Every Memorial Day, we remember the sacrifices of those who have lost their lives in service of the United States of America.
Here at King Features, we have a number of cartoonists who have served in the Armed Forces, but perhaps none is better known than Mort Walker, the creator of Beetle Bailey.
Beetle Bailey chronicles the day-to-day life of the world's laziest soldier, the eponymous Beetle, who would much rather stay in bed than train. He's accompanied by his hapless Sergeant Snorkel, and a huge cast of characters, from his fellow soldiers, to the pencil-pushing, golf-loving General Halftrack, to Beetle's sometime-girlfriend, Miss Buxley, a pinup-pretty young secretary who likes Beetle just about as much as she dislikes rebuffing the advances of the less-classy men on base.
Our much-beloved Beetle was originally created as a ne'er-do-well college boy who spent much of his time shirking schoolwork and living off his roommates, until one fateful day when Mort decided to have Beetle sign up for the Army. What was meant to be a short-term gag changed the course of Beetle's life-- and comics history, and Beetle has stayed at Camp Swampy ever since.
At 93, Mort Walker still creates Beetle Bailey every day!
We love Beetle Bailey for being a long-running comic that hasn't lost its edge. Beetle still often tackles current issues facing men and women in the service and Mort has done his best to keep up to date on such matters over the years, whether we're discussing the racial integration of the military several decades ago, workplace harassment, or funding and support for our troops. Through everything that has happened since Beetle's inception, Beetle remains charming and endearing, with imperfect characters you can't help but love in spite of themselves.
You can read Beetle Bailey every day here on Comics Kingdom
Or check out the official Beetle Bailey website, where you can also read great comics history by Brian Walker.
Like Beetle and his friends on Facebook.