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Celebrating Beetle Bailey at 70

 

The Beetle Bailey comic strip first appeared in newspapers on September 4, 1950.

70 years later The Walker Brothers are celebrating the anniversary during the first week of September. Kicking it off a little early is Brian Walker writing a brief column about the early Beetle for the Comics Kingdom blog.

Beetle Bailey debuted inauspiciously in twelve newspapers on Sept. 4. 1950.  After six months it had signed on only twenty-five clients.

King Features considered dropping Beetle Bailey after the first year’s contract was over. The Korean War was heating up at the time, so Mort decided to have Beetle enlist in the army.  He quickly picked up a hundred papers. 

Beetle signed up on March 13, 1951.


above: March 3, 1951. No not the enlistment strip, just a little foreshadowing. But ten days later, with some encouragement (read: arm twisting) from his buddies he would be signing the papers.

Along with the column, Brian has given us a little preview by way of the Hogan’s Alley Facebook page.

 

As we all know, and if we forgot Brian reminds us, Mort celebrated his birthday the day before Beetle’s debut. Next week’s daily strip about that is also previewed at Hogan’s Alley Facebook.

 

The celebration continues into the September 6 Sunday page.

Mort and Beetle’s careers are covered in this long Mort Walker interview.

And after 70 years Beetle remains in the top ten most distributed strips. Congratulations!

Community Comments

#1 Larry Levine
August/29/2020
@ 12:11 pm

The King of King Features

#2 Garland Overstreet
August/29/2020
@ 6:42 pm

Just to say how much I have enjoyed Beetle and his friends (yes, that includes Sarge) since I started reading the funnies in the early fifties when I was six or seven.
THANK YOU for something to look forward
to every day.

#3 Beverly Spann
August/29/2020
@ 7:19 pm

I’ve been watching Beetle Bailey cartoons
On yubtub and I love the cartoons
I grow up reading the comic strip
I looked up the actors and acters
Who did the voices and I really was
Surprised

#4 Thomas
August/30/2020
@ 5:27 am

Has been and still is a favorite for over 50 years.

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