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Timeline – 1973 Part 2

Beetle Bailey Sunday page color proof, April 29, 1973.

In his 1975 autobiography, Backstage at the Strips, Mort Walker shared some insights about the different methods he used for generating Beetle Bailey gags. Here are some quotes from the book on this subject.

“Over the years I’ve devised many ways of developing gags. The most obvious way is simply sketching funny pictures and putting words around them.”
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Timeline – 1973 Part 1

Beetle Bailey Sunday page color proof, April 8, 1973.

The Sunday page above is one of my all-time favorites.

Sergeant Orville P. Snorkel was inspired by Sergeant Octavian Savou (below), a tough-as-nails authoritarian Mort Walker encountered in basic training after he enlisted in the Army in 1942. Savou would yell and scream at his men without mercy. One night Mort and all his buddies had the night off and went into town. When they returned to the barracks, they found notes with poems written on them pinned to their pillows. They were all addressed to “my boys” from Sgt. Savou.
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A Tribute to Mort Walker

Tribute by Eric Reaves.

We would like to thank all of our readers for the many tributes and condolences we received after our fearless leader, Mort Walker, passed away on January 27. A famous cartoonist once said, “If you want to truly know me, read my comic strip every day.” In 67 years, 3 months and 12 days, Mort created 24,562 Beetle Bailey strips. His philosophy of life is contained in these panels. Perhaps the best way to remember him is to pick up one of his books (or scroll through the digital archive found here) and chuckle along with some of his favorite gags. It’s all there, for everyone to enjoy.  Forever.

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