Dear Loyal Royal Readers,
Today we take a peek at the start of Hi and Lois’s early years as a Sunday feature.
Dik Browne was a terrific cartoonist, and all the praise he received for his work over the years was not enough. When he joined forces with Mort Walker to produce Hi and Lois, a great strip was born, in humor and art. Here’s more about the back story:
The writing was witty and fresh, with some real human insight. Also, Browne’s skillful, intricate imagery sometimes reached real beauty, which could really come out in the Sunday version. It began two years after the daily, sixty years ago this week. I present for your approval some choice examples of 1956-1960 today:
Hi and Lois Sundays. Above: The debut, 18 October 1956. ( From the color “art” proof)
Below: 28 July 1957. Browne was always great at nostalgia.
He could rely on memories of his youth for thoughtful inspiration.
Hi and Lois Sundays: 18 August and 1 September 1957. Dik and Mort often claimed that many of their gags were based on incidents in their real lives, and these two have the ring of authenticity.
Hi and Lois Sundays: 26 January and 16 March 1958.
A lot of the gags center on Hi’s desire to hang onto his boyhood…
Hi and Lois Sundays: 6 April and 10 August 1958.
Hi’s sense of responsibility can sometimes be irresponsible. Dot and Ditto rule the supper table.
Hi and Lois Sundays: 7 September and 28 September 1958.
A funny gag at the office with boss Mr. Foofram, and
a look into the wistful daydreams of a man reaching middle age.
Hi and Lois Sundays: 17 November and 14 December 1958. Being treated differently by your company and your family is a common enough phenomenon. Dik could produce wild flights of fantasy like this.
Hi and Lois Sundays: 21 February and 17 April 1960. More fun with depicting childish misinterpretations and a sentimental Sunday walk.
It would be great if a full-book treatment of Hi and Lois reprints could come out some day. It’s all worthy of collecting.
The KFS Archivist.