May 13th, 2016
by Brian Walker, Greg Walker and Chance Browne
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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