To the Editor:

After reading the recent article (“Beetle Bailey looking to camp in art gallery,” 1/31) regarding the possibility of moving the International Museum of Cartoon Art to Yale University, I share the “cautious optimism” expressed by city and University officials.

As founder of the world’s first, largest and only truly international cartoon museum, I believe the best way to preserve and protect our cartoon heritage would be by bringing the museum’s valuable collection to a major university. Certainly, Yale would be a perfect home.

As a longtime resident of Connecticut, a state in which so many cartoonists live and work, I think it would be historically appropriate to house the museum’s 250,000-piece collection in this area, where it would be accessible to students, educators and the general public.

Since announcing our intention to find a new home for the museum’s collection, we have been approached by potential locations around the country, including other cities and universities. They recognize that cartoons and comic strips really are “the people’s art,” viewed and valued by more than a billion people worldwide every single day.

We are hopeful, however, that the Cartoon Museum will be able to make a permanent home right here in New Haven. Just think of all the new neighbors you’ll have a chance to get to know … some of the most famous and popular cartoon characters in the world: Charlie Brown and Snoopy, Cathy, Dilbert, Bugs Bunny, Dagwood and Blondie, Beetle and Sarge, Superman, Batman, Garfield, Baldo, Zonker, Mickey Mouse and so many, many more.

Mort Walker

February 4, 2002

The writer is creator of Beetle Bailey and the founder of the International Museum of Cartoon Art.