March 2nd, 2013
by Brian Walker, Greg Walker and Chance Browne
For many years, it was common practice for syndicates to release the daily strip version of a new feature before launching the Sunday page. If the daily strip signed up enough newspaper clients the Sunday page would follow. This was the case with Hi and Lois.
Two years after the daily strip began on October 16, 1954, the Sunday page was launched on October 14, 1956. Here is the advertisement from Editor & Publisher that announced the debut of the Sunday page.
In 1956, King Features also produced a color brochure to stimulate sales of the strip. Here is the cover of that promotional kit.
Dik Browne wrote the first two Hi and Lois Sunday pages, and they were the only ones he would ever write. “Mort has a sound approach to Sunday pages,” Dik once remarked. “He won’t use an idea that could be used as a daily gag. It has to be worthy of the larger dimensions.”
There were two color Hi and Lois Sunday pages included as samples in the 1956 King Features sales brochure. This one was about a visit from one of Lois’ old friends.
Dik put a lot of extra work into the Sunday pages. The expanded format gave him the opportunity to escape from the restricted confines of the daily strip and showcase his talents. Mort was aware of this and provided him with gags that had the potential to become graphic masterpieces. Childhood flights of fantasy, nostalgic memories, and Fourth of July fireworks – no challenge was too great for Dik’s pen.
We will be reprinting some of Mort and Dik’s classic Hi and Lois Sunday pages in future blog posts.
– Brian Walker
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