Beetle is Banned!


On January 7, 1954, the Far East edition of the GI newspaper, Stars and Stripes, dropped Beetle Bailey. “Probably the best favor the army did for me since discharging me, was banning me from Stars and Stripes,” Mort Walker claimed in an interview. “It became a tempest in a teapot and the ensuing publicity rocketed Beetle’s circulation another hundred papers overnight.”

Early Characters – Part 2

It takes a while for a comic strip character to fully develop. Like a new friend, readers need to get to know him. The character’s shape has to be worked out so it is recognizable from all angles, even in silhouette. The creator has to decide what the character can or can’t do to keep him consistent. He slowly grows before the readers’ eyes until one day, BINGO!

Early Characters – Part 1

In a 1984 interview, Mort Walker reminisced about the early days of Beetle Bailey. “In the creation of a strip you’re not sure what the public will like. So you try something and, if it doesn’t work, you try something else. I’m always experimenting with layout, gag styles and art techniques. But mostly, I experiment with new characters.”