Beetle Bailey Sunday page color proof, October 16, 1960.
Beetle Bailey doesn’t get political very often, but a comic strip about the U.S. military inevitably manages to make statements about current events.
The early 1960s in America was a time of both optimistic faith in human progress and anxious tension about international relations. There was a new president in the White House, the Cold War was in deep freeze and television dominated popular culture.
Beetle Bailey Sunday page color proof, August 14, 1960.
Beetle has had a number of different girlfriends over the years. In college he went out with Buzz, who is seen with him in the strip below at the popular hangout, The Shack, which was based on a real snack bar on the campus of the University of Missouri, Mort Walker’s alma mater (click here to see previous post).
Beetle Bailey Sunday page color proof, March 20, 1960
In the episode above, Beetle and his buddies are contemplating clever names for the new decade. Most of the gang is here, including Cosmo, Killer, Zero and Sarge, as well as a few generic G.I.s.
The only one of these suggestions that proved to be prophetic was “The Swinging Sixties,” but that term didn’t come into common use until the middle of the decade when “Swinging London” became the center for fashion and rock music.