Bil Keane, whose comic strip The Family Circus has appeared in newspapers since 1960, passed away last week at the age of 89. Here is a brief history of the strip and its creator:

  • 1962 PJ, the youngest child, is introduced in a particularly graphic birth panel
  • 1967 Keane hears "Purple Haze" for the first time, but the experience exerts absolutely no influence on his work
  • 1970 The kids get a new pet when they're allowed to keep Sam, a stray dog, instead of being forced to drown him in a burlap sack as Keane had originally planned
  • 1974 The now legendary "Daddy, do you want me to eat your pudding so you won't have to?" panel debuts to universal acclaim
  • 1975 Mere days before the Fall of Saigon, Billy is shot on the Cambodian border, one of the last U.S. casualties of the Vietnam conflict
  • 1977 Keane bumps into Love Is… creator Kim Casali at a cartoonist's convention and beats the shit out of her
  • 1982 While exploring each other's differences, 3-year-old Jeffy and a neighbor girl discover he has a shoehorn and she has a bucket
  • 1991 When new character "Cousin Greg" proves to be unpopular, the family abandons him at the ice cream parlor
  • 1994 Keane overhears someone say, "I feel lonely," and thinks to himself, hey, that's a comic right there
  • 1995 The strip is revealed to take place in an alternate universe where Dwight Eisenhower has been elected president 11 times