The world of Hi and Lois takes place in a time warp. The frames of reference are constantly changing. In this Sunday page from 1957, Hi reminisces about his childhood.
Hi’s nostalgic daydreams were from over thirty years in the past. Dirigibles, biplanes and flagpole sitters were things he would have seen in the 1920s. The Lindy cap became popular after Charles Lindbergh’s daring transatlantic flight in 1927. WPA, PWA, CCC and NRA were government agencies from FDR’s New Deal during the Great Depression. Major Bowes Amateur Hour made its debut on radio in 1934.
Forty-three years later we did this Sunday page.
Reviewing the Flagston’s family history, Lois says that the kids’ grandparents lived in the 1930s radio era and she and Hi grew up with television in the 1950s and 60s. This would make them over forty years old.
Readers aren’t bothered by these discrepancies. Hi and Lois don’t age, and as the parents of a teenage boy and a young baby, they must be in their thirties. In the 1950s, this meant that they grew up in the 1920s and 30s. In the year 2000, their childhood would have occurred in the 1970s. We have to stretch time to make these historical references work.
These are the challenges in making a comic strip that has been around for over sixty years relevant. The characters don’t age, but time marches onward.
– Brian Walker