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Mort Walker’s Beetle Bailey celebrates 60 years

Mort Walker’s Beetle Bailey is celebrating 60 years with series of events and special strips.

From the press release:

The world’s most recognizable Private and funny pages icon Beetle Bailey salutes 60 years of military mirth and mayhem with a seven-month long celebration honoring the comic strip’s diamond anniversary. Beginning this month, a series of Beetle Bailey tributes and events will take place in the United States and internationally commemorating the milestone. The centerpiece of Beetle Bailey’s 60th anniversary includes:

» “Beetle Bailey 1965: Daily & Sunday Strips” – a special monthly Sunday strip series recreating great moments in American military history in humorously unique Beetle style

» two retrospective art exhibits

» a commemorative USPS Postage Stamp

» and the new book, “Beetle Bailey 1965: Daily & Sunday Strips”

Additionally, when Mort Walker takes a two-week furlough for the Anniversary, fans are invited to enter “The Best of Beetle Bailey Contest” at BeetleBailey.com to help choose the strips that will be published surrounding the actual anniversary on Sept. 4.

LET THE FESTIVITIES BEGIN

To help kick off the 60th anniversary celebration, Mort Walker has created seven Sunday Beetle Bailey comic strips – one appearing monthly through December – that commemorate unforgettable moments in American military history and patriotic observances with a hilarious Beetle spin. Some of the most memorable images that will be recreated, Beetle Bailey style, include: Washington Crossing the Delaware, V-J Day in Times Square with Beetle Bailey depicted in the famed photo of a sailor kissing a young woman in a white dress, and Cornwallis’s Surrender at Yorktown, which signaled the end of the Revolutionary War. The first strip in the “Great Moments” series will run May 30th and pay tribute to Memorial Day.

THE BEST OF BEETLE BAILEY CONTEST

Coinciding with the launch of this special series, BeetleBailey.com will unveil a photo gallery of Mort Walker’s favorite Beetle Bailey comic strips from each of the last 60 years. Readers can visit the website to vote for their favorite Beetle Bailey strips and register to enter The Best of Beetle Bailey Contest. The top-ranked fan favorites will be published during the two weeks surrounding Beetle’s birthday, Sept. 4, 2010. Everyone who registers will be eligible to win one of 10 original Beetle Bailey daily comic strips, signed and personalized by Mort Walker. Winners will be chosen at random and prizes will be selected from Mort’s archive and mailed directly to the winners no later than November 30, 2010.

RETROSPECTIVE ART EXHIBITS

Some of Mort Walker’s work over the past 60 years will also be featured in two Beetle Bailey retrospective art exhibits held in North and South America this year. The Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco, Calif., is showcasing “60 Years of Beetle Bailey: A Tribute to Mort Walker” from May 8 through September 19. Mort’s son, Brian Walker, who served as the curator of “The Legacy of Mort Walker: 50 Years of Beetle Bailey” at The International Museum of Cartoon Art in 2000, has selected the highlights from that retrospective for this exhibition. The SESC Municipal Center in Sao Paulo, Brazil is also exhibiting “Beetle Bailey: 60 Years” from May 6 through June 27. In support of the retrospective, the center is conducting roundtable discussions on the history of the strip as a pop culture icon.

US POSTAL SERVICE SALUTE

The celebration continues this summer as the United States Postal Service salutes the Sunday Funnies with commemorative postage stamps featuring Beetle Bailey, along with four other comic strip staples, this July.

COMMEMORATIVE BOOKS

“Beetle Bailey 1965: Daily & Sunday Strips” will be released by Titan Books this October (SRP $19.95). Beginning with the year Beetle Bailey hit the milestone of 1,000 newspapers, it launches an entire new series of book collections with the strip conquering new heights. Beetle Bailey 1965 features a brand-new foreword by Mort Walker, a history of the strip by Brian Walker, and a celebrity gallery featuring famed cartoonists such as Charles Schulz, Milton Caniff and Jack Davis. Fans will get a sneak preview of the book at the San Diego ComicCon International this July.

Community Comments

#1 Randy Glasbergen
May/27/2010
@ 11:07 am

Apparently, Mort has no exit strategy.

#2 Ted Dawson
May/27/2010
@ 4:33 pm

LOL

#3 Larry Levine
May/28/2010
@ 4:07 am

Congratulations…Mort Walker’s Beetle Bailey is the King of all features!!!

#4 John Sheppard
May/28/2010
@ 8:05 am

Mort is to be saluted (he was an officer)! I agree with you, Larry.

#5 Jason Nocera
May/28/2010
@ 10:02 am

Anything going on in his home state of CT?

#6 Mark McComas
June/2/2010
@ 10:35 am

Special mention should be made about Mort Walker’s mentoring of so many great cartoonists over the years. Dik Browne is the most famous, as the artist for Hi and Lois (Hi looks like Mort at 35) and his own Hagar the Horrible (Who looks like Dik at 40). Frank Roberge (Mrs. Fritz’s Flats) and Jerry Dumas (Sam’s Strip) come to mind.

#7 MAERCELO HERNANDEZ
March/16/2011
@ 12:01 am

THE DAILY NEWS IT IS NOT THE SAME….. WITH OUT B BAIILEY..repeat THE DAILY NEWS IT IS NOT THE SAME WITH OUT BEETLE BAILEY…….

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