September 3 ~  Some Kind of Move Mort Walker: Conversations

"Life is like a game of chess… There are many moves possible, but each move determines your next move… where you wind up is the sum total of your past moves…but first you have to make some kind of move." ~ Mort Walker

Mort Walker'S Private Scrapbook

Cartoon genius Addison Morton Walker (1923-) was born on this day in El Dorado, Kansas and published his first cartoon in Child Life Magazine at age 11 to get what he called "real money."

"I thought this a heck of a lot easier than mowing my neighbor's lawn who was paying me 25 cents for mowing an acre, and 10 cents a bushel for digging dandelions," he explained.

By age 15, his newspaper comic strip Sunshine and Shadow ran daily. By age 18, Walker was named the chief editorial designer of Hallmark Cards.

He once said: "Laughter is the brush that sweeps away the cobwebs of the heart."

Following a stint in the Army where he ran a German POW camp, the talented artist returned home to create the classic strip Beetle Bailey which was syndicated in 1950. He followed four years later with the spin-off, Hi and Lois.

"Seven days without laughter makes one weak," the light-hearted artist said.

Beetle may never get a promotion, but after over half a century, both strips have continued to delight audiences throughout the world, appearing in about 3,000 newspapers in 52 countries with 200,000,000 readers every day.

In 1974, he founded of the International Museum of Cartoon Art and Hall of Fame in Boca Raton, Florida to better preserve the original works of cartoonists.

About the popularity and humor of his work, he explained, "The best kind of gag is one that is not only warm and human...but there is a little bit of wisdom in it, so that not only do they laugh once, but they'll laugh tomorrow."

Make your move now.