Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Obscurity of the Day: Silly Philly
Before Bil Keane became an American institution with Family Circus, he was on staff at the Philadelphia Bulletin for many years, and produced the long-running local feature Silly Philly. The title character was a quaker, emblematic of the city of brotherly love.
The feature started in the back pages of the paper's Sunday Fun Book on 4/27/1947. The Fun Book featured Will Eisner's The Spirit plus additional local features like Sports Stars and It's Philadelphia (both of which will probably pop up here eventually as obscurities of the day).
The Fun Book eventually folded, and Silly Philly was promoted into the paper's regular Sunday comic section. There it ran until 9/3/1961. Presumably Keane decided to end the feature as the Family Circus gravy train started rolling.
There is no connection between the Philadelphia Bulletin and the Register & Tribune Syndicate (which is based in Des Moines Iowa).