Beetle Bailey – a comic strip that begun on September 4, 1950, about sixty years ago, and which is still drawn by its creator Mort Walker, has been one of the most popular comic strips that this world has ever seen.
The Protagonist: Private Beetle Bailey
Once upon a time, Beetle was a college student, but after only about six months of the strip’s beginning, he left college to enlist in the US Army, and became their most famous and longest serving Private ever. Ever since he joined the army, Beetle Bailey has remained there – never growing, neither in position nor in age. Private Beetle Bailey is the laziest man at Camp Swampy, and for this reason his boss Sergeant Snorkel is never pleased with him. Beetle isn’t just lazy, he also suffers from bouts of insubordination. You can’t ever see Beetle’s eyes because they are always hidden under his cap or hat, whichever the case may be.
He’s been dreaming of getting out of the army for the last sixty years, but he has been unsuccessful so far.
Remember the paunchy sergeant (Sarge) who wears a very wrinkled Garrison Hat, and who generally just can’t stand Beetel Bailey, but once in a while, exhibits maudlin behavior towards him. He loves his dog Otto, and he loves the army. Obviously he fails to establish an emotional connect with Beetle who dreams of leaving the army.
Other Important Characters in the Beetle Bailey Comic Strip:
1. Otto – Snorkel’s army uniform clad bull-dog, who walks on his hinds (well, he does! When he was introduced he walked the four-legged walk, but then he decided to be upright in all matters, including his posture.) He wears the army uniform (thus, looks like a miniature of Sarge) and he too doesn’t like Beetle.
2. General Halftrack – The old, mustached, alcoholic camp commander, who can often be seen with a golf-stick. Halftrack tracks only half the things (for instance, Miss Buxley) and leaves the other half untracked (for instance, his wife Martha).
3. Miss Buxley - The name tells you what she must look like. Yes. She’s the buxom beauty who is Halftracks Personal Assistant…and half the population of Camp Swampy is swamped by her charms.
4.Private Blips (not Bips, my dear Indian readers,) – Well…she’s Halftrack’s military secretary, who obviously doesn’t like the looks of Miss Buxley (Blips’ antithesis). While Buxley is pretty and voluptuous, Blips is thin and…well you know what; while Buxley can’t do anything right, Blips is downright accurate and efficient! To make a long story short, they are like oil and water…and they don’t mix.
New Tech-tech Characters in Mort Walker’s Beetle Bailey Comics:
Gizmo: The guy who helps the Commander with all the techy stuff. His name was selected after a contest (from 84, 725 entries – WOW!)
Read about all the characters in the Beetle Bailey comic strip here.
The Creator of Beetle Bailey – Mort Walker:
Mort Walker’s Biography
Here’s a quick Biographical sketch of this prolific cartoonist.
Mort Walker was born in 1923, in Kansas. He published his first comic when he was 11! (Whew!) By the time he was 18, he had become the Chief Editorial Designer for Hallmark Cards. He spent his early twenties in the army and returned to graduate from the University of Missouri.He then tried for a job of a Cartoonist in NY but he got his break only after facing the rejection of about 200 cartoons (whew…again!) Then he found Beetle Bailey…and rest as they say is history.
Mort Walker’s family corporation Comicana owns Beetle Bailey, Hi and Lois and 7 other comic strips.
“Beetle Bailey” is syndicated to 1,800 newspapers, in more than 50 countries, with a readership of more than 200 Million. Read more about Beetle Bailey and Mort Walker here.