With the news of Family Circus creator Bill Keanes’ passing comes sadness for comic strip fans the world over. Now where will we get our daily dose of condescending children? Jayden Smith can’t be everywhere at once.
Despite a syndication run that began in 1960 and a circulation of over 1,500 newspapers across the United States, Family Circus hasn’t made the jump to the big screen like so many of its contemporaries. For better or worse. No, I really mean that. I wasn’t referencing the comic For Better Or Worse. Just keep reading.
Garfield is arguably the most famous comic strip ever created. Jim Davis’s strip took popular culture by storm with several books, toys, suction cup thingies, and cartoons. In 2004, a Garfield movie opened in theaters featuring a mix of live action and CGI. However, quality did not enter the mix. I tried to watch it on a dare. Probably made it eight minutes, and I want those minutes back.
Robert Altman poured nightmare sauce on many a childhood when he adapted Popeye for the big screen in 1980. This strange translation stars Robin Williams as the sailorman and Shelly Duvall as his anorexic lady love. Though critics were split in their reviews of the film, it works so much better as a trippy, French art-house picture than it does a comedy.
Flash Gordon was a dud at the box office but is still considered a science fiction classic. The lead, Sam J. Jones, is rumored to have had a falling out with the director and producer and walked from the project before the completion of post-production. His voice was later replaced by an unnamed voice actor. Wow. Even the voice actor didn’t want to be associated with it.