Mort Walker is a connoisseur of empty space. His character design is wonderful, certainly, but with Walker the brilliance is that which is not drawn. A Walker page or cover (or word balloon) is never crowded, and unused space serves a master purpose: "Emptiness" pleases and guides the eye.
A few interesting facts about Mort Walker and Beetle Bailey:
- In 1954, Beetle Bailey was dropped from the Tokyo edition of Stars & Strips. Editors feared the character promoted a lack of respect for officers.
- In 1970, Walker introduced Lt. Jack Flap, thereby marking the first time a black character was integrated into a comic strip with an all white cast.
- Both the above bits of trivia resulted in a significant increase in the strip's popularity and circualation.
- In 2000, the United States Army awarded Mort Walker the Decoration for Distinguished Civilian Service at the Pentagon. The decoration is the hightest honor given to a civilian by the U.S. Army.
Hi and Lois (Mort Walker and co-creator/artist Dik Browne) first appeared in 1954, when Beetle Bailey went home on Furlough to visit is sister, Lois, and his brother-in-law, Hi.
For some enjoyable minutes (or hours), please visit Mort Walker's website at http://www.mortwalker.com/