I’ve said it before, but I think these three-dimensional Family Circus strips by Bil Keane are very under-appreciated for their innovative use of space and time. This one was originally published by the Register and Tribune Syndicate, August 23, 1981.


Immediately, we see that the Marvel bullpen has not a motherfucking thing on Saitō Pro. Takemoto was the first-ever layout man on Golgo 13, from back in the ’60s when Kazuo Koike was turning in scripts, so we might surmise from his dual art/layout credits (to say nothing of his seniority) that he’s working as a supervisor for the rest of this chapter’s team. There’s a hint of Crepax to Doll herself, particularly in the final panel on page one; no idea what kind of access Takemoto (or anyone in Japan) might have had, but he’s old enough to have seen Valentina in its prime. I love every drawing of that creepy dude, especially the first and the last.

(Doll: The Hotel Detective, ch. 2, Saburo Takemoto, Risuke Chiba, Wataru Tomobe & Rio Toshio, from layouts by Takemoto & Takao Saitō, written by Saitō w’ Mitsuo Aimono, c. 1980)