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Daddy’s Cap Is on Backwards

by Bil Keane

Synopsis: The heartwarming comedy of the popular Family Circus comes to life in a new collection of cartoons and comic strips from the syndicated series.

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From Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, February 23, 1999.

Ever since the untimely death of Ayn Rand in 1982, this country has lacked a moral leader, a powerful voice that can rise above the crowd and simply say “Reason is man’s only proper judge of values and his only proper guide to action. The proper standard of ethics is: man’s survival qua man.” At last, that void has been filled. From the moment Jeffy refuses to eat the welfare cheese placed by Mommy in his “mackerooni,” we realize that we have embarked on an extraordinary journey, an apocalyptic deathmatch of moral paradigmata from which only one can emerge intact. See Billy nearly starve after being tricked into delivering newspapers whose editorial slant he despises. Feel Dolly’s anguish as she invents a new kind of steel with the potential to revolutionize the railroad industry, only to have that breakthrough suppressed by those in power, whose only ambition is to maintain the status quo. Struggle with Mommy over the book’s central philosophical question: is breastfeeding PJ a form of charity or of slavery? In Daddy’s Cap, Bil Keane succeeds where countless others have failed: he provides insightful and philosophically rigorous solutions to the open problems posed in Nicomachean Ethics and in Atlas Shrugged.

From Chicago, February 24, 1999.

Bil Keane has always been known for his ability to display rapier sharp wit while skewering the more excessive aspects of American culture. With “Daddy’s Cap Is on Backwards” Keane has reached a new level.

Serious, scholarly enough for even graduate level sociology, urban studies, and African-American studies courses, “Daddy” will entertain the general reader with its witty insights concerning the pervasiveness of the now global reach of Hip-Hop culture.

From San Francisco, California, March 1, 1999.

I’m sure we can all identify with the trenchant themes of postmodernity and postcolonialism redolent in Keane’s latest feather in the “Caps.” Motifs of power surging out from underneath when children mock the order in a carnivalesque topsy-turvey “play” found in the revolutionary circular “frame” around the comic. Symbolism and text fuse creating a semiotics of order and chaos, play and work, the “cap” and the naked head. I wait with bated breath for the next addition to Keanism.

From Atlanta, GA , March 2, 1999.

We do not simply read “Daddy’s Cap is on Backwards,” we get the uncomfortable feeling that, like a single, unblinking eye or an invasive camera lens, Keane’s brilliant strip is looking back at us, taking in all that is prosaic and trivial about our lives and spinning it on its axis.

The cover itself is disturbing. Daddy’s cap is indeed on backwards–he stares ahead, eyes blank behind his Coke-bottle lenses, the scene awash with the harsh, bright colors so often tortuously rendered by Keane’s brush. Daddy doesn’t notice the darkling sky, the dying leaves in the bushes behind him, Billy and Jeffy underfoot. He is drawn ever-forward, zombie-like into the future.

From Los Angeles, CA, March 2, 1999.

i don’t know what you people are talking about but these cartoons are good and dolly is mean but pj is the best funny kid

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