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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 3

Beetle Bailey Sunday page color proof, June 28, 1970.

In the Best of Beetle Bailey, Mort Walker remembered his time in the army. “Little did I know when I was drafted in 1942 that I was going to get almost four years of free research. I had no idea or ambition at that time to do an army comic strip but I was constantly sketching and trying to capture the humor that was so prevalent in army life.”
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Timeline – 1970 Part 1

Beetle Bailey Sunday page color proof, May 24, 1970.

In the 1984 book The Best of Beetle Bailey, Mort Walker explained one of the major themes in the strip.

Beetle Bailey has been studied by sociologists for the way authority is represented. Americans feel that authority should be questioned, not blindly followed, and people in authority in this country accept this resistance as an inalienable right. In Europe and many Asian countries, the class system and regal sovereignty are so deeply ingrained many citizens never question an order. In Italy there is a soldier comic strip where the private always ends up in jail for things that Beetle does routinely. Beetle and Sarge play the game, Sarge doing his job imposing authority and Beetle doing his resisting it.”
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