Laughter is the brush that sweeps away the cobwebs of your heart.

Mort Walker

 

Addison Morton Walker (born September 3, 1923), popularly known as Mort Walker, is an American comic artist best known for creating the newspaper comic strips Beetle Bailey in 1950, and Hi and Lois in 1954.

Born in El Dorado, Kansas, he grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. He had his first comic published at age 11, and sold his first cartoon at 12. At 15, he worked as a comic-strip artist for a daily newspaper, and by 18 became chief editorial designer at Hall Brothers. Graduating from Northeast High School, he attended the University of Missouri, where today a life-sized bronze statue of Beetle Bailey stands in front of the alumni center.

In 1943, Walker was drafted into the United States Army and served in Europe during World War II. He was discharged as a first lieutenant in 1947. He graduated from the University of Missouri in 1948, having been president of the local Kappa Sigma chapter.[1] He then went to New York to pursue a career in cartooning. His first 200 cartoons were rejected, but he slowly gained recognition for his talent. His break came with Beetle Bailey, followed by Hi and Lois. Other comic strips he created include Boner’s Ark, Gamin & Patches, Mrs. Fitz’s Flats, The Evermores, Sam’s Strip and Sam & Silo (the last two with Jerry Dumas).

After more than 50 years in the business, Walker still supervises the daily work at his studio, which employs six of his children. He is one of the longest-drawing cartoonists in history.

In 1974, he founded the National Cartoon Museum, and in 1989 was inducted into its Museum of Cartoon Art Hall of Fame. He received the Reuben Award of 1953 for Beetle Bailey, the National Cartoonist Society Humor Strip Award for 1966 and 1969, the Gold T-Square Award in 1999, the Elzie Segar Award for 1977 and 1999, and numerous other awards for his work and dedication.

In his book The Lexicon of Comicana (1980), written as a satirical look at the devices cartoonists use, Walker invented a vocabulary called Symbolia. For example, Walker coined the term “squeans” to describe the starbusts and little circles that appear around a cartoon’s head to indicate intoxication. The typographical symbols that stand for profanities, which appear in dialogue balloons in the place of actual dialogue, Walker called “grawlixes.”

He recently created the free monthly newsletter, “The Best of Times”. It incorporates various “helpful hints” articles along with an array of comics. While he is overseer of the project, he is assisted by his son, Neal Walker, who formats the newsletter.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mort_Walker

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