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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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Timeline – 1967 Part 2

Beetle Bailey Sunday page color proof, June 11, 1967.

Sergeant Orville P. Snorkel and Lieutenant Sonny Fuzz share an office. They have very different personalities. This creates a tense atmosphere that is an ideal set-up for gags. The Sunday page above is a good example of their relationship. It ends with Sarge doing something that can’t be shown in a mainstream newspaper.
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Timeline – 1964 Part 3

Beetle Bailey Sunday page color proof, April 26, 1964.

Sports have always been a rich source of humor in Beetle Bailey. General Halftrack is an avid golfer. Sarge likes to bowl. Beetle and Sarge get in some lively games of ping pong. Team sports have also been spoofed.

This is my all-time favorite baseball gag. Jerry Dumas was a devoted fan of the game, so it was, presumably, written by him.
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