Beetle Bailey Sales – March 1956

By Jeremy Meltingtallow

In March 1956, The American Legion Magazine did an in-depth profile of Mort Walker. King Features Syndicate reprinted the entire article and sent it to all of its newspaper clients (brochure shown above).

At this time Mort was earning an estimated $100,000 for Beetle Bailey and Hi and Lois. Beetle was distributed to 400 clients with an estimated daily readership of 20 million. Hi and Lois, which began in 1954, was in 100 newspapers.

Mort won the Billy DeBeck Award for “outstanding cartoonist of the year” from the National Cartoonists Society in 1953. The prestigious Banshees luncheon club in New York City presented him with the Silver Lady for “outstanding newspaper cartoonist of 1955.”

In the five years since the debut of Beetle Bailey, Mort Walker was a certified success and the circulation of his strips would continue to climb throughout the decade.

– Brian Walker