One of the things we really enjoy about creating a comic strip is when we see evidence that other people are noticing what we do. It’s always fun to see Beetle appear in places we wouldn’t expect to see him. Those of us in the cartooning business love to put the creations of our friends in our own strips. Recently, my pal John Rose used Beetle in one of his editorial strips (shown above) and we loved it. In the same week, a clue in the famous New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle asked for a Beetle character’s name. The answer (spoiler alert for those who haven’t finished the puzzle) was Sarge. More often a crossword puzzle clue is “Beetle Bailey Dog” which would be, of course, Otto.
Over the years Beetle has appeared or been mentioned in movies (“The Crawling Eye”, “Mr. Deeds” by Adam Sandler, “Amazon Women on the Moon ), TV shows (Simpsons, Family Guy, Sesame Street, Saturday Night Live) and, perhaps most strangely of all, in music when Beetle was mentioned by Wu Tang Clan. Beetle is currently visible in a graffiti show appearing at the Museum of the City of New York. I never expected to see Beetle and Sarge on a subway car!
I’m sure I’ve missed other Beetle appearances/mentions in other media. Let us know if you are aware of any.
Tomorrow, Monday December 2, King Features will be launching a new web site, ComicsKingdom.com. At this all-new, free comics destination, readers will be able to access all of the syndicate’s features, including daily and Sunday episodes of our two strips, Beetle Bailey and Hi and Lois.
For a small annual subscription fee, they can also enjoy expanded offerings at Comics Kingdom Royal, including the ability to design a custom comics page, receive daily email updates, save favorite artwork in a scrapbook and view vintage comic strips. Current subscribers to DailyINK will be able to use the premium service at no extra cost. Be sure to check it out when it goes live.
This past weekend we were thrilled to attend the opening of the brand-new Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. In recognition of his continuing efforts to preserve and display original cartoon art by creating the Museum of Cartoon Art (later the International Museum of Cartoon Art), and, later, donating the vast collection to Ohio State, Mort was honored by having a gallery named after him. I would encourage anyone with an interest in cartoon art and, especially, those who may not consider cartoons as art, to visit this wonderful facility. The current exhibit, “Substance and Shadow”, curated by my brother Brian, is truly mind-blowing. The art rivals anything seen in any other gallery and many pieces have true historical importance. We are truly honored to have some of our pieces on display.
The Lobby of the new facility
A plaque recognizing Mort
Mort at the entrance to the gallery