The 25 Best Sunday Comic Strips of All Time

25. Beetle Bailey

Creator: Mort Walker
Published: 1950-present

Innumerable comic strips and cartoons have followed the same premise as Beetle Bailey: A larger, more powerful character (here, Sergeant Snorkel) attacks the weaker, wilier character (Beetle). Either the quick character outsmarts the big one, or he gets his ass kicked.

Because of the strip's well-worn premise, it's strange to think that Beetle Bailey has been censored. But after 60 years spent engaging with the same conflict, it's inevitable that Walker's exploration of the power dynamic between an officer and enlisted man would get thorny—and piss some folks off.

Beetle Bailey is at its best when the characters joke about their relationship, when they become self-aware of the roles they're forced to play. This self-awareness is what's made the strip amount to more than a military "Itchy and Scratchy" cartoon.

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