Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Sunday Walker

Sunday Extra.

I am clipping some news strips from NewspaperArchive as I come across this Beetle Bailey daily from October 6 1958. I have said before that I think 1957-1953 are the best year for the whole Walker studio output. This single strip proves to me what a cartooning genius he was (with some help of his co-writer and friend Jerry Dumas).

I corresponded with Brian Walker (who two books on American Comics are a modern must-have) and he mentioned Beetle Bailey might move to a different publisher now that the 'complete Beetle Bailey' hasn't worked out at Checker. The orgional version of that series, published in Scandinavia, has been a major succes. The produced a new volume each six months and went at least until 1964 until they stopped. I implored Brian to go for another complete version and resist the impulse of any publisher to go for 'best of' vvolumes. There are plenty 'best of' pockets and books out there and anyone interested can get them cheaply. The only thing offeing an incentive to buy the books to both old and new readers is the complete version, especially if they are as well presented as the Scandinavian books, with commentary and extra material from the Walker archives. The only problem is to get the into bookstores, something Checker obviously didn't put enough effort into (hard as it is, I know). The only thing they will have to fight the idea that Beetle Bailey (or the comic strip itself even) is 'old hat'. But as the reaction to my frequent postings here of Beetle Bailey and Hi and Lois here can attest, the pure quality of these strips wins everyone over.

Or at least, that's what I say.

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