On Thursday night, I was drinking at a bar in the Gaslamp district of San Diego. There I ran into ‘Family Circus’ creator Jeff Keane. My spotlight panel at Comic-Con was scheduled for the next day.
“Hey Jeff, you have to come to my panel tomorrow,” I told him.
“Why?” he asked.
“Because every time I do a panel, someone inevitably asks me what other cartoonists think when I parody their strips.”‘
“So?” he said.
“So if somebody asks that question, I can surprise everyone by introducing you and showing them that we know each other and are actually good friends.”
“Alright,” he said, “I’ll try and make it.”
The next day I did my panel. At the end of it, I took questions.
Sure enough, one of the first questions was what the other cartoonists thought of my parodies.
Warming up to my surprise, I said that other cartoonists were generally great sports about the parodies and that most of us are good friends. I added that both of the “Family Circus” creators, Bil Keane (the father) and Jeff Keane (his son) were especially great sports. And to prove my point, I scanned the audience for Jeff.
“Jeff?” I asked, hoping he had come. “Are you here somewhere? Jeff? Jeff?”
And slowly someone I couldn’t quite see rose from the back of the audience.
“SCREW YOU!!!” the person yelled.
The person being Jeff Keane.
My good friend.