This four-panel ode to suburbia might appear simple, but it still has a rich history involving a beef with The Flintstones , broken noses, and one very important candy bar wrapper. Beetle Bailey creator Mort Walker had been drawing that military-themed strip for four years when a friend of his named Lew Schwartz approached him in with a new idea: Why not create a strip about a nuclear family? Around the same time, the Korean War was ending, and Walker had sent Beetle home on furlough to visit his sister, Lois. Drawing a line between the two, Walker decided to pursue the suburbia idea using Lois as connective tissue.
Until his death, earlier today, Walker held a singular distinction in the world of comic art: Assisted by two of his sons, Greg and Brian Walker, Mort was the longest-serving original creator of a comic strip still being published. For 68 years straight, he worked in the world of Beetle Bailey , capturing the day-in, day-out troubles of Camp Swampy and its seemingly endless series of bloodless military exercises, brawls, and endless complaints about army food. A military veteran himself, Walker drew on his own experiences when he transformed the hero of his college-set comic strip, Spider , into Private Beetle Bailey, eternal slacker archetype.
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