Bil Keane

In a world of snarky comic strips, there was virtually nothing controversial about The Family Circus, the circular, single-panel strip drawn by Bil Keane for more than 50 years. Keane, who died Nov. 8 at 89, was the creator of wholesome Americana centered on Mommy, Daddy and their four children and steeped in his wry humor. Full of puns and clever devices--like the character Not Me!, a phantom who took the blame when the kids got into mischief--The Family Circus is syndicated in more than 1,500 newspapers.

Keane was a self-taught artist who drew cartoons for Stars and Stripes during World...

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