Camera-ready comic art drawing for The Family Circus

Description (Brief)
This pen-and-ink drawing prepared for The Family Circus comic strip shows the family's children thinking that their mother’s tears, a result of cutting onions, are a response to something they've done wrong.
William Aloysius "Bil" Keane (1922-2011) began his comic art career while still a teenager. During his service in the Army, between 1942 and 1945, he drew cartoons for Yank, the Army Weekly and Stars and Stripes. After the war, he worked for The Philadelphia Bulletin where he developed the strip Silly Philly, a Sunday strip based on the life of William Penn. Keane's work could also be seen in the Channel Chuckles television cartoon, which ran from 1954 to 1977. In 1960, after he and his family settled in Paradise Valley, Arizona, Keane debuted The Family Circus. Keane served as the president of the National Cartoonist Society during the 1980s.
The Family Circus (1960- ) is a single-panel daily and Sunday comic known for its distinctive, circular presentation. The panel was inspired by creator Bil Keane’s own life and experiences as a husband and parent. More recently The Family Circus, now written and drawn by Bil Keane’s son Jeff, has achieved international popularity.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
graphic artist
Keane, Bil
Register and Tribune Syndicate
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
ink (overall color)
overall: 19 cm x 22.1 cm; 7 15/32 in x 8 11/16 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Cultures & Communities
Comic Art
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Graphic Arts
Comic Art
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Joseph Gura, Jr. (through Carl Sandberg IV)

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