Timeline – 1968 Part 3

Beetle Bailey Sunday page color proof, June 11, 1968.

Jerry Dumas began working as Mort Walker’s assistant in 1956. He described their daily routine at Mort’s home studio during the 1960s in a 2010 interview.

“Mort was always very easy to be with. It didn’t make any difference if I showed up at 9:30 or 10 or 10:15. He would always be there at 8:30 in the morning, quit promptly at 5 o’clock – business hours – and I was free to come and go more or less as I pleased, as long as the work got done and the work always got done.”

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.”

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.