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During 31 years of newspaper comic strips,
Dondi never grew up.
Julie Glassberg for The New York Times
Irwin Hasen, Comic Book Artist and ‘Dondi’ Illustrator, Dies at 96
MARCH 15, 2015
Irwin Hasen, who drew and helped to create “Dondi,”
at his Manhattan apartment in 2011.
Credit Julie Glassberg for The New York Times
Irwin Hasen, Comic Book Artist and ‘Dondi’ Illustrator, Dies at 96
MARCH 15, 2015
The great NHS efficiency drive – cartoon
GP and graphic novelist Ian Williams
‘managing with what we’ve got’
might not be the best mantra
effective health service
Monday 15 June 2015
The Cartoon Museum
British cartoon & comic art
from the 18th century to the present day
comics / strips / funnies / comic book art / graphic novels > UK / US
The Guardian > Sick notes UK
Ian Williams's weekly comic strip on the state of the NHS
comic-strip character > Ziggy
Irwin Hasen USA
cartoonist and comic-book artist
who drew, and helped create, “Dondi,”
the widely syndicated comic strip
about a lovable, wide-eyed
World War II orphan
Thomas Albert Wilson USA
Who is this comic-strip character named Ziggy?
He can’t be placed
in time, location or economic status,
and seems to be — but may not be —
an adult male.
It is known that he was created in 1969
by the cartoonist Tom Wilson
Stuart Ertz Hample USA
who entertained children (and adults)
as an author,
performer and cartoonist
From 1976 to 1984
he wrote and illustrated
the syndicated comic strip
a series of panels
that purported to reveal
the mind of that famous comedian
Peter O’Donnell, creator of Modesty Blaise
as the comic strip was known,
in The London Evening Standard
for nearly 40 years,
from 1963 to 2001
— more than 10,000 strips in all —
and syndicated in
all over the world.
Creator of ‘The Family Circus,’
Dies at 89
November 9, 2011
The New York Times
By DENNIS HEVESI
In the single-panel cartoon that Bil Keane drew for
publication on Sept. 10, 1964, the mother is looking at the shopping list posted
on the kitchen wall. In her handwriting are the words: “Cereal, tea, soap.”
Following on the list, in sloppy kid’s scrawl: “Ice cream, cookies, plastic
soldiers” — with all the S’s reversed.
In the cartoon published on Jan. 22, 2008, the mother — not looking much older —
is at the stove, in the background, as one of her sons tells his sister,
“Mommy’s cooking my favorite dinner. It’s called ‘leftovers.’ ”
Daily, for more than half a century, millions of readers have received a serving
of Bil (he really did spell it with one “L”) Keane’s traditional-value, homespun
humor in his cartoon “The Family Circus,” published in recent years in nearly
Mr. Keane died at 89 on Tuesday at his home in Paradise Valley, Ariz., but the
tradition will continue, said his son Jeff, who has been working with his father
on the cartoon since 1981.
No doubt they will bear the same gentle touch as the Oct. 23, 1965, cartoon in
which three of the children — Billy, Dolly and Jeffy — are in the back of the
station wagon as it passes a drive-in movie theater where a western is on the
screen. “Wow!” Billy says. “I wish we lived in one of the houses along here.”
Knee-slapping guffaws were not the stuff of Mr. Keane. “We are, in the comics,
the last frontier of good, wholesome family humor and entertainment,” he told
The Associated Press in 1995. “On radio and television, magazines and the
movies, you can’t tell what you’re going to get. When you look at the comic
page, you can usually depend on something acceptable by the entire family.”
Particularly acceptable to Mr. Keane, said Andrew Farago, curator of the Cartoon
Art Museum in San Francisco, were mispronunciations and word twists: “A kid
would say ‘pizgetti’ instead of spaghetti, and Jeffy would say, ‘Can I wear my
short-sleeve pants?’ ”
“The Family Circus,” said Tom Richmond, president of the National Cartoonists
Society, “was one of the strips that I, as a kid, never missed, because it was
Americana on the comic page.”
One of the characters that delighted Mr. Richmond, he said, was Not Me, “this
invisible person who was always the one who did the naughty thing and ended up
getting blamed for it by the kids.”
William Aloysius Keane showed an early interest in cartooning. He was born in
Philadelphia on Oct. 5, 1922 to Aloysius and Florence Keane. As a child, he drew
on his bedroom walls.
“I didn’t always spell my name Bil,” he told Editor & Publisher magazine in
1968. “My parents named me Bill, but when I started drawing cartoons on the
wall, they knocked the ‘L’ out of me.”
After graduating from high school, where he drew cartoons for the student
magazine, Mr. Keane served in the Army during World War II. Assigned as a
cartoonist for the military newspaper Stars and Stripes, he was based in
Australia, where he met his future wife, Thelma Carne.
Mrs. Keane died in 2008. Besides his son Jeff, Mr. Keane is survived by three
other sons, Neal, Glen and Christopher; a daughter, Gayle Keane; nine
grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.
After the war, Mr. Keane became a staff artist for The Philadelphia Bulletin.
After the family moved to Arizona in 1959, Mr. Keane started drawing “The Family
Circus,” based on his own family’s experiences.
“Everything that’s happened in the strip has happened to me,” he once said.
“That’s why I have all this white hair.”
Bil Keane, Creator of
‘The Family Circus,’ Dies at 89,
Beetle Bailey's Long March:
Classic Cartoons Search for a
Strip's Creator, 84, Had Comics Collection
Worth $20 Million, and No Place to Show It
July 16, 2008
The WAll Street Journal
By MARY PILON
Mort Walker has drawn "Beetle Bailey," a comic strip
chronicling the lighter side of Army life, for 58 years. During most of that
time, the artist has been waging a war of his own -- to preserve cartoons.
Over the years, comics have become hot. They're the subject of movies, TV shows
and Pulitzer Prize-winning literature like "Maus" by Art Spiegelman. But when
nobody took comic books seriously, Mr. Walker saw them as art.
In his quest, Mr. Walker, 84 years old, has amassed more than 200,000 pieces --
including comic books, news clippings, drawings, film footage and posters. Mr.
Walker, who published his first cartoon at age 11, contributed thousands of
pieces from his own collection. He got contributions from comic-book
heavyweights like "Spider-Man" creator Stan Lee and the late cartoonist Rube
Goldberg, who died in 1970. The trove contains Mickey and Minnie Mouse drawings
by Walt Disney and hand-drawn panels of "Peanuts" by Charles Schulz. It is one
of the largest collections of original cartoon art in the world.
It also has been searching for a home. Worth an estimated $20 million according
to the museum's curators, the collection was moved to a storage facility in
Stamford, Conn., in 2002. Mr. Walker and his family have looked at dozens of
homes for the collection ever since.
"We thought people would welcome us with open arms," Mr. Walker says. "But it
was really hard to convince people that cartoon art was worth saving and worth
In 1974, Mr. Walker opened the National Cartoon Museum in Greenwich, Conn., to
house his collection. He moved the museum a couple of times, plagued by
everything from money problems to collapsing roofs. He eventually closed it in
"It's always been Mort right out there in front," says Jim Davis, author of the
comic strip "Garfield." "Fighting for the cartoons and fighting for cartooning
as a legitimate art form. He's been tireless."
Mr. Walker's quest to preserve comics began in the 1940s when he was a young
artist. He would regularly walk into the New York offices of King Features
Syndicate -- which in 1950 became the distributor for "Beetle Bailey" -- and see
crumpled up "Krazy Kat" cartoons on the ground. They were used to absorb water
from ceiling leaks, he says.
"It just wasn't right," Mr. Walker says. He began taking the drawings home.
For two decades he looked for a home for a national museum. He says he talked to
Yale University, the Museum of the City of New York and the Kennedy Center in
Washington, D.C., among others. Nobody was interested, he says.
Then, in 1973, Mr. Walker talked up his idea to the Hearst Foundation. The
foundation wrote him a check for $50,000, and the National Cartoon Museum opened
in a mansion in Greenwich, Conn.
Out on the Street
After a couple of years, the landlord decided he could rent out the space for
more, and the museum was back out on the street, Mr. Walker says. In 1976, he
moved the collection to Rye Brook, N.Y., where he bought a ramshackle 17-room
home for $60,000.
"There was ice on the dining room floor, you could skate on it," Mr. Walker
says. "It was a mess."
Pigeons had taken residence in the house. Plastic ceiling moldings littered the
floor, and windows were shattered. Mr. Walker hired his son Brian and friends to
repair the place. Later that year, the museum was up and running. It attracted
as many as 75,000 visitors a year in its heyday.
Keeping the museum running became a Walker family affair. Mort Walker's wife,
Cathy, managed the museum free for decades. Brian Walker curated exhibits and
organized events. Another son, Greg, would stay up till 2 a.m. typesetting
captions for exhibits on the walls.
One afternoon in 1992, while doing paperwork, Mrs. Walker heard a strange noise.
Decorative ridges atop the building's tower had fallen off. At the same time,
the collection was beginning to outgrow the building. It was time to look for
Donations of art flooded in from cartoonists and their estates. Magazine and
comic syndicates would clear out storerooms and give cartoons to Mr. Walker. The
collection swelled with "Dick Tracy" strips, boxes of Marvel comics and "Yellow
In 1996, Mr. Walker moved the collection to Boca Raton, Fla. He drew up plans
for a majestic new space. Giant cartoon characters were painted on the walls of
a temporary trailer placed on the land where the museum would eventually stand.
When construction wrapped up, Mrs. Walker was first to set foot in the new
museum. When she walked in, she cried.
But two corporate sponsors filed for bankruptcy. The museum lost $5 million in
expected donations and was unable to afford basic maintenance costs, Mr. Walker
says. The bank foreclosed, he says, and the museum closed in 2002.
Move to Stamford
The collection was packed up and moved to the Stamford storage facility.
Mr. Walker says he has lent out cartoons for specific exhibitions, but no
museums would take on exhibiting the whole collection.
Donations paid for storage and preservation of the cartoon art, which is kept in
a dark, humidity-controlled space. Certain pieces are handled with white gloves.
Comics are rotated for exhibition to prevent from too much light exposure.
To pay off some museum debt, Mr. Walker auctioned off some cartoons: Most
notably, a Mickey Mouse drawing fetched $700,000 at a New York auction in 2001.
He has avoided selling any other major pieces of the museum collection, but does
auction some of his "Beetle Bailey" strips for charities.
In 2006, the museum nearly had a deal to relocate in the Empire State Building
in New York City. Press releases were issued and stationery was printed. But the
plan fell apart. Photos and a tall model of the Empire State Building still sit
in the living room of the Walkers' home in Connecticut.
In 2007, Ohio State University Prof. Lucy Caswell, a former member of the
cartoon museum's board of directors, began to talk with the Walkers about
merging their collection with the university's own cartoon collection. The
university promised the art would be available for all to see, and the Walkers
finally decided that was the way to go. The art arrived in Ohio last month.
Ohio State will revamp a space that's currently being used as a library and will
catalog all of the cartoons. It is accepting the collection as a donation, and
Mr. Walker reserves the right to borrow pieces back for special exhibitions.
For the past four months, the Walker family has been sifting through the
collection and reminiscing. "It's almost painful going over all that stuff
again," Mr. Walker says.
On a recent day, he picked up a large cutout of Hagar from "Hagar the Horrible"
and talked about how creator Dik Browne officiated at the wedding ceremony of
"It's like watching your parents pack up their house," Brian Walker says.
Beetle Bailey's Long
March: Classic Cartoons Search for a Home,
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