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.”

Timeline – 1968 Part 4

Beetle Bailey Sunday page color proof, June 30, 1968.

In this episode, General Halftrack becomes increasingly exasperated with Zero’s cluelessness. Mort Walker once described Zero as “an innocent young farm boy as sweet, honest and unsophisticated as an ear of corn.”

The ways in which Zero misinterprets orders or misunderstands common phrases are innumerable.

Timeline – 1967 Part 4

Beetle Bailey Sunday page color proof, December 31, 1967.

In anticipation of the upcoming football season, here is a classic episode in which Sarge gives Beetle and Zero some kicking lessons.

Similar to the page we posted last week, this scenario starts with a plausible set-up. Beetle falls on his head attempting to kick the ball. Zero is determined not to make the same mistake. When he barely lifts his foot off the ground Sarge shows him the right way to do it. Zero then challenges Sarge to see who can lift their leg higher. Sarge, of course, takes the bet and shows his flexibility. But he doesn’t know that Zero is double-jointed.