May 13th, 2016

Boys Will Be Boys

by Brian Walker, Greg Walker and Chance Browne

Hi and Lois Sunday page color proof, July 29, 1962. Hi and Lois Sunday page color proof, July 29, 1962.

In this charming Sunday page, Hi takes a nostalgic trip back to the days of his youth. As we have documented in previous posts, chronological time is often stretched in comic strips to accommodate the needs of a particular gag. The flashback scenes suggest that Hi was “Chip’s age” during the 1930s, which would have made him over 40 years old when this episode appeared.

This page is a prime example of a long running theme in the strip – as much as things change, they also remain the same. In the end, Hi is watching the same movie on television that he enjoyed in a movie theater when he was a young boy. Although he is now a responsible father, he is also a child at heart.

Sunday pages are written and designed so that the second two tiers can be run as a self-contained series of panels. On this page, all of those panels are wordless. It is quite a challenge to tell a story without the use of dialogue or text.

This page also provided an ideal showcase for Dik Browne’s devotion to layout and detail. The varied settings include an attic, a den, a wedding chapel, a movie theater and a street scene. There’s a white-picket fence, a sink full of dirty dishes and a stained glass window. The background characters all have distinctive faces. The wall calendars in the two kitchens from different eras provide a wonderful added touch. It’s another Dik Browne masterpiece.

– Brian Walker

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