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Timeline – 1968 Part 3

Beetle Bailey Sunday page color proof, June 11, 1968.

Jerry Dumas began working as Mort Walker’s assistant in 1956. He described their daily routine at Mort’s home studio during the 1960s in a 2010 interview.

“Mort was always very easy to be with. It didn’t make any difference if I showed up at 9:30 or 10 or 10:15. He would always be there at 8:30 in the morning, quit promptly at 5 o’clock – business hours – and I was free to come and go more or less as I pleased, as long as the work got done and the work always got done.”
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Timeline – 1967 Part 4

Beetle Bailey Sunday page color proof, December 31, 1967.

In anticipation of the upcoming football season, here is a classic episode in which Sarge gives Beetle and Zero some kicking lessons.

Similar to the page we posted last week, this scenario starts with a plausible set-up. Beetle falls on his head attempting to kick the ball. Zero is determined not to make the same mistake. When he barely lifts his foot off the ground Sarge shows him the right way to do it. Zero then challenges Sarge to see who can lift their leg higher. Sarge, of course, takes the bet and shows his flexibility. But he doesn’t know that Zero is double-jointed.
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Timeline – 1967 Part 3

Beetle Bailey Sunday page color proof, September 17, 1967.

The question that readers most often ask cartoonists is, “where do you get your ideas?” There is no easy answer.

Jerry Dumas, longtime gag writer for Beetle Bailey, described his process for an article in 1984. “So we each sit in our homes, studying blank sheets of paper. We keep trying to think of a combination of words and pictures nobody has ever done before. We try to think of a ridiculous, preposterous picture, an absurd situation, something that would be the direct result of a character’s previous action. But the first two panels must be believable. If it sounds or looks contrived, the reader will not believe the conclusion, and the gag will be second rate.”
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