June 30th, 2013
by Brian Walker, Greg Walker and Chance Browne
Hi and Lois has been primarily a gag-a-day strip since its inception. This means that each episode is a self-contained entity. There have been stories that lasted for a week or more, but these tend to be special occasions.
Vacations have provided periodic opportunities for the Flagstons to break out of their daily routine and travel to interesting destinations. In the early years of the feature, these usually occurred on a single Sunday.
On September 17, 1961, the family visited “Ye Olde Colonial Village” which resembled Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. A year later, on September 16, 1962, they went to the Mark Twain House in Hartford, Connecticut. These trips, intended as educational experiences, often ended with a humorous misinterpretation by one of the kids.
The Flagstons took a brief summer vacation on July 8, 1962.
This original Hi and Lois Sunday page shows Dik Browne’s amazing talent for rendering background scenery. When the color was added, it became even more spectacular.
The daily strips before and after this Sunday page had nothing to do with a vacation. How the family was able to travel to a place with snow-capped peaks and a lake for fishing in one day was left to the readers’ imaginations.
In the mid-1960s, Mort Walker and Dik Browne began experimenting with extended stories. Hi, who was frequently shown with a pipe in his mouth, finally gave up smoking during a one-week sequence in January 1966. Later that year, the Flagstons went on a three-week, cross-country road trip. This family excursion, which includes spectacular scenery in both black-and-white daily strips and color Sunday pages, will be showcased in a future blog post. Other episodes, including Chip’s paper route in 1970 and a long visit from Hi’s father “Pop” in 1974, will also be revisited.
So stay tooned.
– Brian Walker
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