Timeline – 1966 Part 3

Beetle Bailey Sunday page color proof, July 21, 1966.

In this classic Sunday page, Beetle delivers a message the old fashioned way – by hand. As the low man on the totem pole at Camp Swampy he frequently has to be a go-between for the higher-ups. He rarely gets any respect even when he does his job beyond the call of duty.

Timeline – 1966 Part 1

Beetle Bailey Sunday page color proof, April 10, 1966.

During the 1950s and 60s, Mort Walker tried to introduce a new character every year to help create additional sources of gag material. “Most of my gags are built on the interplay and conflict between characters,” he explained in a 1984 interview. “It began to get confusing with too many characters so I dropped the ones who failed to develop a following.” Among these short-lived players were Ozone, who was dumber than Zero, Moocher, a guy who was always borrowing things and Pop, a married man who was henpecked by his wife after being bossed around by Sarge during the day. They all got the hook.

Timeline – 1965 Part 4

Beetle Bailey Sunday page color proof, October 31, 1965.

Sylvan Byck, the comics editor of King Features Syndicate, once told Mort Walker, “Have your character get hit over the head at least once a week.” Mort has never forgotten these words of wisdom. He regularly puts his characters in physical peril by pummeling them with custard pies, meatballs, swift kicks and flying fists. Beetle frequently finds himself shattered in pieces on the ground and Sarge is always falling off precipitous cliffs. Fortunately, none of the characters ever gets permanently injured as they inevitably manage to bounce back for another day of punishment.