Beetle Bailey Sunday page color proof, June 19, 1960.
The spectacular Sunday page above provides an aerial view of Camp Swampy and the surrounding countryside as well as a colorful description of the “permanent disaster area.” It also features a full-cast line up in the drop panel.
Camp Swampy was inspired by Camp Crowder in Missouri, an antique relic from WWI where Mort Walker trained in 1941.
The circulation of Beetle Bailey had rocketed past 800 newspapers by 1961, when the brochure above was produced. King Features Syndicate claimed that only Chic Young’s Blondie had more clients.
The biographical profile on the left recounted how Mort Walker had his first cartoon published when he was 11 years old, began selling cartoons nationally by the age of 14, had his own comic strip in the Kansas City Journal at 15, and became a designer for Hallmark Greeting Card Company when he was 18. After serving in the army during World War II, Mort attended the University of Missouri. He then came to New York City and was a top-selling magazine gag cartoonist before creating Beetle Bailey for King Features in 1950.