Astor looks at Lee, Keane, Robinson, and Schulz

Dave Astor, former editor and reporter covering syndication for Editor & Publisher, writes about some of his experiences covering four legendary cartoonists Stan Lee, Bil Keane, Jerry Robinson and Charles Schulz. He also mentions he’s written a memoir, “Comic (and Column) Confessional.”

The partly shy Schulz was also a good dancer. I watched him move gracefully around a hotel ballroom with several of his female peers at a National Cartoonists Society (NCS) gathering in San Antonio in 1999 — just months before the “Peanuts” creator was slammed with health problems.

Another example of how entertainment notables can be more complex than they seem: Bil Keane’s “The Family Circus” humor comic was warm and sentimental, so its creator was also warm and sentimental — right? Well, there was that side to Bil, but he also displayed a sarcastic wit when on a speaking podium.

While talking about a profit-minded syndicate exec, for instance, the Arizona-based Keane quipped: “He came out to visit us one day, and we said ‘our house is your house.’ So he sold it!”