the September 11, 2001 disaster.
Unique not only in its down to earth portrayal of family life, but its circular shape for the daily edition (allegedly based upon the ones circuses use), one cannot help but stop and contemplate the simpler times and things in life like kids not realizing that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, as always illustrated by the dotted path showing one of the children (usually Billy) going everywhere possible on any given course.
The one I personally remember most is a Sunday strip whereupon the family is walking along a quiet stretch of beach and the children comment about how they must be the first ones to ever discover the place, although ghost images in the background prove otherwise, proving that alas time waits for no one.
But no matter how much time does pass, there are some things that will always remain timeless.
So here's to The Family Circus! May the show continue for many generations to come.