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Profiled: Mort Walker before Beetle Bailey

Amazing career.

He was born Addison Morton Walker in 1923 at El Dorado, Kan. He sold his first cartoon when he was 12. By 14, he was selling gag cartoons regularly to Child Life, Inside Detective and Flying Aces magazines. At 15, he was a comic strip artist for a daily metropolitan newspaper.

Community Comments

#1 David Jones
March/3/2011
@ 1:10 pm

Wow. After reading that I feel I have accomplished nothing… oh wait… I really HAVE accomplished nothing!!! Hopefully the Cartoonist Studio’s contest will turn that around…

I have always been a fan of Mort Walker. I loved this little glimpse into a true icon’s life. Leaves me wanting to hear more.

#2 Brian Fies
March/3/2011
@ 3:30 pm

If you can find his book “Backstage at the Strips,” I think it’s a very worthwhile read. Not just about Mr. Walker’s early days, but a whole era of mid-century East Coast cartooning that’s gone now. As close as you’ll get to sipping martinis with Rube Goldberg and Milt Caniff on Dik Browne’s back porch.

#3 David Jones
March/3/2011
@ 3:35 pm

Thanks Brian! I’ll look that one up.

#4 Frank White
March/4/2011
@ 5:24 am

David , hope you win that contest, good luck

#5 Ron Coleman
March/4/2011
@ 2:03 pm

I’m a magazine cartoonist myself and I sold my first cartoon when I was in the eighth grade. I thought that was unusual until I read about the accomplishments of Mort Walker. He makes me look like an amateur.

Ron Coleman
colemantoons.com

#6 Henry Clausner
March/11/2011
@ 10:46 am

I will always be a fan of Mort Walker.!

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