A Fanboy Salute to First Lieutenant Walker on His 86th

Posted by Michael Pinto on Sep 3, 2009 in Comic Books |

Beetle Bailey

Born on this day in 1923 Mort Walker was a fanboy of comics in the truest sense; by the ripe old age of 12 years old in 1935 he sold his first cartoon. By 1943 he was drafted into the army for World War II after which he pursued a career in cartooning in New York City. After his first 200 or so cartoons were rejected he found success with Beetle Bailey.

Hi and Lois

He later followed up that success with Hi and Lois which reflected his experience with suburbia in the 50s. And then he went on to create a host of other strips including Boner’s Ark and a host of others. To give you some perspective on this: Most cartoonists are lucky to have one hit strip in a lifetime, never mind two or three or four.

In 1974 Mort Walker also gave back to his profession by creating the National Cartoon Museum at a great personal cost to himself (including auctioned off a Mickey Mouse drawing in 2001 for $700,000).

Now after a lifetime in the biz one might assume that Mort is retired, but that’s not the case at all as he manages his studio which employs six of his children. In so many ways you can tell that Mort has given a great deal too his family and his extended family which is the humble profession of cartooning. So today we’d like to wish our fellow fanboy Mort Walker a very happy 86th birthday!

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