February 14th, 2014
by Brian Walker, Greg Walker and Chance Browne
Saint Valentine’s Day, the roots of which can be traced back to Saint Valentine of Rome who was martyred around 496 AD, began as a Christian holiday that was celebrated in many countries around the world. It was removed from the Roman Catholic Calendar in 1969 because the church believed that, “apart from his name, nothing is known of Saint Valentine except that he was buried on the Via Flaminia on February 14.”
The tradition of expressing romantic love began in 1382 when Geoffrey Chaucer referred to “Volantynys day” in a poem. In 18th century England, lovers exchanged hand-made cards, flowers and other gifts on the holiday. Factory-made valentines soon followed and by 1835, 60,000 were mailed in Britain. Today, it is estimated that over a billion valentines are exchanged each year in the U.S. Valentine’s Day has also become a major commercial promotion, as the gift industry encourages couples to buy everything from chocolates and flowers to diamonds and other expensive baubles.
Love is a central theme in Hi and Lois, so we recognize this special day every year. It is important for family members to acknowledge the ties that bind them. There are many variations on the theme – Hi and Lois having a romantic dinner, Chip going out on a special date, Dot making cards for her classmates and Ditto being repulsed by the idea of expressing affection for the opposite sex. It is a challenge to make these episodes humorous without getting overly saccharine.
In 2010, Valentines Day was on a Sunday, which allowed for an extended musing on the meaning of love. I didn’t want to get too philosophical, so I ended the episode by showing what Ditto likes best about the holiday.
Chance did a great job designing the scenes that illustrated the different types of love and added the song references in the first three “drop panels.” It is a truly unique page.
We wish all of our readers a happy Valentines Day. Stay tooned.
– Brian Walker
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