Mort Walker, author and artist of the well-known comic strip “Beetle Bailey,” passed away Saturday at his home in Stanford, Connecticut. He was 94. According to his family, the cause of death was old age.
Though he produced more than a half-dozen comic strips in his lifetime, such as “Boner’s Ark,” “Sam & Silo,” and “Hi and Lois,” his most popular comic strip was undoubtedly “Beetle Bailey.”
The comic featured a gang of soldiers at Camp Swampy, led by the hot-tempered sergeant of which the comic is named. Initially, it wasn’t that popular. But over time, fans took to the comic, identifying with Beetle’s indolence and reluctance to follow authority, according to Fox News.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Walker explained why he thought fans responded to “Beetle Bailey.”
“Most people are sort of against authority,” he said. “Here’s Beetle always challenging authority. I think people relate to it.”
Inspiration for the comic came after Walker was drafted into the United States Army in 1943, to serve in Europe during World War II. Before his enlistment, he had tried to make it as a cartoonist in New York after publishing cartoons at the age of 11.
The first strip of “Beetle Bailey” was released in the late 1940s by the Saturday Evening Post. Walker would go on to produce the comic strip for almost 70 years.
Some of the controversies surrounding it involved feminist groups accusing the cartoon of playing up to sexual harassment issues, noting how Walker’s character General Amos Halftrack tended to ogle at his well-endowed secretary, Miss Buxley. Walker’s response was by sending Halftrack to sensitivity training.
Walker was born Addison Morton Walker on September 3, 1923, in Kansas. He is survived by his sons Greg and Brian, second wife Catherine, daughters Polly and Margie, sons Neal and Roger, stepdaughters Whitney and Priscilla, and several grandchildren.
Please pray for the family during this difficult time of loss. In recent news, Marco Rubio made an announcement after his Chief of Staff was accused of improper conduct.