Visiting The Inner Sanctum of Beetle Bailey


This summer I visited Mort Walker at his studio in Connecticut.

It has very high ceilings, because it used to be the studio of Gutzton Borglum, the sculptor of Mt. Rushmore, and he worked tall. (Check out Guzton’s bio– quite an interesting family life.) Though Mort wouldn’t cop to it, I’m sure he spent the whole morning vacuuming before I arrived.



These are Mort’s notes on his desk, working out the jokes of the strip! I SO wanted to steal this piece of paper.




After Mort’s house, I checked out the more modest studio of his son, Brian Walker.  Instead of investing in tall ceilings, he invests in small figurines.

photo 5

Here are Brian’s notes for Hi and Lois.


At the end of the my visit, Mort gave me an original Beetle Bailey strip.

beetle strip

There are several things I love about this strip. In terms of the drawing, I love love love the fight scene.


But on a deeper level, he captured the messed-up family relationships people have, and that resonated with me.

It was truly a wonderful visit.


6 thoughts on “Visiting The Inner Sanctum of Beetle Bailey

  1. What a thrill and privilege to share your visit with the creators of Beetle Bailey and Hi and Lois. Thanks for the link to Borglum (wow!).
    You and your cartoons are why I have RWO bookmarked in EDUCATION.

  2. Pingback: When Hilary Price visits Mot Walker The Daily Cartoonist

  3. What a great piece! At the Museum of Cartoon Art once long ago, Mr Walker graciously invited me into his office for a job reference- and I felt like Ralph Kramden-“Ahamenahamenahamena….”…(I may have actually DONE that!! ) 🙂

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