I Hope I Didn’t Hurt the Guy Who Draws _Beetle Bailey_ With My Comments About Raccoons

Oh gosh, now, after sharing my thoughts about how the guy who draws Beetle Bailey draws raccoons, we got this Thursday’s strip!

At the chow line set up at a training bivouac. Beetle: 'Is this stuff edible?' Cookie, angry: 'What a stupid question! Of course it is! ... The raccoons loved it.'
Greg Walker’s Beetle Bailey for the 16th of February, 2023. I understand the compositional need for the layout to be like this but I’m confused by the line people are supposed to follow coming up to Cookie and going away with their plate of mashed potatoes or scrambled eggs or Mary Worth salmon pudding. Possible fix: in the second panel bring Cookie down to the bottom of the panel, so we see him from waist up, and put Beetle smaller and in the background so it looks like he walked off to his left. We lose some of Beetle’s expression that way, but it we don’t need much to see a grimacing face there.

And, well. I know how even the gentlest teasing can hit really hard if it gets to you at just the right moment. I mean the right moment for hurting you. My only intent here was to say I don’t think they’ve figured out how to style these animals in a way that fits with the models of the main characters of the strip, particularly Otto. I don’t want you to keep raccoons or other animals off-screen, just to admit the designs aren’t up to the rest of the strip’s vibe yet! I’m sorry and I’ll try to be more focused in my snarking Tuesday when I’ll say all kinds of mean things about Wilbur Weston.


Author: Joseph Nebus

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

6 thoughts on “I Hope I Didn’t Hurt the Guy Who Draws _Beetle Bailey_ With My Comments About Raccoons”

    1. Not to my knowledge! I can’t rule out that in the early years, when there were more minor characters, there was some raccoon hanging around. But given that Otter, the cop, was usually paired with Spot, that junkyard(?) dog, rather than chasing a raccoon I have to suppose there wasn’t one. Not once the cast settled down, anyway.


  1. I really like the way Greg Walker draws Beet Bailey. He has a very cartoony style that is very fun to see in action. I also like the way he has made the animals in the strip look different from each other. I think he should try to keep the animals off-screen as much as possible so that the designs for them are better.

    -Paisley Perez


    1. Oh, I can’t dispute that Greg Walker (and, possibly, assistants) draw Beetle Bailey. The designs of the main cast look simple enough but they’ve got a lot of thought and experience behind them. This is oddly part of why it’s hard to fit a design for something very different, like the mentioned raccoons or squirrels, in; there’s a lot of work that has to be done to get their style to quite fit something which has so much experience behind it and very few jokes could ever be worth that much effort. Lot of design going in there. (Compare with how odd it looked the handful of times that a horse appeared in Peanuts.)

      I agree that mostly, animals don’t quite make sense in the Beetle Bailey strip; there’s just not many reasons for them to interact. But I’m not going to protest if a strip tries to stretch itself. It’s in trying that they eventually succeed in finding a new ability.


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