July 25th, 2015

The First Sunday

by Mort Walker

This is the first Beetle Bailey Sunday page, which was published on September 14, 1952.

Beetle Bailey Sunday page, color proof, September 14, 1952. Beetle Bailey Sunday page, color proof, September 14, 1952.

Mort Walker was excited about this new development. “Now I had a chance to ‘embellish’ my drawings,” he recalled in an interview. “I put in an incredible amount of work into drawing uniforms, military vehicles, buildings, etc. Everything needed to look real and true to life.”

“The reward was to see my Sunday page in the papers, with fine colors and in a large format,” he continued. “What a time it was.”

“If you look at the balloons in the old Sunday pages, you’ll see lots of text,” Mort explained. “Words. Words. Words. But people had time to read in those days, life wasn’t so hectic. The media did not have so much to offer as nowadays.”

Today, most Sunday pages are published in a smaller formant in the newspapers. This obviously hampers a cartoonist’s playfulness and artistic ambitions.

– Brian Walker

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