September 16th, 2017
by Mort Walker
Beetle Bailey Sunday page color proof, June 11, 1968.
Jerry Dumas began working as Mort Walker’s assistant in 1956. He described their daily routine at Mort’s home studio during the 1960s in a 2010 interview.
“Mort was always very easy to be with. It didn’t make any difference if I showed up at 9:30 or 10 or 10:15. He would always be there at 8:30 in the morning, quit promptly at 5 o’clock – business hours – and I was free to come and go more or less as I pleased, as long as the work got done and the work always got done.”
“We’d go down to the kitchen at the same time every day and have almost the same lunch – a bologna sandwich with mayonnaise, a cup of tea or instant coffee, two Oreo cookies and an apple. Then we’d go down in the basement and play 4, 5, or even 6 games of ping-pong. Mort was really good and I was really good. We had some torrid games and I would sweat like a mad man. I can remember spraying my whole side of the table with perspiration. My shirt would be soaking wet and that’s when I began bringing an extra shirt to Mort’s house. We would play ping-pong in the basement every day and go back up to the studio and work until 5 o’clock.”
Beetle Bailey Sunday page color proof, June 28, 1964.
The two Sunday pages shown here were done during this period and reveal the intimate appreciation the Beetle Bailey creators had for the game of ping-pong.
Come back next week for the final installment from 1968 in our Timeline series.
– Brian Walker
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