Like Father, Like Son

By Jeremy Meltingtallow

Father’s Day is another family holiday that is important to acknowledge in Hi and Lois.  We have done episodes with Hi getting served breakfast in bed or being taken out for a meal but I find it more interesting to consider his role in the family.

A traditional scenario in the strip for many years, particularly in the fall, involves Hi and Chip taking a walk together to discuss future plans.  Chip, at age fifteen, needs to start thinking about college and a potential career.  These discussions often involve a look back at the choices that Hi made in his life.

Although the Sunday page below did not appear on Father’s Day, it is a classic example of one of these father-son talks between Hi and Chip.

Hi and Lois Sunday page, August 11, 1963. Hi and Lois Sunday page, August 11, 1963.

In 2011, I was thinking about my son David’s future, since he was just about to graduate from college.  I came up with this idea about a father-son talk between Hi and Ditto.  Chance’s wonderful illustrations of Ditto in different occupations convincingly establish his unlimited potential and work perfectly to set up Hi’s response at the end.

Hi and Lois Sunday page, June 16, 2011. Hi and Lois Sunday page, June 16, 2011.

A few days before my son’s graduation on May 29, I received the weekly envelope from King Features with the black-and-white proof of this upcoming Father’s Day strip, which I had written many months before.  I was very proud of my son and it struck me that this episode reflected my feelings.  I quickly stuffed the proof in my bag and brought it with me.

After the graduation ceremony was over, we went out to dinner to celebrate.  Presents and cards were exchanged and, almost as an afterthought, I pulled out the envelope with the Hi and Lois proof, which I had signed for David, “From your proud Papa.”  He was clearly moved by my expression of appreciation for what he had accomplished.  I eventually retrieved the original art for this page from Chance, put it in a frame, and it now hangs in David’s apartment.

This is just another example of how Hi and Lois is integral to the history of our family.

We wish a Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!

– Brian Walker