Beetle Bailey Sunday page color proof, March 4, 1962.
“What if women ran the Army,” is the question of the day in this fanciful page. General Halftrack’s musings on the subject are contained within “cumulus dream balloons” in panels #5 through #9.
Although the male creators of the strip were probably trying to pay tribute to the nurturing qualities of the fairer sex, this gag would definitely be considered sexist by today’s standards. It was a few years before the modern women’s movement began to change minds about the roles they could and should play in society. The jokes are more reflective of the 1950s when men expected the gals to know their place.
Beetle Bailey Sunday page color proof, January 28, 1962.
In the early 1960s, Sarge was being featured in more Beetle Bailey gags than any other character. Although Beetle was still the star of the strip, Sarge had become the most reliable supporting player.
In this classic Sunday page, Sarge’s appearance has changed dramatically after he returns from a two week furlough at the “Fats-Off Ranch.” Sarge discovers that the new image has diminshed his commanding presence with the men.
Beetle Bailey Sunday page color proof, October 8, 1961.
Lieutenant Sonny Fuzz is a young, ambitious, newly-minted officer who shares an office with Sergeant Orville Snorkel. This situation inevitably leads to conflict and provides a rich source for humor in the strip.
In the episode above, Fuzz is complaining that he does not receive the respect he feels his rank deserves. When he finds out that Sarge’s desk is bigger than his, these insecurities boil to the surface. He complains to Captain Scabbard who comes up with an idea that seems more like a quick fix than a permanent solution. Sarge is put in his place, but not for long.