April 7th, 2014

Spring 1965

by Brian Walker, Greg Walker and Chance Browne

We would like to share another classic Sunday page that was created by Mort Walker and Dik Browne almost fifty years ago.  This one has a spring theme and features some terrific scenery.

Hi and Lois Sunday page color proof, April 25, 1965. Hi and Lois Sunday page color proof, April 25, 1965.

Dik Browne was a master at composition and pacing.  Each panel in this page, from the long shot in the opening panel beneath the title to the double-size panorama at the conclusion, was perfectly designed to advance the storyline.  He varied the perspective, using an aerial view in the second panel, close-ups in panels three, five and seven and a wide-angle layout at the end.  He added details to some scenes to establish atmosphere and solid color backgrounds in others to emphasize conversational exchanges.

Lois is pretty and perky in her red spring blouse and checkered skirt.  Ditto is boyish in overalls and Dot is adorable with a ponytail and white shoes. The robin redbreast and butterfly are realistically rendered but still feel at home in the cartoon world of the Flagston family.

The bare limbs of the tree in panel six provide a dramatic contrast to the lone bud and the sturdy trunk in the last panel provides a good lookout spot for Ditto.  The bright color palette suggests the changing hues of early spring.

This example was scanned from an original color proof that was sent to Mort Walker by King Features Syndicate in 1965 and was recently restored by his assistant, Bill Janocha.

We hope you enjoy seeing these vintage Hi and Lois Sunday pages.  There are may more of these in our archives so stay tooned.

– Brian Walker

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