Monday, April 21, 2008

Old Bailey

My statement that the new Checker book may only reprint the first year of Beetle Bailey may be wrong. I looked up the announcement on their website and it reads: "From the very first Beetle Bailey strips on a college campus through Beetle's enlistment in the U.S. Army, this volume contains the first two years of Mort Walker's famous strips, encompassing September 1950 through June 1952. Enjoy two separate casts of quirky characters, the first based on Mort Walker's fraternity brothers at the University of Missouri and the second on his Korean era stint in the Army. These are the strips that won him the Ruben Award in 1953. Beetle Bailey went on to become the third most widely distributed comic strip of all time. Introduction with comments by Mort Walker himself! 200 pages, 10 3/8" x 8 3/8" landscape, hardcover. B/W & color illustrations throughout." The cover depicted there, is also different from the one on Amazon. This one looks a little bit better, so let's hope it is a later version rather than an earlier one.

The announcement itself is a step down from a previous press release: "Checker Book Publishing Group brings the latest collection of old comic strips to remind us that some of the stalest funnies of today actually used to be really good. The book will feature the Beetle Bailey daily and Sunday comic strips, syndicated by King Features, which were published between when the comic strip first appeared in September of 1950 and December 1952." Notice that in this case it is specified that the sundays are included (as they are on the cover of the Scandinavian version, which I noticed on second glance). The sample pages they show on their website ( include an introduction with color illustrations - but no sundays."

Anyway, here are some more randomly scanned Beetle Bailey sundays from the first two decades. Along with an early drawing for a fan by Mort Walker I found on e-bay.

A two-tier sample from june 22, 1958.

An almost perfect three tier sunday from nov. 6, 1964.

A bit more bland and definitively dated sample from june 5, 1965.

A late but still impressive sample from jan 23, 1968.

1 comment:

Dan Thompson said...

WOW! Those are great examples of Classic Beetle Bailey Sundays! Thanks for sharing!