Otto – Part Three

Beetle Bailey Sunday page color proof, September 20, 1959.

Beetle Bailey Sunday page color proof, September 20, 1959.

In this vintage Sunday page from 1959, Sarge’s dog Otto has a starring role. Mort Walker loves to feature visual humor in Beetle Bailey and Otto’s determined car chasing provides some great action scenes. Otto was still wearing a basic dog shirt with sergeant stripes at this point in his development.
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Two Survivors

In addition to characters in Beetle Bailey that were dropped after they failed to generate consistent gag ideas (see previous post), there have been other cast members that survived but only appear rarely in the strip today.

Cosmo

COSMO

Beetle Bailey daily strip, September 28, 1956.

Beetle Bailey daily strip, September 28, 1956.

COSMO (above). This character was inspired by the role that actor William Holden played in the 1953 movie Stalag 17. He was such an operator he could get his hands on anything, even in a prison camp. Cosmo is also similar to the World War II profiteer Milo Minderbender in Joseph Heller’s 1961 novel Catch-22. Cosmo continues to set up shop in the barracks and beat his buddies at poker.
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Three Characters Who Bit the Dust

Beetle Bailey daily strip, January 24, 1958.

Beetle Bailey daily strip, January 24, 1958.

In the 1984 book, The Best of Beetle Bailey, Mort Walker wrote, “I used to create a new character every year, it helped stimulate new interest and gave me fresh material for gags. Most of my gags are built on the interplay and conflict between characters. It began to get confusing with too many characters so I dropped the ones who failed to develop a big following.” Shown here are three characters that are no longer in the strip.
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