Brian Walker (1952-): Continuing the Legacy of Comic Strips

brian walker cartoonist

Brian Walker: The world of comics is filled with imagination, humor, and creativity that has captivated audiences for generations. Behind the scenes, unsung heroes and talented individuals often bring these comic strips to life, and one such luminary is Brian Walker. 

Brian, the son of the legendary cartoonist Mort Walker, has carved his niche in the world of comic art. With a career spanning over three decades, Brian has made significant contributions to iconic comic strips like “Beetle Bailey” and “Hi and Lois,” his impact extends beyond the panels. 

This article delves into the life, career, and legacy of Brian Walker, showcasing his invaluable contributions to the world of comics.

Brian Walker

Full Name: Brian Walker

Birth: 14 March 1952, Greenwich, USA

Occupation: Cartoonist, Writer, Curator

Notable Works: “Beetle Bailey,” “Hi and Lois”

Family: Son of Mort Walker (Cartoonist)

Career: Cartoonist and writer; Contributor to “Beetle Bailey” and “Hi and Lois” cartoon strips (1984–); Founder and former director of International Museum of Cartoon Art; Cartoon history teacher.


  • (Editor) Mort Walker, The Best of Beetle Bailey: A Thirty-three-Year Treasury, Comicana Books (Bedford, NY), 1984.
  • (With Dik Browne; and editor) The Best of Hagar, Comicana Books (Bedford, NY), 1985.
  • (With Dik Browne; and editor) The Best of Hi and Lois, Comicana Books (Bedford, NY), 1986.
  • (And editor) The Best of Ernie Bushmiller’s Nancy, Comicana Books (Wilton, CT), 1988.
  • (Editor) Billy De Beck, Barney Google, and Snuffy Smith; Seventy-five Years of an American Legend, Comicana Books/Ohio State University Libraries (Wilton, CT), 1994.
  • The Comics since 1945, H. N. Abrams (New York, NY), 2002.
  • The Comics before 1945, H. N. Abrams (New York, NY), 2004.
  • Contributor to Children of the Yellow Kid: The Evolution of the American Comic Strip, by Robert C. Harvey, Frye Art Museum/University of Washington Press (Seattle, WA), 1998.

Sidelights: Brian Walker followed in his father’s footsteps as a cartoonist and has contributed to the history of comics through various publications. He has also worked on exhibitions and served as a curator for cartoon-related events.

brian walker cartoonist

A Legacy in Cartoons

Brian Walker was born into a family steeped in the tradition of comics. His father, Mort Walker, was the creator of “Beetle Bailey” and co-creator of “Hi and Lois,” two of American history’s most beloved and enduring comic strips. Mort’s success in the comic world laid the foundation for Brian’s illustrious career.

brian walker cartoonist

Brian’s journey as a cartoonist and writer began in 1984 when he joined the creative team behind the comic strips “Beetle Bailey” and “Hi and Lois.” The impact of these comic strips cannot be overstated, as they have entertained and amused readers for generations. Brian Walker’s involvement in these strips allowed him to carry forward his father’s legacy while adding his creative touch to the characters and storylines.

brian walker cartoonist

Educator and Historian

Brian Walker’s dedication to comics extends beyond his creative work. He is also an educator and historian, sharing his knowledge and passion for the art form with others. He taught a course in cartoon history at the School of Visual Arts, passing on the rich history of comics to a new generation of artists and enthusiasts.

In addition to his teaching role, Brian has contributed to the academic study of comics. He served as the curator for more than 70 cartoon exhibitions, and his expertise has been invaluable in preserving and promoting the legacy of comic art. His involvement in exhibitions and academic endeavors underscores his commitment to elevating comics from entertainment to legitimate art forms.

brian walker cartoonist

The Comics since 1945

One of Brian Walker’s notable literary works is “The Comics since 1945.” This book not only reviews comic strips but also delves into the business and artistic aspects of the medium. In this comprehensive work, he surveys the most accomplished syndicated comics and their creators, shedding light on the art form’s evolution in the latter half of the 20th century.

IMG 8709 - Brian Walker (1952-): Continuing the Legacy of Comic Strips

Brian’s insightful perspective is evident when he discusses the changes in comics over the years. He remarks that comics have evolved into a more sophisticated and witty art form with more substantial content. His work demonstrates an acute understanding of how comics have adapted and remained relevant in a changing world.

The Comics Before 1945

Brian Walker’s exploration of comic history does not stop at the mid-20th century. In “The Comics Before 1945,” he takes readers on a journey through the early years of American comics. Beginning with the publication of the “Yellow Kid” in 1895, he chronicles the development of comic art over the next fifty years.

This book not only highlights popular comic strips like “Krazy Kat,” “Tarzan,” “Dick Tracy,” “Blondie,” and “Lil Abner” but also gives due recognition to lesser-known strips and their creators. By placing the history of comics within a socio-economic context and breaking it down by decades, Brian provides a comprehensive and contextual view of the early years of American newspaper comic strips.

brian walker cartoonist

Legacy and Impact

Brian Walker’s contributions to the world of comics are immeasurable. He has preserved the legacy of iconic comic strips, educated future generations, and provided invaluable insights into the history and evolution of the art form. His work as a writer, editor, curator, and educator has not only celebrated the past but also ensured the continued relevance of comic art in the present and future.

Brian’s dedication to the art form extends beyond the page. He has advocated for comics in their transition from the printed page to other forms of media, embracing the ever-evolving nature of storytelling. His contributions to Beetle Bailey, Hi, and Lois have kept these beloved strips alive, demonstrating his creative prowess and deep respect for his father’s work.

Brian Walker’s legacy is not limited to his contributions to the world of comics. He is also the founder and current chairman of the Connecticut Chapter of the National Cartoonists Society, further cementing his role as a driving force in the comic art community. His passion, expertise, and tireless efforts have made a lasting impact on the art form, and he continues to inspire and educate those who follow in his footsteps.

brian walker cartoonist


Brian Walker’s career is a testament to comic art’s enduring power and impact on our culture. As the son of a legendary cartoonist, he continued the family tradition and expanded the medium’s horizons. His creative work on “Beetle Bailey” and “Hi and Lois” has entertained millions, while his contributions to comic history and education have enriched the art form.

In a constantly evolving world, Brian Walker remains a steadfast advocate for preserving and celebrating comics. His dedication to the art form, both as a creator and a historian, ensures that the legacy of comics will endure for generations. Brian Walker is more than a cartoonist; he is a steward of an art form that has the power to entertain, inspire, and connect people from all walks of life.

Read also

FAQs about Brian Walker

1. Who is Brian Walker, and what is his career background?

Brian Walker is a cartoonist and writer known for contributing to popular comic strips such as “Beetle Bailey” and “Hi and Lois.” He is also the son of Mort Walker, a renowned cartoonist. Brian has worked as a cartoonist, editor, and curator in the world of comic art. He has written, edited, and contributed to numerous books on cartoon art and has been involved in producing comic strips since the 1980s.

2. What comic strips has Brian Walker worked on?

Brian Walker has been part of the creative team behind the comic strips “Beetle Bailey” and “Hi and Lois.” He has contributed to these iconic comic strips since 1984, continuing his father Mort Walker’s legacy.

3. What is Brian Walker’s role in the history of comics?

Brian Walker is a significant figure in the history of comics. He has contributed to the preservation and study of comic art. He has written, edited, and contributed to over 45 books on cartoon art. He was also the founder and former director of the International Museum of Cartoon Art and has served as a curator for numerous cartoon exhibitions.

4. Can you tell me more about Brian Walker’s publications?

Brian Walker has been involved in various publications related to comics. He edited and contributed to books like “The Best of Beetle Bailey: A Thirty-three-Year Treasury,” “The Best of Hagar,” and “The Best of Hi and Lois.” He has also written “The Comics Since 1945” and “The Comics Before 1945,” which provide valuable insights into the history of comics.

5. What is Brian Walker’s contribution to the Museum of Cartoon Art?

Brian Walker is a co-founder of the Museum of Cartoon Art and served as its director. His work at the museum spanned from 1974 to 1992, during which time he played a significant role in preserving and promoting the art of cartoons.

6. What is the significance of “The Comics: The Complete Collection”?

“The Comics: The Complete Collection” is a comprehensive history of comics, and Brian Walker was involved in its creation. This book is considered a definitive resource in cartoon art, providing a comprehensive overview of the medium’s history.

7. What is Brian Walker’s connection to Mort Walker, the creator of “Beetle Bailey”?

Brian Walker is the son of Mort Walker, the creator of the famous comic strip “Beetle Bailey.” Brian has continued his father’s legacy by contributing to “Beetle Bailey” and other comic strips, preserving his father’s work for future generations.

8. Has Brian Walker received any recognition in the field of comics?

Yes, Brian Walker’s contributions to the world of comics have earned him recognition and respect. He has been involved in the creative process of well-known comic strips and was inducted into the Will Eisner Hall of Fame as a tribute to his late father, Mort Walker.

9. What is Brian Walker’s educational background?

Brian Walker graduated from Tufts University and has used his education and expertise to become a prominent figure in comic art, scholarship, and education.

10. How can I learn more about Brian Walker’s work and comic contributions?

You can explore Brian Walker’s work and contributions by reading his books, visiting his curated exhibitions, and following comic-related publications. You can also find information about his work in various online sources and publications covering the history of comics.

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