We Have Information About Whether the Guy Who Draws Beetle Bailey Has Ever Seen a Raccoon

It was not quite four short years ago that we didn’t know whether the guy who draws Beetle Bailey had ever seen a raccoon. I know, time, right? Also I’m guessing the guy is Greg Walker, but the credits still claim Mort Walker, who died over five years ago at this point so I’m pretty sure that’s a polite fib. I mean, to give some perspective, in two years he’ll have been dead as long as Jacob Marley had been dead. Anyway, the fast-breaking-ish news is about this revelation, from yesterday’s comic:

Cookie, handing some bacon to Otto the dog: 'You did a good job chasing those raccoons from the dumpster, Otto! Here's some bacon as a reward.' Next panel Otto brings some of the bacon to a trio of raccoons standing around: 'Thanks for making me look good, guys! Here's your cut.'
Greg Walker’s Beetle Bailey for the 31st of January, 2023. By the way yes, I am being the jerk here. It’s really hard to figure how to draw a new animal stylized like this — a 50s Cartoon Moderne style at its core, rejiggered and mostly streamlined further to read well at the appalling size and print conditions of newspapers. Photorealistic raccoons would look even more hideous against Otto, who only loosely resembles the idea of a dog. At some point the artist has to stop figuring out how to draw the comic and actually draw it, and we can say it’s at a good thing they drew three raccoons who do look different. It would’ve been easy to use the same model repeatedly and instead here’s something where they’re distinguishable without dialogue.

I’m … not at all sure how to rate this. I think we’d have to say he got an okay glimpse at one raccoon, then a decent look at another raccoon, and then one last not-quite-enough look at a third raccoon. Well, glad to have that known. I’ll keep you posted of other animals-in-Beetle-Bailey development.

Author: Joseph Nebus

I was born 198 years to the day after Johnny Appleseed. The differences between us do not end there. He/him.

13 thoughts on “We Have Information About Whether the Guy Who Draws Beetle Bailey Has Ever Seen a Raccoon”

  1. Oddly enough, I was googling info on “It’s Your Move” and one of the suggestions that popped up was ‘It’s Your Squirrel’. Do you suppose this is any relation to the question about Mort Walker’s squirrel drawing ability? Or was there a series with Jason Bateman as a wacky squirrel, forever interfering with his mother’s romance with the guy who played Snoopy on Broadway?, If there was, I’d like to see it.


    1. I’ve never known there to be a series about Jason Bateman as a squirrel, but I have to admit I fell out of the Saturday Morning cartoon shows in the mid-80s and they could have done anything. And I say that as a person who was there for all of the Gary Coleman Show for some reason.


  2. The bigger question about Greg Walker is why he can’t figure out how to draw Ms. Buxley. (Or is she still Miss Buxley?)


    1. This got me wondering and yeah, it looks like the last several references have been to ‘Miss Buxley’. She doesn’t get addressed much by name, at least in the Wednesday strips, it turns out. The comic must suppose everyone reading it already knows the characters.


        1. I mean, you occasionally see people suggesting Beetle Bailey take some time out of the army and finish up his undergraduate degree, for some reason. I think someone asked about if he still has the freshman cap that for some reason people wore up until like 1967.


  3. Otto doesn’t speak human language, so his comment to the raccoons in the second panel should be represented as a thought balloon rather than a dialogue balloon.


    1. Thought balloons are the usual way of depicting animal-to-animal talk, although I’m not sure that makes more sense than word balloons. I suppose they could be tagged as ‘In the Bandar Tongue’ but I’m not sure that would help the world building any. (‘In the Badger Tongue?’)


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