September 12th, 2015

Early Characters – Part 1

by Mort Walker

In a 1984 interview, Mort Walker reminisced about the early days of Beetle Bailey. “In the creation of a strip you’re not sure what the public will like. So you try something and, if it doesn’t work, you try something else. I’m always experimenting with layout, gag styles and art techniques. But mostly, I experiment with new characters.”

Here is a sampling of some early characters Mort introduced that eventually got the hook.

Beetle Bailey daily strip, March 26, 1951. Beetle Bailey daily strip, March 26, 1951.

Canteen was always eating and Snake Eyes was the barracks gambler.

Beetle Bailey daily strip, October 6, 1951. Beetle Bailey daily strip, October 6, 1951.

Big Blush was tall, innocent and a great attraction to the girls.

Beetle Bailey daily strip, August 29, 1951. Beetle Bailey daily strip, August 29, 1951.

Fireball was a neophyte who always seemed to be in the way.

Beetle Bailey daily strip, May 14, 1951. Beetle Bailey daily strip, May 14, 1951.

Bammy was a southern patriot who thought the Civil War was still being fought.

Beetle Bailey daily strip, September 19, 1951. Beetle Bailey daily strip, September 19, 1951.

Dawg was the barracks slob.

In the next post we will show some early versions of characters who stuck around.

– Brian Walker

Get

Premium

Access.

Unlock 250,000+ comics.

Terms apply. Converts to Continuous Service Subscription. Cancel Anytime.

Get Premium Access.

Unlock 250,000+ comics.

GET 1 WEEK FREE

Terms Apply. Converts to Continuous Service Subscription. Cancel Anytime.