1. In between panels 2 and 3: “Apologies to my ever-patient friend, Jeff Keane. Please do not sue.”

  2. If Pastis drew the last panel from scratch, I would be in favor of giving him an award. If he cut and pasted from an existing “Family Circus” comic(*), then I think Keane should inflict a bit of return abuse upon him. Not necessarily a lawsuit, but something appropriate, like a paper bag of dogdoo on the plagiarist’s doorstep.
    P.S. Anti-aliasing effects in the panel seem to make the latter scenario a little more likely. I tried a reverse image search, but could not find a matching original. However, since FC is published by King Features, the archive is not publicly searchable.

  3. @Kilby: I actually remember this one. The original cartoon has no Dolly (nor Pig, obv), but it’s the lady in the background with the surprised look which I remember. The caption read, “Mommy! A stranger talked to me!”

  4. OMG, that text Lord F quotes is really there, in sideways tiny print.

    Even tinier is whatever sits between the next two. Does anybody have a take on that? If I just zoom it, the resolution isn’t there to make it legible.

  5. Or did you mean the three lines that indicate Pig falling through the comic’s gutter?

  6. @ Mitch4 – The three lines shown in that third gutter don’t contain text, they are just the streak left when Pig plummets through the floor into the next comic. Even at maximum zoom on the original image at GoComics, the middle line is just a line, not letters.
    P.S. This strip would have been even funnier with a reversed “L” shaped layout (centering the circular panel below the 3rd & 4th rectangles), but syndication limitations don’t permit that kind of flexibility.

  7. Thanks everybody, yes I was looking at the gutter between 3 and 4, and did not see that they were motion lines that would never resolve into text! I thought there just wasn’t enough resolution to survive simple end-user enlargement.

  8. True, dat. I forgot . . . altho it does reference more recent things (it’s only through Comics Curmudgeon that I ever see Family Circus).

  9. Kilby, if you read the Pearls books, you’ll find out that he really is friends with Jeff Keane.

  10. @ Arthur – I wouldn’t doubt that for a second, but I still think that it’s Jeff’s turn to take a good-natured poke back at Stephan.

  11. This was awesome. My daughter would read Family Circus every Sunday and announce, “Still not funny.”

    For a good time, check out Dysfunctional Family Circus. Much better than the original.

  12. @ PS3 – Family Circus was never designed to produce gut-wrenching laughter: it was always just a sweet, nostalgic view of childhood for empty-nesters and grandparents. As a kid I always read it (and usually even enjoyed it): it wasn’t the best comic, but it was so much better than all of those soap opera strips that the paper wasted loads of space on. Somebody must have been reading that other garbage too, or the paper would have stopped printing them.
    P.S. I’ve read some of the online(*) DFC parodies. They were funny at first, but after a while I found them tiresome, perhaps because the jokes kept getting cruder and more disgusting, rather than sophisticated. It also doesn’t help to read 40 or 50 captions for the same drawing, especially when nobody has bothered to weed out the garbage, or at least to separate out the gems.
    P.P.S. (*) – Wikipedia says that a series of DFC booklets preceded the Internet collections. Even an anonymously edited, cheaply printed selection might have been better than an exhaustive archive of every possible mini-joke.
    P.P.P.S. The operator of the latest DFC website eventually complied with a “cease and desist” order from King Features (after receiving a personal call from Bil Keane), but not before he had time to warn his readers, which of course made his own compliance entirely pointless, since the material was quickly copied and spread all over the Internet.

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