In March 1952, Beetle went home on furlough to visit his family. Here is the first in strip in the sequence.
Beetle Bailey daily strip, March 12, 1952.
This story lasted for two and a half weeks. We will showcase all of the episodes in the following two posts. Here are the next three strips in the story.
It took a while for Mort Walker to decide how many teeth Sarge would have and where they would be located in his mouth. In the months after his debut on March 30, 1951, Sarge had two teeth in his upper jaw. This is what he looked like on December 13, 1951.Thirteen days later, Sarge had two teeth in his lower jaw.Over the course of the next few months, Sarge’s teeth moved around in his mouth. In this strip from February 1952, Sarge has one lower tooth in the first two panels and two upper teeth in the last panel.Finally, by April 1952, Mort settled on a consistent look. Sarge has had a single tooth in his lower jaw ever since.In this strip from 1953, Sarge goes to the dentist for a checkup. By this time, readers knew that Sarge had only one tooth in his mouth.Stay tooned for more on the early history of Beetle Bailey.
The Beetle Bailey Sunday page debuted on September 14, 1952 (see previous post). The unusual episode below, which shows a typical day in the life of Sargeant Orville P. Snorkel, ran in newspapers thirteen months later.
Beetle Bailey Sunday page, color proof, May 10, 1953.
This is the only time that Sarge’s wife ever appeared in the strip. In fact, Sarge has been a confirmed bachelor with no children ever since. The army is his family.