Monday, November 15, 2010

Video: Mort Walker at MIZZOU

Above: a SHOWME cover by Mort Walker from May 1947. More Mort Walker images here: Mort Walker on MU Campus.

I've decided Mort Walker is the Mozart of cartooning. Dale Smith writes for the Mizzou [University of Missouri] Journal:

"At age 13, he wrote a regular strip for the Kansas City Journal. By age 15, he already had sold 300 cartoons, and by 17 he was a lead artist at Hallmark, where he helped launch a line of humorous cards. While a student at Mizzou, he worked as a freelancer for Hallmark, illustrating several cards a week, in addition to taking courses, editing Missouri Showme, serving as president of the Kappa Sigma fraternity, working on the Savitar, writing plays and more.

"'I’ve always had too much to do,' says Walker, BA ’48, who still writes Beetle Bailey. 'For me, school was a center for my activities, but not necessarily a center of learning.'"

In this expert video by Nicholas Brenner, we can see just a fraction of Mr. Walker's output during those early years, as well as an interview with him from October 22, 2010, upon the occasion of dedicating the new MU Student Center.

Related: University of Missouri Celebrates Mort Walker.

Checker Books has reprinted the BEETLE BAILEY comic strip, beginning with BEETLE BAILEY THE FIRST YEARS 1950-52. Take a peek here at some the pages. These are well reproduced, thorough reprints, chock full of notes and additional cartoons and photos.


Ger Apeldoorn said...

I have a set of 22 Mort Walker originals from the late forties and the numbering on the back goes up to 1800. And I don't even know if that is the total, because I am wondering if he would let the editor of the Saturday Evening Post (where these were intended to go) know how muh he sold to others... so that cold be just his SEP total!

Ger Apeldoorn said...

By the way, Checker sadly has abandonned it's reprint series. Too bad, since the Scandinavian version on which it was based has reached the mid-seventies already, publishing a new two year book every three months, I guess. Reprinting of Beetle Bailey has now been taken over by Titan, which also does Hagar and which has started with a single year volume for 1964. I hope they will take my suggestion to expand to both sides, 1963 and 1965, etc.