Beetle Bailey comic strip creator, Mort Walker, dies aged 94

Published: Jan 28, 2018, 11:59 IST | Reuters

Mort Walker, the artist and creator of the decades-long running comic strip "Beetle Bailey" about the antics of a work-shirking Army private, died at his home Saturday, his family said. He was 94

Mort walker dies
US Secretary of State Colin Powell stands with Mort Walker, creator of the widely-circulated "Beetle Bailey" comic strip

Mort Walker, the artist and creator of the decades-long running comic strip "Beetle Bailey" about the antics of a work-shirking Army private, died at his home Saturday, his family said. He was 94. His son Greg Walker, who co-wrote the strip with his father in his later years, said his dad died at his home in Stamford, Connecticut, of pneumonia while recovering from a broken hip. Mort Walker drew his daily award-winning comic strip for 68 years, longer than any other comic strip artist, his son said.

"He was drawing up to the end," Greg Walker said. "He holds the record. I don't think anyone will beat him." His strip debuted in 1950 with Beetle as a college student, but Mort Walker had Beetle enlist in the Army in the first year of the cartoon and it was a hit. Picked up by King Features Syndicate, it went from a 12-newspaper run to eventually reaching 200 million readers in 1,800 newspapers worldwide, King Features' website says. The lanky slacker Pvt. Beetle, along with his foils Sgt. Snorkle and Gen. Halftrack, inhabit the fictional Camp Swampy inspired loosely on Mort Walker's experience of Army life in World War II.

But Beetle and his friends never saw battle in the strip and he seemed to be in perpetual training. They have been featured in a television cartoon series, games, books and postage stamps. Greg Walker said his father, along with "Peanuts" and Charlie Brown creator Charles Schultz, pioneered the gag-a-day format of comic strips, breaking form the serial story lines of the day. "Serial strips were dominant and this was something new," he said.

"It's now the standard." Mort Walker was also a co-creator of the long-running strip "Hi and Lois" about a suburban American family, which continues today, written and drawn by his sons Greg and Brian Walker and also artist Chance Browne. Greg Walker said that Beetle and his friends will go on in the funny pages as a legacy to his father. "He certainly was an icon, the last cartoonist of the golden age of comic strips," he said on his Facebook page.

Catch up on all the latest Mumbai news, current affairs from Mumbai, local news, crime news and breaking headlines here

Download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get updates on all the latest and trending stories on the go

The content/reporting displayed on our website is provided "AS-IS," "AS AVAILABLE, by us from third party, agencies, sources, without any verification from our side. It may contain error, bugs and other limitations. The reader's can rely on the content at their own will. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability, data, text, images, video, messages, or any other material whatsoever or for any claims/loss/action that the reader may suffer as a result of relying on the content on our site. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever.

Trending Video

Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from


What will happen once Chandrayaan 2 lands on the moon?

This website uses cookie or similar technologies, to enhance your browsing experience and provide personalised recommendations. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. OK