Wally Badgett was born in southeastern Montana, near Ashland and was raised on the family ranch on Otter Creek. Horses and cattle were a big part of his life from his earliest recollections. He was destined to be a cowboy from birth.
During his grade school days he rodeod in Little Britches rodeos and when in high school in Broadus, he advanced to high school rodeo. A scholarship and a chance to continue his rodeo days called him to Sheridan, Wyoming, where he participated in saddle bronc and bull riding. He had become good enough at bull riding that he won the national intercollegiate championship and he was on his way.
Wally was never much for being stuck inside a school doing book learning. He much preferred to be out in the open with the livestock or doing his doodling with cartoons. Even in high school, he seemed to spend more time drawing than reading or arithmetic, not that he wasn't capable of ciphering.
After college, Wally joined the PRCA and rodeod in the big time, qualifying for the National Finals Rodeo in bull riding and leading the nation for seven rounds. "Would have won it too, except for the last three bulls," says Wally.
Rodeoing was in his blood but soon a family called and he returned to the ranching life to "make a living." Ranching didn't pay much better then than it does nowadays and he supplemented the income with a job as deputy sheriff in Ashland. Before long he moved to Miles City and joined the sheriff's department here.
Back surgery laid him up for several months and as he says, "You can only watch so much daytime TV." So he turned to his old love, cartooning. Before long a character began to evolve from his doodles, a character he called EARL. His background in ranching and a dry but active sense of humor soon lead to some great cartoons that people love. Shortly a book was in the works and THE BOOK OF EARL series was begun.
Wally still lives on a "ranch" outside of Miles City where he raises three horses, two chickens and a dog. Of course, magpies are everywhere and serve as design models for the magpie in his cartoon.