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.
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.