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Timeline – 1971 Part 3

Beetle Bailey Sunday page color proof, February 7, 1971.

The Sunday page above stars Rocky, who is the editor of the Camp Swampy News. As a muckraking journalist, he uses his columns to take pot shots at General Halftrack.

When Rocky first appeared in the strip, around 1958, he was a former thug from a street gang, inspired by the movie roles of James Dean and Marlon Brando. Here’s an early example.
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Timeline – 1971 Part 1

Beetle Bailey Sunday page color proof, February 28, 1971.

In The Best of Beetle Bailey, Mort Walker recounted the origin of Lt. Flap. “Many people had urged me for years to put a black character in the strip. The trouble was, if I made him a lazy goof-off like the regular cast I’d get complaints. Finally I thought of creating a macho type who liked wild clothes and Lt. Flap was born.” Walt “Clyde” Frazier of the New York Knicks basketball team has often by cited as a source of inspiration.
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Timeline – 1968 Part 4

Beetle Bailey Sunday page color proof, June 30, 1968.

In this episode, General Halftrack becomes increasingly exasperated with Zero’s cluelessness. Mort Walker once described Zero as “an innocent young farm boy as sweet, honest and unsophisticated as an ear of corn.”

The ways in which Zero misinterprets orders or misunderstands common phrases are innumerable.
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