beetle bailey
Mort Walker (right) died of Pneumonia on Saturday, Jan 27, 2018. This Picture, taken on Feb. 20, 1966, shows Mort walker with artist Dik Browne. Denver Post via Getty Images

Mort Walker, the renowned cartoonist whose works appeared in newspapers across the United States, died of pneumonia Saturday at his home in Stamford, Connecticut. He was 94. The president of National Cartoonist society, Bill Morrison, confirmed his death.

Walker rose to prominence as a creator of Beetle Bailey comic strip, set in a fictional military town. It illustrates the exploits of private Bailey who was said to be modeled after Walker's Kappa Sigma fraternity brothers at the University of Missouri, who after graduating enlisted in U.S military.

An army veteran himself, Walker drew inspiration from his life as a soldier, capturing the daily ordeal of life in the military camp. The comic strip illustrated the exploits of Bailey and his lazy cohorts whose ineptitude often gets them into a trouble with supervisor Sergeant Snorkel at Camp Swampy. Since it's conception in 1950, for decades Walker regaled his readers with hilarious tales of Beetle Bailey which is said to be the longest serving comic strip. Often assisted by his sons Greg and Brian, Walker was quite successful in enthralling his readers with Bailey’s hilarious exploits for 68 years.

With considerable work in the comic strip medium under his belt, Walker will be remembered for the exceptional feat of running an immensely successful and the longest comic strip than any other U.S artist in the field. His unbridled passion for the world led him to find the first museum devoted to the history of cartooning.

The adventures of Beetle Bailey was among the first cartoons to transcend to a graphically simple gag-a-day strip (Every installment delivers a complete joke as opposed to a continuity strips) from the serial strips. The cast of Beetle Bailey comprised of interesting set of characters who never witnessed battle other than the ongoing feud with their superior Snorkel.

Walker said “the military setting was simply a convenient stand-in for the pecking order of which everyone is a part," Mercury News reported.

Comic historian R.C. Harvey wrote that the strip "gives expression to our resentment by ridiculing traditional authority figures and by demonstrating, with Beetle, how to survive through the diligent application of sheer lethargy and studied indifference."

From Beetle whose eyes were always covered with a helmet or a visor to his nemesis Sergeant Snorkel who never missed a beat to discipline his subordinates — although it must be said he derived immense pleasure out of punishing Beetle, the cast and it's creator were certainly successful in creating a parody of life in the army.

Camp Swampy can be best described as a world unto itself run by the ineffectual Gen Halftrack- a place the higher up authorities have lost track of. Among Beetle Bailey whose conception in 1950 garnered million readers, eventually reaching 2 million viewers and published in 1,800 newspapers in 50 countries, Walker will also be remembered for his significant contribution to review jokes every week and create at least eight other strips including "Boner's Ark" and "Sam's Strip."

He also wrote for “Hi and Lois,” originally illustrated by Dirk Browne. Walker while explaining his work in Hi and Lois said he wanted to depict a loving family "together against the world . . . instead of against each other."

In 1974, he opened the Museum of Cartoon Art in Greenwich, Connecticut, which was unfortunately closed in 2002 after corporate donors declared bankruptcy. The collection in the museum was worth $20 million. Walker, who became president of the National Cartoonists Society, won its Golden T-Square award for 50 years of service to the industry in 1999, reports said.