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Scottsdale installs statue honoring Valley cartoonist

PHOENIX — Even after his death, Bil Keane is still making readers chuckle with “Family Circus,” a newspaper comic that’s become one of the most recognized and loved.

“He was a very funny man, he enjoyed his life, he enjoyed his cartoon, he enjoyed cartooning,” said Keane’s son, Jeff, who was at the unveiling of a bronze statue Friday in Keane’s honor. “From the day he was 6, being a cartoonist was all he wanted to do and he got to live that dream. We’re just so grateful that we got to be a part of it.”

The statue, which is located in the Family Circus Pavilion at the McCormick Stillman Railroad Park in Scottsdale, is called “Giddy-Up Daddy.” The nine-foot statue depicts Keane playing with the characters from the cartoon, which were inspired by the everyday antics of his own five children.

Keane created “Family Circus” in 1960 and worked on the cartoon from his Paradise Valley home.

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