Beetle Bailey Sunday page color proof, March 20, 1960
In the episode above, Beetle and his buddies are contemplating clever names for the new decade. Most of the gang is here, including Cosmo, Killer, Zero and Sarge, as well as a few generic G.I.s.
The only one of these suggestions that proved to be prophetic was “The Swinging Sixties,” but that term didn’t come into common use until the middle of the decade when “Swinging London” became the center for fashion and rock music.
Fetal Bailey by Stan Drake, 1961.
Mort Walker served as the president of The National Cartoonists Society from 1959 to 1960. During this time, he also edited the organization’s newsletter, The Cartoonist. He asked some of his cartoonist friends in Connecticut to contribute material to the publication and they came up with a series of spoofs showing famous features drawn by other artists.
Beetle Bailey Sunday page, black-and-white proof, February 9, 1992.
Over the course of the last four decades, Sarge continued to have nighttime fantasies, often induced by overeating, but by the early 1970s, these episodes became less regular. Mort felt that he had milked this formula for every idea he could think of. With a strip that has been around as long as Beetle Bailey – 66 years and counting – there is always the opportunity to revisit classic themes.