Timeline – 1999 Part 3

Beetle Bailey Sunday page digital proof, July 25, 1999.

This episode features many of the terms that Mort Walker documented in his 1980 book, The Lexcion of Comicana.  Here is the cover, showing some of the same devices that appear in the middle panel.

In the early 1930s, a humorist named Charles Rice attached labels to certain cartoon phenomena.  He called sweat drops “plewds” and the dust clouds behind a running person “briffits.”  This inspired Mort to do some further research and in 1964 he produced an article for the National Cartoonists Society magazine titled, “Let’s Get Down to Grawlixes.”  It was a tongue in cheek spoof of the plethora of “comicana” found in most comic strips.
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Timeline – 1999 Part 2

Beetle Bailey Sunday page digital proof, July 4, 1999.

Miss Buxley was introduced in the strip in 1971 as General Halftrack’s secretary.  Having a pretty girl in the office got the old man’s motor running.  She was the object of his overactive imagination.

Readers liked her at first but eventually the criticism mounted.  Mort was accused of sexism and was put on the defensive.
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Timeline – 1999 Part 1

Beetle Bailey Sunday page digital proof, March 7, 1999.

No one really knows when Sarge’s birthday is.  Or how old he is.   There are ten candles on the cake in the Sunday page above, so that is no clue to his age.  In comic strips it’s best not to be too specific about these things.  Better to be flexible so a gag like this can be used whenever it is written.
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