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Ces on 40 Years with Sally Forth – Not Him, Us

On this very date in 1982, Sally Forth entered our lives. Okay, it didn’t technically enter my life until 1997 when I was hired to write the strip, simply because it did not run in my hometown paper.

Of course, a lot has changed with the strip since it premiered four decades ago, including the artist, the writer, the cast, the strictly Esperanto dialogue, and the comic’s original name, They Die By Their Swords.

Francesco Marciuliano, who I, like many, call “Ces” because it’s quicker than cutting and pasting his name when, even then, there is a fifty-fifty chance of misspelling it, reflects on the 40 years history of the Sally Forth comic strip, of which he has been involved for 25 of those years.


© King Features Syndicate

But 40 years. Seriously, a huge WOW. I want to thank King Features—and especially then Editor-in-Chief Jay Kennedy, who I will always keep in my memory—for taking a chance on me, not regretting taking a chance on me when they really should have those first few years, and letting me be a part of all this the last 25 years even if for no other reason than, “Well, Maraculianiono seems to at least remember the characters’ names.” I want to thank Greg Howard who, upon hearing I was going to assume writing duties, did not say, “Absolutely not.” I want to thank Craig MacIntosh, a brilliant illustrator and one of the most genuinely decent people one could ever meet, for not killing me during our 15 years working together. I want to thank Jim Keefe, a truly preternaturally gifted artist who can draw anything suggested which has led me to suggest just about everything, often at the last minute, and has made me feel extremely fortunate by continuing my streak of co-creating with yet another remarkably good soul.

Ces touches on a few items at his blog, not just the thanks you see above. 
The Daily Cartoonist even gets a nod – here We thank Ces.

Community Comments

#1 Jimmy Delach
January/4/2022
@ 8:13 pm

The first Sally strip in the St. Petersburg Evening Independent (via Google News – FYI the only newspaper in the St. Petersburg Times/Tampa Tribune universe not to be on newspapers.com)

https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=PZE8UkGerEcC&dat=19820104&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

Sally was in the Independent until its’ 1986 demise then it joined the Times’ regional editions. Then on 7/13/1987, Sally was tossed aside when the Times eliminated nearly all the strips from the regional editions (sparing Marmaduke, Beetle Bailey and Cathy; they also added Calvin & Hobbes which had run in the Independent). Two weeks later, Sally was reinstated after readers protested and she remains in the paper to this day albeit the Daily version just got moved to the exclusive e-Paper while the Sunday strip remains in the actual paper.

The Tampa Tribune added Sally Forth on New Year’s Eve 1990 (replacing the Batman comic strip) and ran the strip Daily and Sunday until 2008 when the Daily strip was dropped while the Sunday continued to run until the Tribune’s 2016 end.

#2 Ignatz
January/5/2022
@ 2:32 pm

“And I want to thank you for reading our strip, whether it’s regularly, infrequently, simply to make fun of, or because you keep confusing us with Mary Worth. (How on earth did Wilbur somehow convince Estelle to go on that cruise with him? Does he have some dark intel on her?)”

See, this is why I like Ces.

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