by Mort Walker
Beetle Bailey Sunday page digital proof, July 28, 2002. The Sunday page above features a character that was first introduced in 2002.  At that time, the Beetle Bailey creative team decided that Camp Swampy needed a technology officer. On May 6 (below) a new face appeared on Mort Walker’s drawing board and readers were invited to send in names for the cyberwhiz.  More than 84,000 submissions were received.On June 25, Mort Walker and Secretary of State Colin Powell announced the winners – four IT managers from the State Department in the Foreign Affairs Systems Integration Office. Melinda Isachsen, Bob King, Ken Hill and Earl Hemminger, called themselves “Team CG.” “This was true teamwork collaboration by four staunch Beetle Bailey fans,” they said in a written statement. “We are pleased and proud to be a part of Beetle Bailey’s history.” The group said Hemminger was the one who remembered to actually enter the contest, so they gave him main credit for the name. The contest raised more than $100,000 for the Fisher House Foundation, a nonprofit organization that coordinates 29 homes away from home for families of patients at major military and Veterans medical centers. Among the suggested names were: Kelly Crowley, Virginia – “Fidget” William Mahan, Massachusetts – “Glitch” Bruce Denhard, New Hampshire – “Gigo” Julie Gray-Roller, Virginia – “Qwerty” William J. Heintz, Virginia – “Twidget” Paul Ottavio, Texas. – “Geekster” Gregory August, “Cybert” Jim Cottre, Florida. – “Hacker” Ronald Sutherland, “Pixel” Kristine Stroud, Illinois – “Scuzzy” The winning name was announced in the strip on July 4. Chip Gizmo continues to appear in the strip today. Next week will be the last installment from 2002 in our Timeline series so be sure to check back. – Brian Walker

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