Sunday, January 28, 2018

RIP: Beetle Bailey Cartoonist Mort Walker

Bill Morrison, president of the National Cartoonists Society, has confirmed that "Beetle Bailey" comic strip writer and artist, Mort Walker died Jan. 27 at his home in Stamford, Conn from pneumonia. He was 94.

In 1949, Mr. Walker married the former Jean Suffill, with whom he had seven children. The marriage ended in divorce. In 1985, he married Catherine Carty. Besides his wife, survivors include his children and three stepchildren. A complete list of survivors was not immediately available.

Debuting in 1950, "Beetle Bailey" follows the exploits of a lazy G.I. and his inept cohorts at the dysfunctional Camp Swampy. The strip, distributed by King Features Syndicate, eventually reached 200  million readers in 1,800 newspapers in more than 50 countries.

"Beetle Bailey" was among the first cartoons to mark a shift in the comic pages from the serial strips of the previous decade to the graphically simpler gag-a-day model that predominates today.

In 1954, Mr. Walker wrote another hit cartoon, the widely syndicated family strip “Hi and Lois,” originally illustrated by Dik Browne, the creator of "H├Ągar the Horrible."

His sons, Brian and Greg, who have written "Hi and Lois" since the 1980s and have assisted Mr. Walker with Beetle gags and inking since the 1970s, will continue to produce "Beetle Bailey."

Read Mort Walker's entire obituary at the Washington Post.

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