Beetle Bailey Sales – 1968

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By 1968, when the King Features sales brochure shown above and below was produced, the circulation of Beetle Bailey had reached 1100 subscribers. It was the second most successful strip in the business, after Blondie.1968inside1

“What is the secret of Beetle Bailey’s popularity?” the text inside the brochure asked. The answer to that question followed. “He hilariously exemplifies everything a G.I. should not be…has every quality it takes to win his own private war with the Army.”
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Beetle Bailey Sales – 1965

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Beetle Bailey passed an important milestone in 1965 – the strip now appeared in 1000 newspapers. Only Blondie had more clients.

The image above is from the mailing envelope for the King Features 1965 sales brochure. We no longer have a copy of the complete kit in our archives.

“It was the heyday of Beetle,” Mort Walker’s assistant Jerry Dumas remembered in a 2010 interview. “Everything looked good – the gags were solid and funny, the strip was growing and was extremely popular all over the world.”
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Beetle Bailey Sales – 1963

1963 sales brochure comp1sm copy 2

In 1961, three advertising executives from Chicago published “The Executive Coloring Book” and sold 300,000 copies. The following year, the “JFK Coloring Book,” which featured caricatures by MAD magazine’s Mort Drucker, made the bestseller list and adult coloring books had become a hot trend.

King Features Syndicate picked up on the fad and came out with “The Editors Coloring Book” by Mort Walker in 1963 (cover and first page shown above). This cleverly designed sales brochure for Beetle Bailey was sent to newspaper editors around the world encouraging them to pick up the strip.
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