Beetle Bailey Sunday page color proof, May 1, 1966.
On February 7, 1964, when John, Paul, George and Ringo landed at New York’s John F. Kennedy airport, Beatlemania had officially invaded America. Two days later, the Beatles made their historic appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, performing live in front of an audience of screaming teenage girls and a record television audience of 73 million viewers.
Beetle Bailey Sunday page color proof, March 27, 1966.
The third in the series of Beetle Bailey Sunday pages from the mid-1960s that featured dream sequences was inspired by the Batman live-action-television series that ran on ABC from January 12, 1966 to March 14, 1968. The series starred Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin. They fought against colorful villains like the Joker (Cesar Romero), the Penguin (Burgess Meredith), the Riddler (Frank Gorshin) and Catwoman (Julie Newmar). They drove around Gotham City in a Batmobile and utilized a wide variety of crime-fighting gadgets. The campy humor, upbeat music and colorful pop-art graphics were a hit with audiences and 120 episodes were produced during the three-year run of the show.
Beetle Bailey Sunday page color proof, November 28, 1965.
The second Beetle Bailey Sunday page that featured a dream sequence was done twenty-one months after the first one (see previous post). This episode featured a parody of the opening narration of the 1941 Fleischer Studio cartoon: “Up in the sky, look – It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s Superman!” These lines were also used in The Adventures of Superman television program that ran from 1952 to 1958. Superman’s familiar “S” logo appears on Sarge’s Union Suit and his alter ego, Clark Kent, is referenced. In a clever twist on the formula used in subsequent pages, it turns out in the end that Beetle was the one who was doing the dreaming.