Bil Keane (1922-2011)

It’s taken a lot of knocks over the years, but the daily Family Circus panel was just as much a part of our lives as Charles Schulz’ Peanuts. Cartoonist Bil Keane passed away Tuesday at age 89.

Keane began his professional career after serving in World War II, first as staff cartoonist for the Philadelphia Bulletin, then broke into syndication with a panel called Channel Chuckles. His Family Circus strip began in 1960. It spawned three animated TV specials.

In tribute, here’s the 1979 Family Circus Christmas, directed by Al Kouzel, with animators including Fred Crippen, Marty Taras, Willis Pyle and his son–future Disney animator–Glen Keane.

UPDATE: It seems like an appropriate time to post this never-before-published questionnaire that Bil Keane filled out in 1995: