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Mort Walker - Conversations

Mort Walker


Edited by Jason Whiton
Series: Conversations with Comic Artists Series

Paperback : 9781578067008, 286 pages, January 2005

A collection of interviews and articles from 1938-2004 that shows how the cartoonist managed to keep his art and stories fresh for over seventy years of production


When Mort Walker (1923–2018) was ten years old, he received an inscribed Moon Mullins cartoon from its creator Frank Willard that read, “Say Morton, those drawings you sent me were swell—I'll bet you'll be a big-shot cartoonist someday.” By the time he was fifteen, Walker was a comic strip artist for a daily metropolitan newspaper. By the time he was eighteen, he was chief editor of Hallmark Cards.

In 1950, King Features picked up his strip Beetle Bailey for syndication. Four years later, Walker created a spin-off of Beetle Bailey called Hi and Lois. Beetle Bailey was distributed to roughly 1,800 newspapers, and Walker was one of the most widely read cartoonists in American history and a legend in his own time.

Mort Walker: Conversations collects interviews and articles that span from 1938 to 2004. His engagement with the Museum of Cartoon Art—which he founded—is discussed in these pieces, along with the politics involved in working with cartoonists' unions, artistic communities, and syndications. In these conversations Walker shows how he managed to keep his art and stories fresh for over seventy years of production.