Friday, December 10, 2010

Mort Walker - Beetle Bailey

1997.11.01 New York..Mega Event Stamp Show, Javits Center

When my first son was born I started a journal to keep track of all the events we would do together as a family (vacations, train rides, important family events), this way we would have a record of our children's growth.

When the Mega Event Stamp Show was held at the Javits Center, we went as a family, the boys being 3 and 1. The main event of the show for me was the last day of issuance of the Classic Comics stamps. The USPS figured they could get an extra bang for their buck not only if they held a ceremony for the issuance of a stamp, but now included a celebration of the stamp being removed from sale.

Mort Walker was the guest of honor, and graciously signed covers for all in attendance. I placed my journal in front of him and asked if he could provide a sketch for my boys. He stated he wasn't supposed to take the time to provide sketches, only to sign. In the time he had taken to say this he was completing a sketch of Beetle Bailey. I was impressed and realized he could do this in his sleep without any effort. After thanking Mr. Walker, I went to have the Yellow Kid stamp canceled at the bottom of the sketch.

The Yellow Kid was the lead character in Hogan's Alley, drawn by Richard F. Outcault, which became one of the first Sunday comics in an American newspaper, the New York World in 1885, later moving to the New York Journal American.

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