Timeline – 1972 Part 1

Beetle Bailey Sunday page color proof, June 4, 1972.

Comics historian and critic R.C. Harvey has written an excellent assessment of the Mort Walker studio style. The following is an excerpt from his definitive book, The Art of the Funnies, first published in 1994.

“By the late fifties and early sixties,” Harvey begins, “Walker’s patented stylized forms had emerged. Not since Cliff Sterrett surrealized human anatomy in the futuristic manner have we had such charming comic abstractions of the human form. The simplest shapes suggest human dimensions. Beetle’s head is a cantaloupe; Sarge’s, a giant pear. Upon these pulpy craniums, Walker’s grafts billiard balls for noses. Bodies in repose hang limply from these heads like uninhabited suits of clothes weighted to the ground by monster shoes (not feet), and hands are doughy wads, dangling at the ends of empty sleeves. Clothing shows no wrinkles: sleeves and pantlegs are simple geometric shapes vaguely approximating arms and legs.”
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Timeline – 1971 Part 1

Beetle Bailey Sunday page color proof, February 28, 1971.

In The Best of Beetle Bailey, Mort Walker recounted the origin of Lt. Flap. “Many people had urged me for years to put a black character in the strip. The trouble was, if I made him a lazy goof-off like the regular cast I’d get complaints. Finally I thought of creating a macho type who liked wild clothes and Lt. Flap was born.” Walt “Clyde” Frazier of the New York Knicks basketball team has often by cited as a source of inspiration.
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Timeline – 1970 Part 4

Beetle Bailey Sunday page color proof, August 9, 1970.

From 1964 to 1974 Sergeant Snorkel had seventeen fantastic dreams that were featured in a series of Sunday pages. Most of these episodes involved Sarge falling asleep after eating too much pizza and having fantasies about being a superhero, playing professional sports, traveling back in time or other similar scenarios.
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