You know it’s a bad week when we lose a legendary cartoonist, and one of the last surviving classic-era animation voice artists – and so it was, as both Mort Walker and Doug Young left us this past week.
Mort Walker was the creator of Beetle Bailey, and was also instrumental in giving us Hi and Lois, Boner’s Ark, and more!
Mr. Walker dates back to when I actually enjoyed reading newspaper comic strips. He was a TRUE cartoonist, in the very best sense of the word! His art was clear, clean, easy to look at… and, most importantly, always carried-off the gag as intended!
Today, to have a successful comic strip (as is sadly indicated by any random perusal of what is left of the once grand newspaper comic strip sections), all you need be is a “gag-writer-who-can doodle”, and you’re in!
Not so in the days Mort Walker, Chic Young (Blondie), Al Smith (Mutt and Jeff), and their many presumed “assistants”! Folks that that made comic strips fun – both to READ and to LOOK AT! ...(Click to enlarge, though Jeff will remain "small"!)
For the best Mort Walker tribute post I can direct you to, go to the newly rechristened Blog of our friend Jaime de Andrade HERE! Be sure to read all the links Jaime provides WITHIN his post! He did a really fine job!
Doug Young, up until now, would have been the last surviving voice actor of the wonderful early years of Hanna-Barbera TV cartoons!
You *could* count Jimmy Weldon, whose only character was “Yakky Doodle”...
...but, if you consider multi-voice-providers, who did starring characters and tons of ancillary ones, Doug Young was the last.
Mr. Young was best known as the Jimmy-Durante-like voice of DOGGIE DADDY, “Dear Old Dad” to his precocious pup Augie Doggie!
Other regular H-B characters in Doug Young’s stable included Hokey Wolf’s idolizing sidekick DING-A-LING FOX...
...And YIPPEE of the “Three Goofy King’s Guards” Yippee, Yappee, and Yahooey! (...That's Yippee in front!)
…And a whole-lotta hunters, farmers, western-bad-guys, and what have you.
The character of Doggie Daddy became such an institution that he even made a brief cameo appearance on FAMILY GUY! Such endurance for a character who's original first-run lasted only from 1959-1962 must be largely attributed to the "life" breathed into him by Doug Young!
We’ve discussed the lack of remaining contemporaries for Mort Walker and Doug Young.
Other than David Hedison, who played Captain Crane, Bob Dowdell was the only surviving regular cast member of VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA.
And Vic Lockman would have been the last (…or certainly the last of anyone considered to be PROLIFIC and IMPACTFUL) writer for the historically great line of DELL and GOLD KEY comic books produced by Western Publishing Co.
Of course this sort of “transition” has always gone on… one generation of crafts-persons passes-on, and another two or three take their place.
…But, it’s always saddest when it’s “your particular formative era” that inevitably comes to its end. …And that’s true no matter what that “particular formative era” would be!
Rest in peace, Mr. Mort Walker and Mr. Doug Young! …And thanks for making “my particular formative era” a much better place!
You think he's reading "Beetle Bailey"?