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Sarge Dreams #2

Beetle Bailey Sunday page color proof, November 28, 1965.

Beetle Bailey Sunday page color proof, November 28, 1965.

The second Beetle Bailey Sunday page that featured a dream sequence was done twenty-one months after the first one (see previous post). This episode featured a parody of the opening narration of the 1941 Fleischer Studio cartoon: “Up in the sky, look – It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s Superman!” These lines were also used in The Adventures of Superman television program that ran from 1952 to 1958. Superman’s familiar “S” logo appears on Sarge’s Union Suit and his alter ego, Clark Kent, is referenced. In a clever twist on the formula used in subsequent pages, it turns out in the end that Beetle was the one who was doing the dreaming.
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Sarge Dreams #1

Beetle Bailey Sunday page, February 9, 1964.

Beetle Bailey Sunday page, February 9, 1964.

In 1964, Mort Walker and Jerry Dumas came up with a new character dimension for Sergeant Snorkel. Readers were now able to share his vivid dreams and fantasies.

In the Sunday page above he transforms into “Sarge!” a superhero with abilities far beyond the powers of mortal men. In the end, it turns out Sarge is just having a dream triggered by the comic books and pizza he consumed before going to sleep.
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Beetle Bailey Sales – 1970

1970 BB Ad

In the previous ten posts, beginning on May 6, 2016, we traced how Beetle Bailey rose in circulation from 200 newspapers in 1953 to 1100 clients in 1968. The advertisement above, from 1970, completes this amazing story.

“What makes a successful comic strip?” Rube Goldberg once asked. “Don’t try to analyze it, it’s pure magic,” he answered.
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