Mort Walker Collection

Walker, Addison Morton, b. 1923.  Papers, 1946-2001.


MU Ellis Special Collections Comic Collection 1

4.7 cubic feet (82 original cartoons, 4 animation cels, 11 posters, 2 lithographs, 4 photographs)

Scope and Contents Note

The focus of the collection is on Mort Walker’s visit to the University of
Missouri in 1992 as a Scholar-in-Residence. A highlight of the visit
was the unveiling of a bronze statue of Beetle Bailey. Prior to that occasion
Walker donated original cartoons, animation cels, books, lithographs and posters
to the University of Missouri Libraries. Newspaper articles about
the visit are in the collection.

Additionally, original cartoons donated by Jean Walker are in the collection.

Also included are reproductions of Walker’s work for Showme in 1946
and 1947. Showme was a humor magazine produced by students of the University
of Missouri. Walker served as art editor and editor.

Restrictions on Access

The collection is available to all researchers. Permission to publish materials in the collection must be obtained by the head of Special Collections. Additionally, permission to publish original cartoons must be obtained from King Features Syndicate.

Biographical Sketch

[Information provided by Walker]

Addison Morton Walker was born in Eldorado, Kansas in 1923, reared in Kansas City and graduated from the University of Missouri. In World War II he served with the U.S. Army in Italy as a 1st Lieutenant.

At the age of twelve he sold his first cartoon. At thirteen he was selling
cartoons regularly and at fifteen he was drawing a comic strip, The Lime Juicers,
for the now defunct Kansas City Journal. His earnings as chief designer at
the Hallmark Greeting Card Company paid for his college education. After the
war and graduation from college Mort moved to New York City to be closer to
the magazine markets. His first cartoons were rejected but within a year he
became one of the top ten magazine cartoonists in the country. At the top of
the magazine cartooning profession Mort decided to enter the comic strip field.
Now twenty-six and married, he created Beetle Bailey and sold it to King Features
Syndicate. Three years after Beetle’s debut, Mort won the coveted Reuben Award
of The National Cartoonist Society. Two year later, the Banshees, a famous
New York city luncheon club of artists, writers, and editors along with others
in the creative field presented him with its “Silver Lady” award for being
outstanding cartoonist of 1955. His fellow cartoonists elected him president
of the National Cartoonist Society for 1959-60. Mort was awarded the National
Cartoonists Society plaque for best comic strip, 1966, 1969; Il Secolo XIX, 1972;
Adamson Award, 1975; Power of Printing Award, 1977; Elzie Segar Award, 1977;
Fourth Estate award, American Legion, 1978; and the Jester Award, 1979.

In addition to Beetle Bailey (1950 to date), Walker produced, some in collaboration with other cartoonists, Hi and Lois, 1954 to date; Mrs. Fitz’ Flats, 1957-72; Sam’s Strip, 1961-63; Boner’s Ark 1968 to 2000; Sam and Silo, 1977 to date; The Evermores, 1983-86; Betty Boop and Friends, 1984-88 and Gamin and Patches, 1987-88.

Walker founded the Museum of Cartoon Art in Port Chester, New York in 1974. It was moved to Boca Raton, Florida and opened in 1996 as the International Museum of Cartoon Art.

Walker married Jean Walker and in 1985 Catherine Carty Prentice. His children are Greg, Brian, Polly, Morgan, Marjorie, Neal and Roger. He lives in Stamford, Connecticut. His hobbies are writing, golf and photography.


Biographical: Includes information provided by Walker’s publicist, Who’ Who in America sketch and articles about Walker.

Career: Includes reproductions of Showme artwork, information about Beetle Bailey and The Lexicon of Comicana.

Walker’s Visit to the University of Missouri in 1992: Includes a copy of a Beetle Bailey strip prepared in1989 about Beetle and The Shack; Scholars-in-Residence brochures, programs and mementos; newspaper articles; and information from an exhibit during the visit.

Original Cartoons, Animation Cels, Posters and Lithographs


Box 1

FF 1. Biographical sketches. Information provided by Walker’s publicist. Who’s Who in America sketch. Also includes a list of awards. (9)

FF 2. Articles about Walker:

“Army salutes comic misfit Beetle Bailey.” Columbia Daily Tribune.
June 15, 1990 (AP). Also another version of the story from Burrelle’s. (2)

“Pentagon honors ‘Beetle Bailey’ creator.” June 15, 1990 (from Burrelle’s).

Additional articles are in Box 2 (oversized).


FF 3-9. Early work. Showme (University of Missouri humor magazine) (photocopies, see SPEC-M collection for originals)

FF 3. October 1946: 4 cartoons and illustrations

November 1946: 1 cover illustration, 4 other cartoons and illustrations

December 1946: 3 cartoons and illustrations

FF 4. January 1947: 5 cartoons and illustrations

March 1947: 1 cover illustration, 7 other cartoons and illustrations

FF 5. April 23, 1947: 6 cartoons and illustrations

FF 6. May 1947: 1 cover illustration, 9 other cartoons and illustrations

September 1947: 5 cartoons and illustrations

FF 7. October 1947: 4 cartoons and illustrations

November 1947: 1 cover illustration, 5 other cartoons and illustrations

February 1948: 1 cover illustration, 5 other cartoons and illustrations

FF 8. March 1948: 11 cartoons and illustrations

April 1948: 6 cartoons and illustrations

FF 9. May 1948: 1 cover illustration, 1 article, 4 cartoons and illustrations

FF 10. Beetle Bailey

“Funnie’s Favorite Foul-Up.” Paper Collectors Marketplace (date unknown).

Balloons in Desert Storm War Homecoming Parade, Atlanta, GA 1991 (photocopies of 4 photos).

FF 11. Lexicon of Comicana (Published in 1980)

Walker, Mort. “Comicana. The Absolutely Fascinating Science of Comicana.”
Cartoonist Profiles. v. 40, December 1978 and v. 43, September 1979.


FF 12. Beetle Bailey strip for June 18, 1989. Issued prior to his visit. Names carved in The Shack booth include those of University of Missouri Chancellor and Mrs. Haskell Monroe (Haskell and Jo).

Solicitation for Shack Memories Fund.

FF 13. Scholars-In-Residence Brochures (4), invitation (1), biographical sketch from banquet program (1) and planning committee memos (2).

FF 14. Newspaper articles (photocopies)

Beetle Bailey comic strip (remembering The Shack as “the good old days.”)

“Pentagon honors ‘Beetle Bailey’ creator.” North County Blade-Citizen,
Oceanside, CA, June 15, 1992.

Bixler, Tara. “Beetle in bronze. Sculpture recreates famous Shack scene.”
Columbia Daily Tribune. February 24, 1991, p. 15A.

Photograph of Mort Walker in Ellis Library during Arts and Science Week 1991. Mizzou Weekly. v. 12 #23, March 5, 1991, p. 6.

“Who’s News.” [tells of plans for Beetle Bailey statue] Columbia Missourian.
July 27, 1992.

Swift, Jay. “Beetle’s Back. Mort Walker brings character back to campus.”
Maneater. October 13, 1992, p. 9.

“Beetle Bailey comes home. Cartoonist returns in grand style.” Columbia
Missourian. Homecoming Supplement, October 19, 1992, p. 22C-23C.

Waldrogel, Chris. “Welcome home ‘Beetle Bailey’.” Columbia Missourian.
October 23, 1992, p. 11A.

Ervanian, Sara. “Beetle’s home to stay.” Columbia Daily Tribune. October
24, 1992, p. 1.

Ervanian, Sara. “Campus renews traditions.” Columbia Daily Tribune. October
24, 1992, p. 1.

Photograph of Walker posing with the Beetle Bailey statue. Maneater. October 27, 1992.

“Beetle Bailey is back home at Mizzou.” Mizzou Weekly. v. 14 #10, October
28, 1992, p. 3.

Tucker, Mike. “Beetle comes back.” Fifty Plus (Columbia Daily Tribune)
November 1992.

Case, Darcy. “Beetle Bailey sculpture may grace center.” Columbia Missourian
(not dated).

“Beetle Born at ‘Fort MU'” Mizzou, v. 85 #1, Fall 1996 p.44

“Book Buddies” Columbia Missourian, July 6, 1998 [photo only]

[Photo of Beetle Bailey statue being moved] Columbia Daily Tribune May 6,
2000, “Our Town” supplement, p. 80

“Mort Walker Caps Career with New Book.” Mizzou, Fall 2001, 80.

For other articles see Box 4, Folder 1

FF 15. Exhibit at Reynolds Alumni Center

FF 16. Photographs of Walker 1970’s-1990 (4)

FF 17. List of original cartoons, posters, cels and books donated to the University of Missouri Columbia.

List of original cartoons donated by Mrs. Jean Walker, 1995 and 1996.

List of original strips/drawings donated by Mrs. Maxine Gordon 2001

FF 18. Greeting card. Beetle Bailey Comic Cards. King Features Syndicate, Inc., 1983. Gift of Maxine Gordon.

FF 19. Metal printing plate for Beetle Bailey comic strip of 2/7/1975. Gift of Maxine Gordon

FF 20. Beetle Bailey status (MU) photos


FF 21. Correspondence with Bill Janocha (Comicana), Leslie Levine (Hearst) and Claudia Smith (Hearst). Official Beetle Bailey 50th Anniversary Style Guide ( zip disc) King Features Syndicate, Inc. 1999. Hearst Holding, Inc.

FF 22. Beetle Bailey anniversary press coverage – articles printed from databases

FF 23. Beetle Bailey anniversary press coverage – articles printed from databases

FF 24. Beetle Bailey anniversary press coverage – articles printed from databases

FF 25. “Mort Walker’s Private Scrapbook Celebrating a Life of Love and
Laughter” Cartoonists Profiles #129, March 2001 pp. 28-35.

FF 26. “The Legacy of Mort Walker. 50 Years of Beetle Bailey, November 11,
2000 – February 25, 2001. Advertisement from Palm Beach Post for an exhibition
at the International Museum of Cartoon Art. Gift of Maxine Gordon

FF 27. Postcard from Mort Walker to Gena Scott (MU Libraries). Color photocopy.

FF 28. Official stamped pamphlet, “Beetle Bailey stamp unveiling at Mizzou.” Beetle Bailey stamp is postmarked “August 27, 2010, Columbia MO Station.”

See also Box 2A (Beetle Bailey anniversary bank and salt & pepper shakers) and additional articles in Box 4 (Oversize)

Box 2

Beetle Bailey Dolls: Beetle Bailey, General Halftrack, Miss Buxley, Sarge.
15″ Sugar Loaf, Boulder, CO. King Features Syndicate Inc., 1995. Gift of Maxine

Box 2A

Beetle Bailey tee shirt and button, MU 1992

Beetle Bailey Ceramic Bank (Enesco Licensee, King Features Syndicate Inc., c1999)

Beetle Bailey Salt & Pepper Shakers (Enesco Licensee, King Features Syndicate Inc., c1999)

Beetle Bailey pocket knife (King Features Syndicate Inc., c1992). Gift of Margaret Howell, 2003.

Beetle Bailey stamp set. Gift of Maxine Gordon.

Box 3 (Oversize)

Original Sunday and daily strips of Beetle Bailey, Sam’s Strip, Boner’s Ark, Gamin and Patches, Hi and Lois and Betty Boop. See Box 1, Folder 17 for a list. (84)

Beetle Bailey cartoon (10/27/1968) presented to “Mr. and Mrs. Oop” (V.T.
and Dorothy Hamlin) and given to the Libraries’ Collection by Teddy Hamlin
DeWalt in 1991.

Small original drawing (head) of Beetle Bailey signed and inscribed “To John
Arnold with best wishes.”

Proof copy of 12/15/1982 strip with letter from Walker to Special Collections, MU.

Original gag cartoon likely done for Humorama Publishing Co, NY (7/1965?) Gift of Maxine Gordon

Original Hi and Lois strip (undated). Gift of Maxine Gordon

Original Beetle Bailey daily strip, December 23, 1975. Gift of Maxine Gordon.

Box 4 (oversize)

FF 1. Newspaper articles . See also Box 1, Folder 14

“Comic strip patterned after local man.” St. Joseph News-Press/Gazette.
July 11, 1987.

“Drawing upon longevity.” Dallas Morning News. July 31, 1989.

“Longtime fan salutes ‘Beetle Bailey’ for 40 years of lampooning.” Daily
News, Longview, WA, September 5, 1990.

“From Goldbrick to Bronze B.M.O.C” New York Times, September 20, 1992.
Section CN, p. 1.

“Another draft for Beetle Bailey. Mort Walker’s famous cartoon private
settle into an old hangout at Mizzou.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 12,
1992,Section E, p. 1,6.

“Beetle is crawling away. The statue is moving to the front of the Reynolds
Alumni Center.” Columbia Missourian, May 27, 1999 p.1

“Beetle marches on. For 50 years, Mort Walker has been making cartoon
readers laugh with his indolent private, Beetle Bailey. Columbia Daily Tribune,
June 18, 1999, Section A, p.11.

“Going Mainstream? Moving the Beetle Bailey statue involved more than
just distance.” Veterinary Medical Review, v. 16 #4, Fall/Winter 1999, pp30-31.

“Army decorates ‘Beetle Bailey’ cartoonist Walker. Columbia Daily Tribune,
May 25, 2000, Section A, p.10.

“Beetle Bailey at 50, Still Lazy, Still Funny, Still Going Strong” Columbia
Sunday Tribune, September 10, 2000, p E1.

“Beetle Bailey at 50, Still Lazy after all These Years” Columbia Missourian,
September 10, 2000 p. C1, C6.

“Mort Walker Slated for Cartoon Talk; ‘Beetle’ Originator,” and “700 to Attend Annual Banquet.” Missouri Student, April 30, 1951, headline and p. 6.

“Beetle Bailey Enters Computer Age.” Columbia Daily Tribune, June 26, 2002, p. 10A.

FF 2. Animation cels for unreleased 1990 Beetle Bailey TV special (4)

FF 3. Original models for the Hi and Lois family during Beetle’s first trip home on furlough, early 1950’s. (1)

FF 4. Museums

“Cartoon Museum Director” (article about Barbara Hammond, director of
Museum of Cartoon Art in Rye Brook, NY, founded by Walker) Woman. May 1990,
p. 20. (1)

“In Living Color. Boca Awaits Museum of Cartoon Art.” Artscape. May/June
1991. (1)

Architectural sketch and full color brochure of International Museum of Cartoon Art, Boca Raton, FL (4)

FF 5. Posters (9)

“Beetle Bailey” (1982)

“Next Time, When it’s Heavy and it’s Important…” (Federal Express,

“Some of Our Best Friends Wear Masks”

“Beetle’s Back at Mizzou”

FF 6. Puzzle. Jaymar, nd. – Beetle doing kp, carving Sarge’s head in potato. Gift of Margaret Howell.

FF 7-10. Beetle Bailey Sunday newspaper strips. Gift of Maxine Gordon

FF 11. Beetle Bailey, The Old Army Game (Milton Bradley Co. #4424) Gift of Maxine

FF 12-18. Beetle Bailey Sunday newspaper strips. Gift of Maxine Gordon.

FF 19. Original drawings for Beetle Bailey comic book covers.

Extra Large Folder

Signed color Beetle Bailey lithographs:

“Orders from the General…” (With alternate frame and punch line. Some
editors took offense with the last frame. An alternate frame and punch line
were provided.) Artist’s proof #395 (1990)

“Miss Buxley Hasn’t Come in Yet?” Artist’s proof #16 (1991) Poster:


Crayola National Coloring Contest (portrays Beetle, Betty Boop, Hi and Lois, Gamin and Patches) (1987)

Four images from MU Exhibition 2000: Miss Buxley, Beetle, Sarge, General Halftrack

Framed original drawing for a Sunday strip, February 19, 1989. Gift of Maxine

Books by Walker, including the titles donated by him are in the Comic
Art Collection. Consult MERLIN,
the University of Missouri’s online catalog.