January 26th, 2014

Brrrrrrr

by Brian Walker, Greg Walker and Chance Browne

It’s cold!  Although it can be challenging to stay warm in the winter, the season also has many good qualities.  We tend to spend more time indoors at this time of the year, so any reason to get outside can provide a breath of fresh air.

I like to go for morning walks during the winter and admire the scenery.  The bare branches silhouetted against the clear blue sky contrast starkly with the white snow that blankets the ground.  I can see hawks circling above looking for prey and ducks huddled in the icy water of the river.  Smoke curls from my neighbors’ chimneys and the smell of burning wood conjures up memories of seasons past.

Dik Browne brilliantly captured the essence of winter in this classic Hi and Lois Sunday page from 1963.

Hi and Lois Sunday page color proof, January 27, 1963. Hi and Lois Sunday page color proof, January 27, 1963.

The scene in the title panel looks very similar to where the Browne family lived in Connecticut during the 1960s.  Throughout the page, Dik’s trees have a beautiful symmetry and the shading on the snow makes it feel soft and fluffy.  The birds are semi-realistic, but also have a Disney-like cuteness.  Lois is pretty and believable as a housewife with her apron, boots and shawl.  Dot and Ditto have an adorable roundness that is appropriate to their age.  The entire page is an outstanding example of Dik’s skills of balanced composition and careful pacing.

We hope this episode brings some warm nostalgic feelings to our readers during these cold days of winter.  Spring is just around the corner!

– Brian Walker

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