Goodbye to Beetle Bailey Creator Mort Walker

The cartoon Beetle Bailey got its start at The Saturday Evening Post.

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We were saddened today to read of the passing this weekend of Mort Walker, the creator of Beetle Bailey and Hi and Lois, among other comic strips.

An early Mort Walker cartoon featuring Spider, the progenitor of Beetle Bailey. Copyright Mort Walker.

You can’t really say Mort Walker got his start at The Saturday Evening Post. After all, by the time he submitted his first cartoon to the Post, he had already sold cartoons to multiple magazines (his first at age 12), worked at Hallmark as chief editorial designer, and served as an intelligence officer in the Army during World War II.

But the progenitor of Beetle Bailey did made his first appearance in the Post. An editor here—John Bailey—encouraged Walker to create the lazy college student “Spider,” who eventually morphed into Beetle Bailey. The cartoon was eventually syndicated to 1,800 newspapers in more than 50 countries.

We are honored to have been even a small part of Mort Walker’s long and funny career.

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