“Forgotten Hollywood”- Beetle Bailey is an Orphan…

Posted on January 28, 2018 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here… 

“`Comic strip artist, Mort Walker, was a World War II veteran who satirized the military, tickling millions of newspaper readers with the antics of the lazy private Beetle Bailey. The character made his debut in Mort’s cartoons (as Spider) in the Saturday Evening Post in the late 1940s. Beetle Bailey appeared in as many as 1,800 newspapers.

“`Walker (right) began publishing cartoons at age 11, and was involved  with over a half-dozen comic strips during his career, including  Hi and Lois,  Boner’s Ark, and Sam and Silo. But, he found his greatest success developing slacker Beetle, his hot-tempered sergeant and the rest of the soldiers at fictional Camp Swampy for nearly 70 years.

“`At first, the strip failed to attract readers. King Features Syndicate considered dropping it after six months. The syndicate suggested Beetle join the Army at the start of the Korean War, and it took off.  Walker attributed the success of the strip to Beetle’s indolence, and reluctance to follow authority.

“`Tokyo editions of the military newspaper Stars and Stripes dropped Beetle Bailey in 1954 for fear it might encourage disrespect of its officers. But, media coverage spurred over 100 newspapers to add the strip.  In 2000, Walker was invited by The Pentagon to be given the Army’s Distinguished Civilian Service  Award for his printed work, armed service, and contributions to a new military memorial.

“`Beetle Bailey also featured one of the first African-American characters to be added in an established comic strip; Peanuts had added the character of Franklin in 1968. Lt. Jack Flap debuted in the comic strip’s panels in 1970.

“`In 1974, he founded the Museum of Cartoon Art in Connecticut to preserve and honor the art of comics. Mort changed the name to the  National Cartoon Museum, and he announced in 2005, plans to relocate it to the Empire State Building. However, the following year, the deal fell through.

“`The genial Mort Walker was 94.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

This entry was posted on Sunday, January 28th, 2018 at 12:35 am and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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