Beetle’s Hitch is Up

By Jeremy Meltingtallow

Beetle Bailey Sunday page color proof, April 7, 1957. Beetle Bailey Sunday page color proof, April 7, 1957.

When this classic Sunday page was published in 1957, Beetle Bailey had been in the Army for six years, not three years as he claimed in the second panel. It would not be the last time he contemplated quitting the service.

The fond memories that Killer recollects provide a visual montage of the type of physical abuse and humiliation Sarge has been subjected to over the years. Slapstick humor has always been an important element of the strip. So has the relationship between Beetle and Sarge. Although they are antagonists, they are also friends. Sarge’s life would be incomplete without Beetle to boss around and Beetle occasionally gets sentimental about all the great times he has had with Sarge.

Some of the best Beetle Bailey Sunday pages feature flashback sequences like this one. Stay tooned for more historic examples from our archives. I would like to thank Bill Janocha for scanning and restoring the color proofs we have featured in the last month.

– Brian Walker