The National Cartoonists Society’s Reuben Awards were held this weekend in Memphis, Tennessee. NCS President Bill Morrison asked cartoonists to do a special Memphis-themed drawing to be used as a centerpiece for each table at the awards dinner. The original art for these has been and will be auctioned off to benefit the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. In addition, the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau donated $10,000 to the NCS for the rights to use these cartoons on their web site and in brochures to promote the city.
In March 1956, The American Legion Magazine did an in-depth profile of Mort Walker. King Features Syndicate reprinted the entire article and sent it to all of its newspaper clients (brochure shown above).
At this time Mort was earning an estimated $100,000 for Beetle Bailey and Hi and Lois. Beetle was distributed to 400 clients with an estimated daily readership of 20 million. Hi and Lois, which began in 1954, was in 100 newspapers.
The 4” x 8” card, shown above, has a stand on the back so it can be displayed upright on a desk or shelf. King Features Syndicate sent it to newspaper clients on January 16, 1956 with the following letter.
We will continue to document the successful sales trajectory of Beetle Bailey in future posts.