October 16th, 2014

Ask the Archivist: “Hi & Lois” Comic Books

by The King

Hello Gang,

Extending our salute to “Hi & Lois” this month, I offer some of the strip’s comic books from my collection.

The Flagstons were not big hits outside of newspaper pages, and only a handful of comic books were printed in the U.S. during the 1950s. “Hi & Lois” was relegated to a backup feature to other King Features’ titles, such as the “Beetle Bailey” series.  However, in other countries, “Hi & Lois” was given further printings, off and on through the years.

 The first “Hi & Lois” comic book, Dell Four Color # 683 (March 1956) and a Brazilian version
(O Globo Sao Paulo circa 1970)

 A Portgual Press (Lisbon) Edition of 1971 points out the fact that Mort Walker and Dik Browne won The National Cartoonists’ Society “Rueben” Award.

 Four Color #955 (November 1958) and the Australian version (Gordon & Gotch, Sydney 1969) with a redrawn cover by Keith Chatto.

 “Almanaque da ZeZe” (Editorial Grafica Rio de Janiero 1975)(Right) “Kisser” (Gutenberghus Gruppen Copenhagen 1990, left)

In some countries, Trixie is the lead character. In Brazil, they rechristened her “ZeZe.” The rest of the family follows this pattern except Lois, who is now “Alice.” Guess they couldn’t think up another name compounding two “Z’s.”

 “Lalo y Lola” (Editions Comex Mexico City, March 1972) “Lalo” is a diminutive of Eduardo, “Lola, that of Delores. De Familie Achterop (Uitgave Oberon, Haarlem 1983) translates along the lines of “The Backward Family.”

The following are my replies to recent comments:

“Mother Goose And Grimm” had good coverage from the start, in big cities like Philly and smaller towns too. The illustrations I used, for instance, were cut from The Medicine Hat News.

Glad you like Mother Goose! It will be considered a classic someday. I will get around to posting some “Curtis” strips, but as we don’t own Spidey, we only distribute the strip, I don’t know if I can. I’ll find out.

DJ,  Hiram,  Beetle:
Dik Browne was one of the greats, his simple cartoon lines belied a master illustrator’s ability to evoke a sense of being there. “Hi and Lois” was always one of my favorites too. One of the reasons it has lasted so long is Browne and Walker’s real-life family situations  give readers a relatable gag. Looking back on old strips  I remember living through some of the same type incidents. 

Timothy Fisher:
Sure, Hi is short for Hiram. That’s a pretty old fashioned name, even sixty years ago.  I can’t imagine what the Brazilians think of the gem they picked out for him in Portuguese. (See above).

Yours until next week,





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