Timeline – 2006 Part 2

Beetle Bailey Sunday page digital proof, June 18, 2006.

Mickey Mouse, Garfield, Dilbert, Trixie from Hi and Lois, Hagar, Dagwood from Blondie and Jeremy from Zits are the “gag masks” in the Sunday page above.

Cartoonists love to sneak other characters into their strips

In 1961, Mort Walker and Jerry Dumas launched Sam’s Strip. The premise of this offbeat creation was that Sam, with the help of his cartoonist assistant, ran and operated the comic strip they inhabited.  Mort and Jerry took the inside joke to a new level, playing with the basic elements of the cartoon form, experimenting with different art styles, and featuring characters from other strips.

Timeline – 1975 Part 4

Beetle Bailey Sunday page color proof, December 21, 1975

Mort Walker and Jerry Dumas had a long-running debate. Mort would urge his staff to write gags with “more funny pictures!”  Jerry would respond by expressing his preference for “more funny words.” The best cartoons perfectly blend graphics and text, so both cartoonists had a valid point.

Timeline – 1975 Part 1

Beetle Bailey Sunday page color proof, April 20, 1975.

Beetle Bailey has one of the largest casts of any newspaper comic strip.  The Sunday page above features eight distinctive personalities.

In the 1960s, the lineup included:  Beetle, Sarge, General Halftrack, Zero, Killer, Cookie, Captain Scabbard, Lieutenant Fuzz, Major Greenbrass, Chaplain Staneglass, Rocky, Cosmo, Julius, Otto, Plato, Pop, Miss Blips, Martha, Roz, Doc, Mom, Gurney and Chigger Bailey and Bunny, Sue and Peter Piper.  Doctor Bonkus, Lieutenant Flap, Miss Buxley, Sergeant Lugg, Corporal Yo and Chip Gizmo were added in subsequent years.